MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats recall reliever Mattheus, outfielder Taylor

Nats recall reliever Mattheus, outfielder Taylor

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made their last round of callups on Sunday, recalling reliever Ryan Mattheus and outfielder Michael Taylor from Triple-A Syracuse.

Mattheus, who was a major player in the Nationals' bullpen in 2012, struggled in the Minors this year, going 1-3 with a 5.91 ERA in 36 games. Mattheus had no excuses for his disappointing season.

"It was tough year down there," Mattheus said. "Just being in the Minor Leagues was kind of an adjustment. It was frustrating because I felt great all year, I felt healthy, I felt the ball was coming out [of my hand] really well, but the results weren't there.

"Not having the same success in the lower level was kind of shocking to me. I didn't have the answers, except going out and competing."

This will be Mattheus' third stint with the Nationals this season. He's pitched a combined 5 2/3 innings without allowing a run.

As for Taylor, he returns to the Nationals for the second time this season. Taylor had his best season in professional baseball, hitting a combined .304 with a .390 on-base percentage and a .526 slugging percentage in 110 games for Double-A Harrisburg and Syracuse.

During his first stint with the Nationals, Taylor went 3-for-18 with one home run and two RBIs.

"I learned a lot. It's the same game," Taylor said about his first stint in the big leagues. "There were a few adjustments I have to make in order to be consistent, trying to keep my timing. Not playing a lot is tough. But it's a good experience. I get a chance to learn."

In the future, Taylor wants to cut down on his strikeouts and improve in the corner-outfield spots.

"I felt good [in the outfield]," Taylor said. "I definitely feel more comfortable in center than the corners, and that is something I'm going to be working on, shagging a lot in the corners."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.