July 2009

Thursday's starting lineup between Nats, Cardinals


Schumaker — 4

Rasmus — 8

DeRosa — 3

Ludwick — 9

Ankiel — 7

Molina — 2

Thurston — 5

Ryan — 6

Wainwright — 1


Morgan – 8

Guzman – 6

Zimmerman — 5

Dunn — 7

Johnson — 3

Willingham — 9

Gonzalez — 4

Bard — 2

Balester — 1

More on Jordan Zimmermann

Following Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the Mets, the Nationals placed right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 19, because of right elbow discomfort and recalled right-hander Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse.

Zimmermann was scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals on Thursday but Balester will get the nod instead. Balester, 23, went 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA in his last 12 starts with Syracuse. Over that period he posted 41 strikeouts and a .274 opponent’s batting average in 69 1/3 innings. Overall, he went 7-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 19 starts.

Zimmermann started feeling pain during his last start, against the Cubs on Saturday. When he again felt pain after a bullpen session on Tuesday, the Nationals decided to shut him down for three or four weeks. The hope is that he will be ready for a rehab assignment at that time.

“I’m not really concerned at all,” Zimmermann said. “I’m going to give it a little rest here and come back. I’ll have one rehab start and be ready to go.”

Once Zimmermann returns, he is expected to pitch the rest of the season, according to acting general manager Mike Rizzo. The original plan was to shut him down sometime in August.

“Zim could pitch tomorrow if he had to pitch,” Rizzo said. “Instead of sending him out there against the Cardinals and have him pitch in a stressful situation, we are going to be cautious and shut him down.

“He is one of our prize prospects, and we are not going to do anything crazy with him. Like we handle all of our pitchers, like [Ross] Detwiler, [Shairon] Martis, Craig Stammen, [John] Lannan and Zimmermann, we are going to be very careful with them and look out for their best interests long-term, not [with the] short-term goals of winning a game.”

Zimmermann, 23, is 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 16 starts this season. He is among the National League rookie leaders in strikeouts, starts, innings and wins.

Zimmermann on DL; Balester to pitch Thursday

Following Wednesday’s game against the Mets, the Nationals placed right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 19, with right elbow discomfort and recalled right-handed pitcher Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse.  

Balester will get the starting nod in Thursday’s makeup game against the Cardinals. The 23-year-old went 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA in his last 12 starts with Syracuse. Over that period, he posted 41 strikeouts and a .274 batting average against in 69 1/3 innings. Overall, Balester went 7-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 19 starts.


Nationals' Minor League report

This Week’s Top Headline

DON’T MISS CHRIS:  Earlier this week, Potomac 1B Chris Marrero was named Single-A Carolina League Player of the Week by MILB.com for the period of July 13-19…Marrero hit .500 (12-for-24) with one double, one triple, one home run, 4 RBI and 8 runs scored to garner the award…the 21-year-old leads the CL with 99 hits, and ranks among the league leaders in batting average (4th, .300), total bases (4th, 160), RBI (t-4th, 55), home runs (6th, 13), OPS (6th, .850) and slugging (7th, .485)…Marrero was Washington’s first round pick (15th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

 Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs

International League North Division

50-44, 2nd Place, 4.0 Games Back

CURIOUS JORGE:  OF Jorge Padilla, a 2009 IL All-Star selection, leads full-season minor leaguers with a .363 batting average…Padilla has hit safely in 27 of his last 28 games, going 44-for-115 (.383) with 17 runs scored during the tear…his .432 on-base percentage is 2nd-best in the IL…he has reached base safely via hit, walk or HBP 123 times in 81 games (1.5 times per contest).

WHAT A RELIEF:  In his last 11 appearances, RHP Jorge Sosa has allowed just 2 earned runs in 17.1 innings (1.03 ERA)…he owns a 1.61 ERA (4 ER/22.1 IP) and a .185 BAA (15-for-87) in 12 games as a reliever…overall, he is 1-2 with one save and a 3.05 ERA in 16 games (4 starts)…he has walked 12 and struck out 46 in 44.1 innings…Sosa signed with the Nationals as a minor-league free agent, December 18, 2008.

