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Davey tries to pick his spots with callups

Davey tries to pick his spots with callups

Davey tries to pick his spots with callups play video for Davey tries to pick his spots with callups

MIAMI -- Balancing September callups and a postseason chase can prove to be a challenging act.

Washington entered Sunday's series finale against the Marlins eight games behind the Reds for the second National League Wild Card spot with 21 games remaining.


"[I want to] get them some experience up here and get a better read on how they fit in our future," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "We have pretty much a set lineup, so you're looking at guys who are bench players -- not anybody that's going to beat anybody I've got on this ballclub."

Friday night's 7-0 loss offered Johnson the chance to utilize five relievers. With a big lead on Saturday, he inserted Eury Perez, who has shown his speed tracking balls in the outfield, as a defensive replacement. He caught a Logan Morrison liner for the second out of the ninth in Saturday's win.

Though he wants to give some prospects a taste of the Majors -- like Zach Walters pinch-hitting appearance on Friday -- winning won't be compromised.

"I'm still using the players I think are best suited for us to win a ballgame," Johnson said. "By the same token, I have in mind that these guys are up here to reward [them] for a good year, and they're our top prospects. So when the situation arises, I'll definitely get them in there."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.