Nats activate Flores, add Garate

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals have activated catcher Jesus Flores from the 15-day disabled list and will use him as a pinch-hitter while he continues to strengthen his injured right shoulder.

The move was announced Friday afternoon, before Washington opened a three-game home series against the Florida Marlins. Flores, who is hitting .311 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 26 games, has been sidelined with a stress fracture in his right shoulder since May 10.

"We won't use him defensively, but as the month progresses we hope to have him to a point where he's catching and throwing enough in his pregame work that he can either do a little of that here, which is probably unlikely, or go down to the instructional league," Washington interim manager Jim Riggleman said.

Riggleman said sending Flores out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment wasn't an option because the team's affiliates will end their seasons by Monday.

The Nationals also added left-handed pitcher Victor Garate to their major league roster Friday. Garate was acquired off waivers on Wednesday, completing the trade that sent Ronnie Belliard to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Garate had a 2.04 ERA in 47 appearances this season with Double-A Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern League. His first appearance with the Nationals will be his major league debut and Riggleman said Garate would work out of the bullpen.

In other injury news, general manager Mike Rizzo said he was awaiting results of an MRI performed Thursday on right-hander Craig Stammen's sore right elbow. Stammen was scratched from Friday night's start and replaced by right-hander Garrett Mock.