Nationals place Souza on DL, recall Taylor from Syracuse

The Washington Nationals today placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on the 15-Day Disabled List (left shoulder contusion) and recalled outfielder Michael A. Taylor from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Taylor, who will don uniform #18, joins the Nationals after combining to hit .315 with 20 doubles, 22 home runs, 63 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 102 games this season for Double-A Harrisburg (98 games) and Triple-A Syracuse (four). He awaits his big league debut.

The 23-year-old Taylor was promoted to the Triple-A level for the first time on Monday and went 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles, a triple, two RBI and four walks in four games with the Chiefs.

Before leaving Harrisburg, however, he hit .313 with 41 extra-base hits (17 doubles, two triples, 22 homers), 61 RBI, 50 walks and 34 stolen bags. His .935 OPS currently ranks second among all qualified Double-A players this season. Last month, Taylor represented the Nationals in MLB's Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN.

Drafted as a shortstop by Washington in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Taylor shifted to the outfield in 2011, and in nearly four seasons patrolling primarily center field, he has earned a reputation as an elite defender. He entered the 2014 season rated by industry-insider Baseball America as the Nationals' "Best Athlete" and No. 6 overall prospect. 

Souza Jr. played in 13 games for the Nationals, going 1-for-12 at the plate. He collected his first career big league hit, a single off Dan Jennings, on April 15 at Marlins Park.