Tracy returns from DL to bolster Nats' bench

Tracy returns from DL to bolster Nats' bench

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals reinstated Chad Tracy from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, bringing back the team's best bat off the bench. To make room on the 25-man roster, Corey Brown was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

Tracy had been out since May 26 with a right adductor strain after batting .265 with three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 32 games. As a pinch-hitter, the 32-year-old utility man is 6-for-18 with a homer and nine RBIs (tied for second in the Majors).

With the Nationals tied for the best record in baseball entering a three-game series with the Phillies, Tracy said he's "probably as close as I'm going to get" to feeling 100-percent healthy.

"My swing feels good, that's the most important thing," Tracy said. "Being able to come off the bench and give a quality at-bat, I think I can do that."

Manager Davey Johnson said Tracy was available off the bench for Tuesday night's game, which the Nats entered with Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche both sidelined with back injuries.

Brown, meanwhile, returns to Syracuse after his second stint in the big leagues lasted only six games. The 26-year-old rookie outfielder batted .188 (3-for-16) with a double, home run and two RBIs in nine games with the Nats.