Ryan Mattheus

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The Nationals added four prospects to their 40-man roster Thursday, protecting all from next month’s Rule 5 draft, clearing space for one of them by dropping veteran reliever Ryan Mattheus.

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With the Syracuse Chiefs getting eliminated from the International League playoffs on Friday night, the Nationals called up two more players to expand their roster to 34.

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Needing a starter for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh, the Nationals have called up right-hander Blake Treinen from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned reliever Ryan Mattheus back down to make room.

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Updated at 6:43 p.m.

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Seeking extra bullpen help for the immediate future while paving the way for Doug Fister's pending return to their rotation, the Nationals will promote reliever Ryan Mattheus from Class AAA before

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