Nationals shut down Nate McLouth, call up hot-hitting Steven Souza

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This offseason the Nationals made Nate McLouth a very expensive fourth outfielder by signing him to a two-year, $10.75 million deal, but he’s hit just .173 in limited playing time and now he’s on the disabled list.

McLouth has been shut down with right shoulder inflammation and according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post he’s been playing through it “for much of the season, an ailment the Nationals and McLouth kept private.”

Add another name to the ever-expanding list of playing through injuries working out poorly.

To replace McLouth on the roster the Nationals called up Steven Souza Jr., who’s had a monster season at Triple-A by hitting .354 with 18 homers and a 1.036 OPS. While not considered a top prospect at age 25, he also put up strong numbers in 2012 and 2013 and can play all over the diamond defensively.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.