WASHINGTON -- The Nationals activated infielder Stephen Drew from the disabled list prior to Saturday's game against the Pirates, but Drew is not expected to return to action this weekend.
The club announced the move was strictly procedural to get Drew (abdominal strain) off the 60-day disabled list and back onto the 40-man roster in case they want to activate him at some point this postseason. Earlier this week, manager Dusty Baker said Drew was likely not going to be ready for the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile, which begins Friday against the Cubs, but the team hopes he could return in the later rounds.
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Drew was one of the Nationals' most valuable pinch-hitters last season, with an .864 OPS and eight home runs in 70 games. He was not able to replicate that success this season, with a .660 OPS in 46 games, but he has battled injuries and has not appeared in a game since July 25.
To make room for Drew on the roster, the Nationals placed right-hander Shawn Kelley on the 60-day disabled list with bone chips in his right elbow.
Kelley's season ended after he left his last outing on Sept. 22 in New York after feeling numbness in his right arm. Eventually he was revealed to have inflammation in his right elbow and a nerve issue in his arm before he was sent to Washington for further testing.
It ends a disappointing year for Kelley in his second season with Washington, in which he posted a 7.27 ERA in 33 appearances as he bounced on and off the disabled list.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.