A Word On “Promotions” (UPDATED)

The “TBA” for Syracuse is now Paul Demny, formerly of Harrisburg. He’ll be making his first AAA start tonight against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after posting a 4-4, 3.98/4.04/1.31 line for the Senators

Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm, but it’s difficult to tell if this is a true promotion (e.g. Taylor Jordan, Potomac to Harrisburg) or a need-based assignment (e.g. Craig Manuel, Hagerstown to Harrisburg) This has been happening a lot lately, and it’s a judgment call because not every move upward is a promotion, the verb choice of team PR staffers not withstanding.

The reason for the doubt is of course the status of veteran Ross Ohlendorf. In this morning’s News & Notes, I suggested that he may have opted out of his minor-league contract. After putting out some feelers, there’s still no word in either direction. He’s still listed as active on MiLB.com, but the site is notorious for being slow on updates (Demny, for example, is still listed on the Harrisburg roster as of this writing at ~4:35 p.m.).

Naturally, it’s possible that both he and Yunesky Maya have been demoted to the bullpen or placed on the DL, but common sense dictates that as veterans that if the organization no longer wants them to start, they’d be released. More feasible is the idea that Ohlendorf has read the tea leaves and for the second straight year, decided to look for another organization to hook on with in his quest to return to the majors.

Apologies in advance to anyone this may confuse or offend, but I thought it might be worth a short post to explain the lack of “Movin’ On Up” pics for minor-leaguers lately.

UPDATE #1: With word that Stephen Strasburg being placed on the DL, another possibility is that the Nats are withholding both Maya and Ohlendorf in order to maximize the surprise factor for whomever is tapped to start in his place on Saturday. This, of course, was last done with the surprise promotion of Nathan Karns.

UPDATE #2: FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal is now reporting that Ohlendorf will be added to the 40-man roster and make the start for the big club in place of Stephen Strasburg. As noted in the comments, so much for subterfuge… and so much for my “opted out” scenario. For what it’s worth, this caught the folks paid to do this flat-footed, too. It happens.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

10 thoughts on “A Word On “Promotions” (UPDATED)”

  1. Ohlendorf was lights out with that new cutter/slider thing he seems to have recently developed and used very effectively in striking out 22 over the last 2 starts.

    I suspect he might garner more interest than Mr. Duke.

    HOWEVER? It seems they have now put Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day DL. Since they are taking it slow with Detwiler they now are without two of their original five starters? I wonder if they might use Ohlendorf instead of Stammen to keep from losing him? Maybe he is being called up to the majors for a good look see?

    1. @SkyKerstien,

      #Nats Johnson says Saturday’s starter will be from Syracuse

      If its me I would be picking Ohlendorf. In fact I am the original and somewhat anal Nate Karns fan, but after
      watching Ohlendorf’s last 2 starts. Yeah, I’d be ring-a-dinging him up to the majors if I were in Rizzo’s place.

  2. The only “surprise factor” in the event Rizzo/Davey choose to bring up Maya, would be the utter disbelief/ shock /surprise to the opposing ball club that they are foolish enough to do that.

    With the DFA of HRod & Duke, I believe 40 man is at 39, so adding Ohlendorf wouldn’t be an issue, roster-wise.

  3. Gotta wonder if Ohlendorf is weighing options between opting out and catching on with a team he could potentially stick with, or if he’s satisfied with SYR & occasional spot start in DC. Or can he make this one start in DC and then opt out?

    1. I don’t think so — that’s the point of the opt-out: an escape clause if it looks like he’s stuck in AAA.

      1. Might happen now with the rainout. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land with the Phillies or Braves. Adding more to the Nat’s chagrin over their current spot.

  4. McCatty teacher of the Cutter Shark pitch??
    I am glad Harris moved out Nuke Rod- loose
    And Duke moving in Davis , Karms and Krol
    Next up should be Jordan!
    Bravo to Purke, RAy and Solis on their
    Respective roads back to viewing in front
    Of the real peanut bleachers !! Us on line!
    I look forward to a potential rotation someday
    With three LHPs
    Gods from DallAs Baptist seems like a guy
    Rizzo and Kline drafted numerous times in AZ!!
    Now that Hagerstown has six All stars. I trumpet
    Doug Harris to test the older A level guys- especially
    Pleff for Phitz!!!

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