The wait is over. C.J. Abrams is finally being called up and expected to get the start at short.
After spending eight games at AAA with the Washington Nationals, C.J. Abrams is being called up to the majors due to Luis García being placed on the IL. Acquired as one of the main pieces in the Juan Soto/Josh Bell blockbuster trade, Abrams is viewed by many as Washington’s future at short. He entered the season as the Padres’ top prospect and despite still being at AA, he made San Diego’s 2022 Opening Day roster due to an injury to superstar Fernando Tatis. Jr.
From the start, it was clear he wasn’t ready and was often overmatched. In 46 games, he slashed .232/.285/.320, with two homers, 11 RBIs, and an OPS of .605. Yet, he seemed to turn a corner in July — slashing .294/.324/.412, with one homer, four RBIs, and an OPS of .736 in 34 ABs.
San Diego ended up sending Abrams to AAA, where he immediately made his presence felt — slashing .314/.364/.507, with seven homers, 28 RBIs, and an OPS of .871 in 30 games.
Following the trade, Washington decided it was best to start Abrams at AAA. In eight games with the Rochester Redwings, he hit .290, with two RBIs, and an OPS of .871 while swiping four bags in five attempts. His best game with the Redwings occurred two days ago — going 2-3, with an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base.
For García, the 22-year-old left Friday’s game against the Padres after straining his groin from running out a grounder. The righty had been one of the few bright spots in the Nationals’ nightmare season — leading the team in batting average (.289). With Abrams’s promotion this means when García returns, he will be shifted back to his natural position at second. He’s tied for dead last in defensive runs saved (-15), second to last in outs above average (-13), and tied for third worst in errors (13).
This move is bittersweet, but in arguably the worst season in Nationals history, fans finally have something new and exciting to look forward to.