Nationals recall Cory Abbott from Triple-A Rochester; place Chad Kuhl on IL

The Nationals have announced two roster moves ahead of their four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Washington Nationals recalled RHP Cory Abbott from Triple-A Rochester and placed RHP Chad Kuhl on the 15-day Injured List (retroactive to April 30) with right foot metatarsalgia on Monday afternoon. President of baseball operations, Mike Rizzo, announced the move.

Some would say this IL move made an inevitable decision easier as Kuhl did not have minor league options remaining at a time he was struggling to pitch and could have been facing a DFA to remove him from the team. These pitching issues were happening simultaneously while Kuhl was dealing with a major family medical issue. As TalkNats wrote nearly a week and a half ago, and before the Nats made it public, that Kuhl’s wife, Amanda, had extensive surgery for breast cancer and started chemotherapy on Friday. The Nats would have had a public relations issue if they DFA’d Kuhl, and with this IL move, the team did not have to make that tough decision and Kuhl will get paid and be part of the team for at least the next 15 days, and the team can extend that IL stint as needed beyond the 15 days.

Abbott, 27, started nine games for the Nationals last season, appearing in 16 contests. In his 2022 campaign, Abbott pitched 48 innings, allowing 30 runs and 40 hits while posting a 5.25 ERA which would look great against Kuhl’s 9.41. Last year, Abbott tallied 45 strikeouts against 25 walks, slating a 1.438 WHIP.

The Chicago Cubs drafted Abbott in the 2nd round of the 2017 MLB draft. Abbott should face his former team on Wednesday. The 27-year-old spent the spring in West Palm before being optioned at the end of March. Abbott began his season in Rochester, posting a 1-3 record. This season, Abbott has recorded a 6.46 ERA across 23.2 innings.

After a spectacular start on Friday, The Office of Minor League Baseball picked RHP Cory Abbott as International League Pitcher of the Week. The San Diego native pitched 5.2 innings, striking out 12, while allowing one hit, and an incredible 24 swing and miss strikes. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Kuhl, 30, hasn’t been off to a great start. He is 0–2, with a 9.41 ERA, and has allowed four or more runs in four of five starts for the Nats. Washington placed Kuhl on the injured list with right foot metatarsalgia, which causes discomfort in the ball of your foot. With a slow start to the season, Kuhl isn’t guaranteed a roster spot once he comes back and if he comes back.

The Nationals signed Kuhl to a minor league deal in February. The 30-year-old had spent the season with the Rockies but suffered a hip injury at the end of the season and didn’t resume play till the last couple weeks of the regular season. The six-year veteran has a 4.92 ERA across 598.2 innings in his career.

The Nationals will start a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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