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Washington Nationals reinstate three key players from COVID-19 list

Mar 26, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) fields the ground ball before putting out New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9, not pictured) in the 1st inning of the spring training game at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) fields the ground ball before putting out New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9, not pictured) in the 1st inning of the spring training game at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals, owners of Major League Baseball’s worst record, brought three key players off the Injured List among several roster moves on Monday.

The Nationals reinstated first baseman Josh Bell, infielder Josh Harrison and outfielder Kyle Schwarber, and optioned infielder Luis GarcĂ­a and outfielder Yadiel Hernandez to the Alternate Training Site in Fredericksburg, Va.

Bell, Harrison and Schwarber were on the COVID-19 list with positive tests, as the Nationals’ first four games of the regular season were postponed due to an outbreak of the virus.

Bell, 28, hit .383 during spring training with the Nationals after a 2020 season in which he slumped to a .226/.305/.364 slash line with eight homers and 22 RBIs in Pittsburgh. In five career seasons with the Pirates, the former All-Star carries a .261/.349/.466 line with 86 home runs and 309 RBIs in 552 games.

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Harrison, who will be 34 in July, also hit well during spring training with a .417 batting average in 16 games.

Entering his 11th MLB season, Harrison is a .273 career hitter who played for the Nationals last season, hitting .278 in just 33 games.

Schwarber had played all six of his big-league seasons with the Cubs before being signed by Washington in the offseason. A career .230 hitter, he has 121 homers and 279 RBIs.

The Nationals also returned right-hander Ryne Harper and left-hander T.J. McFarland to the Alternate Training Site, and designated veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy for assignment.

–Field Level Media