WASHINGTON (AP) -The Washington Nationals will call up outfielder Brandon Watson from Triple-A Columbus, just days after he had a 43-game hitting streak snapped.
Watson will join the Nationals on Thursday. He will take the roster spot of first baseman Robert Fick, who left the team Tuesday after learning his mother, Gloria, had died of lung cancer.
General manager Jim Bowden also said he expects the team to get two of their injured pitchers Luis Ayala and Jason Bergmann back within the next week.
On Monday, manager Manny Acta said the team had not considered bringing up Watson. Bowden said the team did not want to create a roster spot for Watson, but a roster spot will become available when Fick is placed on the bereavement list Wednesday.
``We need to find out about him, and this is a small window of opportunity,'' Bowden said. ``It's unique circumstances that gives him a cup of coffee or a double Starbucks vanilla latte, whatever you want to call it.''
In 57 games with Triple-A Columbus this season, Watson hit .330 with no home runs and 14 RBIs. In 34 games with Washington in 2005 and 2006, he hit a combined .176 in 68 at-bats.
Fick dressed for batting practice before Tuesday's game against Detroit but left for his home in California before first pitch. The bereavement list requires him to miss between three and seven 7 days.
Ayala will be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Friday. The right-handed reliever, who is recovering from right elbow surgery, hasn't pitched for Washington since 2005, when he went 8-7 with a 2.66 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in five minor league games.
Bergmann will come off the 15-day disabled list to start June 26 at Atlanta. The right-hander has been out since May 18 because of elbow inflammation. He is 1-3 with a 2.76 ERA in eight games.

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