MIKE CHECK:  INF Mike Morse is batting .382 with 4 doubles, one triple, 2 home runs, 9 RBI and 8 walks in 17 games since being acquired from Seattle in exchange for OF Ryan Langerhans on June 2…defensively, he has played error-free ball at first base and third base for the Chiefs…in a combined 84 games with Tacoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and Syracuse, Morse is hitting .326 with 18 doubles, 12 homers, 61 RBI and 46 runs scored.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators

Eastern League Southern Division

41-54, 5th Place, 17.0 Games Back

AN ARN(ESEN) AND A LEG:  RHP Erik Arnesen tossed 7.0 scoreless frames of 4-hit ball to earn his 10th win of the season, Saturday at Altoona (Pirates)…Arnesen’s 10 wins are tops among Washington farmhands, while his 89 strikeouts rank 2nd…he is 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA in a combined 20 games (19 starts) with Harrisburg and Potomac…Arnesen has gone 6-3 with a 3.12 ERA (27 ER/78.0 IP) in 14 games (13 starts) since joining Harrisburg on May 11…in 6 starting assignments with the P-Nats, the 25-year-old went 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA (8 ER/32.2 IP).


Single-A Potomac Nationals

Carolina League Northern Division

First Half: 37-30, 2nd Place, 3.0 Games Back

Second Half: 17-8, First Place, 3.5 Games Ahead

STRIKEOUT MACHINE:  RHP Drew Storen, Washington’s first round pick (10th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, struck out 3 in 2.0 scoreless innings to earn the save in his Carolina League debut last night at Lynchburg (Pirates)…prior to joining Potomac on July 19, Storen struck out 26 and did not walk a batter in 14.2 innings (11 games) with Single-A Hagerstown…in 12 combined appearances with Potomac and Hagerstown, the Stanford University product has fanned 29 in 16.2 innings, an average of 15.6 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.   

KLEPTOMANIAC:  With his 41st stolen base of the season on July 19 vs. Kinston, OF Boomer Whiting passed fellow Nationals farmhand Ian Desmond to become the P-Nats franchise all-time leader with 55 career steals…Whiting’s professional-high 42 stolen bases this season pace Washington minor leaguers, and rank 2nd in the Carolina League…he was selected in the 28th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Louisville (KY).

Single-A Hagerstown Suns

South Atlantic League Northern Division

First Half: 31-36, T-6th Place, 10.5 Games Back

Second Half: 8-17, 7th Place, 6.5 Games Back

DEREK NORRIS FACTS:  C Derek Norris continues to dominate the South Atlantic League, leading the league in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (21), RBI (68), total bases (187), walks (53) and OBP (.416)… the 20-year-old paces all catchers in professional baseball in homers and RBI…Norris ranks among full-season minor league leaders in home runs (t-5th) and slugging percentage (11th, .579)…the right-handed hitting slugger has posted a team-best 31 multi-hit games…per Baseball America, he entered the season rated as the No. 6 prospect and top overall catching prospect in Washington’s system.

EVEN STEPHEN:  2B Stephen Lombardozzi paces the South Atlantic League with 64 runs scored, and ranks 2nd in hits with 103…in 89 games overall, the 20-year-old is hitting .296 with 17 doubles, 5 triples, 3 homers and 42 RBI…Lombardozzi was a 19th-round pick in the 2008 Draft.

HOLDER STEADY:  RHP Trevor Holder, Washington’s 3rd-round pick in this June’s Draft, fired 5.0 shutout innings to earn his first win as a professional, Monday vs. Asheville (Rockies)…the 22-year-old played collegiately at the University of Georgia.

Short-Season Single-A Vermont Lake Monsters

New York-Penn League Stedler Division

16-14, 2nd Place, 1.5 Games Back

CLEGGS AND EGGS:  LHP Mitchell Clegg is 1-1 with a 0.75 ERA in 6 games (4 starts) to begin his pro career…he has fired 10.0 consecutive scoreless innings over his last 2 starts…Clegg was selected by Washington in the 21st round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of UMass.

A SLICE OF EVAN:  After being drafted by Washington in the 29th round of the 2009 Draft, LHP Evan Bronson has gone 2-0 with 0.56 ERA in his first 7 games as a pro…the southpaw has struck out 12 and has yet to walk a batter in 16.0 innings…Bronson played collegiately at Trinity College (TX).

Gulf Coast League Nationals

Gulf Coast League East Division

13-10, 2nd Place, 3.0 Games Back

POWER UNDER THE HOOD:  OF Destin Hood, Washington’s 2nd-round selection in the 2008 Draft, leads the GCL with 19 RBI…the 19-year-old ranks among the league leaders in doubles (5th, 7), total bases (7th, 37), hits (6th, 22) and runs scored (8th, 14).

