March 2009

Dmitri back on the 40-man roster

With outfielder Wily Pena on waivers, the Nationals have decided to place first baseman Dmitri Young back on the 40-man roster.

Assistant general manager Mike Rizzo said that Young earned the spot because he can still hit and came to camp in shape. Young was taken off the 40-man roster during the offseason because the team needed to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft. 

Young will most likely start the season in the Minor Leagues because he is not in game shape. He has not played in an exhibition game since early March because of back problems.

There will be more on Young on     


A lot of news in Nats camp

The team optioned right-hander Collin Balester to Triple-A Syracuse, reassigned outfielder Corey Patterson and infielder Juan Castillo to Minor League camp.

The Nationals also sent catcher Javier Valentin to Minor League camp, but he opted to become a free agent.

Balester’s demotion means that right-handers Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann will be the fourth and fifth starters in the rotation, respectively.

The Nationals also placed outfielder Wily Mo Pena on waivers. Opposing teams have three days to claim him and pick up his $2 million salary. If not, the Nationals could outright him to Triple-A Syracuse or Pena could elect to become a free agent. Washington would prefer if Pena went to Syracuse and get more at-bats.

There will be more information on       

Nationals starting lineup against Mets

Lastings Milledge — CF
Ronnie Belliard — 2B
Josh Willingham — LF
Austin Kearns — RF
Josh Bard — C
Jose Castillo — 3B
Kory Casto — 1B
Alberto Gonzalez — SS
John Lannan — P

Another update on Anderson Hernandez

Two days after straining his left hamstring, second baseman Anderson Hernandez was walking without a limp, but he still feels pain.

He strained the hamstring running to first base in the sixth inning against the Braves at Space Coast Stadium. About two minutes later, he had to be helped off the field.   

“It still hurts a little bit, but it’s not that bad,” Hernandez said. “I want to get my treatment. I hope I’m going to be good for Opening Day. Right now, I think so.”

Anderson Hernandez is hurt — update

Nationals second baseman Anderson Hernandez left Wednesday’s game against the Braves because of a left hamstring strain. He will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Anderson Hernandez is hurt

Nationals second baseman Anderson Hernandez left Wednesday’s game against the Braves because of a left leg injury.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Nationals leading, 4-3,  Hernandez grounded out to Braves second baseman Diory Hernandez to end the inning. During the play, Hernandez was halfway down the line, when he started hobbling toward first.

Head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz and first-base coach Marquis Grissom came to Hernandez’s aid. Within two minutes, Hernandez had to be helped off the field and was replaced by Ronnie Belliard.     

Tidbits on Nationals

When they start the regular season against the Marlins on April 6, the Nationals will carry four starters and seven relievers. Washington doesn’t need a fifth starter until April 19 because of the off days on April 9 and April 14.

That means, according to manager Manny Acta, the Nationals will carry an extra position player on the roster.

Acta declined to say which extra player will go with the team. It doubtful that Washington will carry three catchers. That extra player will be an infielder or outfielder. 

Kory Casto, who is out of options, could be that extra player. He can play the corner outfield and infield positions.

If the Nationals need power off the bench, Wily Mo Pena could be the guy. He is coming off his worst season because of a shoulder injury.

The Nationals need left-handed hitters off the bench and Dmitri Young, who is currently off the 40-man roster, could be a fit there.  

Right-hander Terrell Young will have an MRI on his right shoulder on Wednesday. Young, who is a Rule 5 pick, has given up five runs in his last 4 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Julian Tavarez flew to the Dominican Republic on Wednesday to pick up his work visa. He hopes to participate in an exhibition game sometime this week.

Catcher Jose Flores, who hasn’t played in an exhibition game since Feb. 28 because of a sore right elbow, will play against the Astros on Saturday. 

Nationals starting lineup against Braves

Lastings Milledge — CF
Cristian Guzman — SS
Ryan Zimmerman — 3B
Adam Dunn — LF
Elijah Dunn — RF
Nick Johnson — 1B
Javier Valentin — 2
Anderson Hernandez — 2B
Collin Balester — P 





Nationals starting lineup against Orioles

Roger Bernadina — LF

Alex Cintron — 2B

Kory Casto — 3B

Wily Mo pena –DH

Corey Patterson — CF

Brad Eldred — 1B

Justin Maxwell –CF

Ian Desmond — SS

Wil Nieves — C

Right-hander Shairon Martis will be the pitcher for the Nationals

Milledge to hit first

Manager Manny Acta has decided that center fielder Lastings Milledge will be the team’s leadoff hitter to start the season.

Acta likes the fact that Milledge is a patient hitter and loves to steal bases. The original plan was to have Milledge bat second, but the team doesn’t want Milledge to distract Ryan Zimmerman at the plate whenever Milledge tries to steal a base.  

There will be more on Milledge on