MYRTLE BEACH, SC- The Potomac Nationals arrived in Myrtle Beach late Sunday night to begin a four-game series with the Pelicans on Monday evening, and joining them before game one will be a familiar face as third baseman Stephen King has been activated off the disabled list.
To accomodate the move, reliever Jesse Estrada has been promoted to Double-A Harrisburg.
King, placed on the disabled list on July 29, actually injured himself in a game against the Lynchburg Hillcats on July 21 when he slid awkwardly into third base. He was removed from the game and placed on the DL retroactive to July 24 with a hamstring strain.
On the year, King is hitting .225 with six home runs and 31 RBI. He enjoyed his best month of the season in June in which he hit .286, slugging three home runs and driving in 13. In his last game with the team in Lynchburg, King knocked an RBI double before departing in the fifth inning with an injury.
With the potentially serious ankle injury to utilityman Dan Nelson in Friday night's 11-0 victory over Salem, the P-Nats' infield depth needed to be re-fortified, and the activation of King should help satisfy that problem.
For Estrada, this will be his first trip up to Harrisburg, though not his first stint in Double-A. The veteran reliever has spent time with both Double-A and Triple-A ballclubs in the Chicago Cubs organization before joining the Nationals as a free agent back in June.
The imposing right-hander, at 6'8", 290 lb, has made 22 appearances out of Trent Jewett's bullpen, going 0-3 with a 3.19 earned run average and a save to his credit. Opponents hit just .264 against the righty out of Texas as he was a calming influence on a young bullpen.
Dominant against right-handed batters, Estrada held righties to just a .159 batting average in his time with the P-Nats.
He will join the number of other former Potomac Nationals pitchers currently excelling on the Senators' staff including Drew Storen, Atahualpa Severino, Carlos Martinez, Brad Meyers, Jeff Mandel, and Erik Arnesen as well as position players Sean Rooney, Chris Marrero, and Francisco Plasencia.
The P-Nats begin a four-game series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans starting Monday night, and beginning play today, the P-Nats find themselves a game-and-a-half back of first place Wilmington.
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