PITCHING IN:  RHP Ruben De La Rosa is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 6 appearances (14.0 innings) overall…he has 23 strikeouts against just 5 walks (4.6/1 SO/BB ratio)…the Dominican Republic native has worked more than 1.0 inning in 5 of his 6 appearances…De La Rosa signed with Washington as a non-drafted free agent, June 29, 2005.

Wednesday's starting lineup between Nationals, Mets


Pagan – CF

Castillo – 2B

Murphy – 1B

Wright – 3B

Francoeur – RF

Sullivan – LF

Berroa – SS

Schneider – C

Pelfrey – P


Morgan – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Johnson – 1B

Willingham – RF

Belliard – 2B

Bard – C

Stammen – P

Phillies have interest in Willingham

The Phillies have expressed interest in Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham, but don’t expect the Nationals to acquire right-hander Kyle Kendrick for him, according to a baseball source.

The Nationals would want a good young prospect for Willingham, who is arbitration eligible the next two years. In fact, it appears that Willingham is likely to stay with the Nationals.

“[The Nationals] like the fact that Willingham is under their control for two more years,” said the source, who said the Phillies are one of many teams to have interest in Willingham.  

In other news, the Nationals are not in a rush to trade outfielder Adam Dunn, but they would deal him for the right players. According to a published report, the Tigers had interest in Dunn, but the asking price was too high.

Tuesday's lineup between Nationals, Mets


Pagan – CF

Castillo – 2B

Wright – 3B

Francoeur – RF

Tatis – LF

Murphy – 1B

Santos – C

Cora – SS

Perez – P


Morgan – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – LF

Kearns – RF

Gonzalez – 2B

Nieves – C

Lannan – P

Scott Olsen's season is over

Nationals left-hander Scott Olsen visited Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday, and Olsen  learned he will be out for the rest of the season because of a small tear in his left labrum.

Olsen, who returned to Nationals Park from Alabama at 9:50 p.m. ET, will have surgery on Thursday morning at the Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the team’s medical director, will perform the surgery.

“Nine times out of 10, it is just a cleanup procedure with the idea that they are back — competition ready  — within three months. That’s the goal here,” Dr. Douoguih said. “Every once in a while, you go in and you find something a little bit more extensive. Probably 90 percent of them are just going to be a clean-up procedure.” 

Olsen appeared to be disbelief that he would no longer play in 2009. He hopes to be ready by Spring Training.

“It’s surprising,” Olsen said. “We had an MRI done the other day. We got Dr. Wiemi’s opinion and today we flew to Alabama and got Dr. Andrews opinion. Everybody seems to be along the same line of thinking, so we are going to go ahead and have some surgery done. Hopefully, it will work out well and get ready for next year.”

Olsen said he started feeling pain in the shoulder on July 10 against the Astros in Houston. In that game, he lasted six innings and gave up four runs in a 6-5 loss.

“I just didn’t feel normal,” Olsen said. “The day after I pitched in Houston was a hard day. I really couldn’t go through my throwing program like I normally would. It didn’t get any better with the days off  during the All-Star break. It didn’t get any better. I had to skip Friday and then get second opinions. I’m not the only person that has had surgery. We just go back and try to build up for next year.”

Olsen also missed time earlier in the year because of a sore shoulder. He is 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA this season.

“I thought this was behind me. Obviously, it’s not. There’s nothing else I can do about it now.” he said. 

Olsen to be out of action for a while

Nationals left-hander Scott Olsen went to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday and it appears that Olsen will not play baseball for a lengthy period of time.

Interim manager Jim Riggleman indicated that Olsen has left labrum problems in his shoulder. No further details were given. A team spokesman said more information may be given after Monday’s game against the Mets or the next day.

“The results from the MRI showed some labrum issues,” Riggleman said. “Anytime you hear that word, you figure that’s going to be a while. I don’t know if it’s season ending. We have 2 ½ months left in the season. I just know it’s going to be a number of weeks and then you have to build the guy back up.”        

Olsen, who is already on the disabled list, missed time earlier in the season because of a sore shoulder. Olsen is 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA in 11 starts this season.  

Monday's starting lineup between Nationals, Mets

Pagan – CF
Castillo – 2B
Murphy – 1B
Wright – 3B
Francoeur – RF
Reed – LF
Cora – SS
Schneider – C
Hernandez – P
Morgan – CF
Belliard – 2B
Johnson – 1B
Dunn – LF
Guzman – SS
Kearns – RF
Harris – 3B
Bard – C
Martin – P