In Need of Good News: Nationals Call Up Collin Balester

It's been a highly disappointing season for the Nationals, to say the least. Injuries to Paul Lo Duca and Chad Cordero didn't get the season off on the right foot. Then they lost Nick Johnson for the season and Austin Kearns for a month. In the past week alone, they lost Lastings Milledge and Shawn Hill to the DL, and just found out today that Cordero is out for the season. Throw in a 33-51 record, and it's already a lost season in the District.

But here's a beacon of light: Hill's injury has paved the way for Collin Balester to make his anticipated major league debut:

"It's awesome. He is gong to have an opportunity up here. Hopefully, he is going to do well," said Nationals left-hander John Lannan, who is a good friend of Balester's. "It's a long time coming. He has worked hard. It will be good to see him up here." (...)

"He is a great pitcher," said right-hander Steven Shell, who played with Balester in Columbus. "He is a power pitcher. He has a great fastball. He's a good kid."

And he gets to face the Marlins in his major league debut ... the team that leads all of baseball in home runs (that fastball had better be a little more than great tonight). So while his first start might be rough, Balester will have a few starts to show what kind of prospect he is.

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