It’s been a rough couple months for Jordan Walden.
The 24-year-old right-hander opened the season as the Angels’ unchallenged closer after saving 32 games alongside a 2.98 ERA in 2011, but that role was eventually transferred to newcomer Ernesto Frieri, who’s been dominant. And now Walden is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right bicep, according to MLB.com beat writer Alden Gonzalez.
Kyle Calhoun was recalled to fill the roster vacancy.
Walden has a 3.86 ERA and 1.57 WHIP through 28 innings this season. He’s fanned a whopping 35 batters but also issued 18 walks. The Angels’ medical team can’t say for certain how long he will be on the shelf.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.