Washington Nationals News: Darin Mastroianni Traded To Nats From Phillies

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Before the regular season began, the Washington Nationals made a rare trade within the division with the New York Mets where they acquired outfielder Matt den Dekker for reliever Jerry Blevins. Today, Washington made another trade with a NL East team as they acquired another outfield piece. This time, it was with the Philadelphia Phillies as they traded for Darin Mastroiani in exchange for cash:

Mastroianni is a 29-year outfielder who has been in the major leagues since 2011, but has not played a game in the big leagues this season. This year, he was with the Phillies triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs. In 16 games, he was hitting .293 with no home runs and two RBI’s.

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The 16th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2007 MLB Draft has not played more than 77 games in a season at the major league level. His last major league game was July 21, 2014, but he was 5-for-44 with Toronto last season.

So, why would the Nationals make this trade? The Nats are a team that needs outfield depth, whether it is at the major or minor league level. On Saturday, Reed Johnson, who played 12 games with Washington, had surgery to repair a tendon in his left foot last weekend. He is expected to be out until at least the summer.

The other name that could be affected by this move down the road is young outfielder Michael Taylor. Taylor, who came in to pinch run in the seventh inning last night, will get the start in left field tonight against Mat Latos. However, with Denard Span back as the everyday center fielder, Taylor isn’t able to play every day like he did to start the season.

While it has been great to see one of the Nationals top prospects in the big leagues, it would be great to see Taylor get a chance to play everyday and continue his development at triple-A Syracuse. The 24-year old hit .385 with one home run and four RBI’s in eight games before being called up last Thursday when the Nationals took on the Mets. Mastroianni won’t be the player that sends Taylor down, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Mastroianni will begin playing with the Syracuse Chiefs, but if he can find his swing at triple-A. One thing is for certain is that the Chiefs needed outfielders because the only four players they have at the position right now are Mark Minicozzi, den Dekker, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Kevin Mattison, who played his first game on Saturday.

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