Needing a roster spot for the return of Gio Gonzalez on Wednesday, the Nationals optioned lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno to Triple-A Syracuse late Tuesday night.
Cedeno, 27, made just one appearance in his recent stint with the big league club, a scoreless inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 14. He was called up the day before when starter Blake Treinen was sent to the Chiefs.
Gonzalez will likely be the corresponding move, though it has not been announced. He is expected to return from the disabled list to make his first start since May 17 when he went down with left shoulder inflammation.
Gonzalez was placed on the DL May 18 and made two minor league rehab starts with Single-A Potomac in recent weeks to set up his return. He has a 4.62 ERA in nine starts this season for the Nationals.
Cedeno leaves the Nats after his second run with the club this season. He was also with the team from April 18 to April 22, also making one appearance in that span. He has a 0.00 ERA this season through 2 1/3 total innings.