July 2009

Julian Tavarez off 25-man roster; Logan Kensing promoted

After their 11-3 loss to the Cubs, the Nationals designated right-hander Julian Tavarez for assignment and selected the contract of right-hander Logan Kensing from Triple-A Syracuse. Associate reporter Mark Selig will have more information later on nationals.com.       

Drew Storen promoted to Class A Potomac

Right-hander Drew Storen is an inch closer to the big leagues. He learned on Sunday that he has been promoted from Class A Hagerstown to Class A Potomac.

Storen, who was drafted in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft,  is clearly the best  reliever in Washington’s farm system.

Entering Sunday’s action, Storen has a 3.68 ERA, 26 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings and no walks. Even in more impressive, in his past five outings, Storen hasn’t allowed an earned run in 6 2/3 innings. He also has 15 strikeouts in that span.

On Saturday, acting general manager Mike Rizzo talked about promoting Storen in the future.

“There is a possibility [he could be promoted]. I’m not sure,” Rizzo said. “Like I said before, you really have to master the league before we move you up, but he is leaning toward really make it tough [when it comes to staying in Hagerstown] .”

Storen mastered the South Atlantic League and hopes to be in the big leagues before the season is over.

“I’m still taking the same approach. I really don’t think about it too much [when it comes to the big leagues],” Storen said on Saturday. “I’m going to stick to my game. If they feel like it could help them win, they will get me up there. That’s something I want to do.”

Sunday's lineup between Nationals, Cubs

Cubs:

Fukudome – CF

Theriot – SS

Lee – 1B

Hoffpauir – RF

Fox – 3B

Soriano – LF

Fontenot – 2B

Hill – C

Hart – P

Nationals:

Morgan – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Bard – C

Belliard – 2B

Gonzalez – SS

Mock – P

Scott Olsen to go on DL; J.D. Martin to be called up

Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman announced on Sunday morning that left-hander Scott Olsen will be placed on the 15-day disabled list and right-hander J.D. Martin will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start against the Mets on Monday night.

Martin, who will be making his Major League debut, was 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA for Syracuse. He has been in professional baseball since 2001. He spent most of his career in the Indians organization.

“I talked to [Syracuse manager] Tim Foli and [Nationals pitching coach] Steve McCatty [about Martin],” Riggleman said. “Martin has been a strike thrower, understands about holding runners and the finer points of pitching to both sides at the plate. He is a professional pitcher and earned the right to get here and see if he can do it against Major League hitters.”

Looking to get a second opinion, Olsen will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday about his sore latissimus dorsi, a muscle near the shoulder area. It’s the second time Olsen will be placed on the DL. He missed time earlier in the season because of a sore shoulder.        

Riggleman using closer-by-committee

Before Jim Riggleman took over as interim manager of the Nationals, right-hander Mike MacDougal was the closer.

Now, however, Riggleman is looking at a closer-by-committee with MacDougal and Joe Beimel pitching in the late innings. Riggleman hasn’t ruled out putting Sean Burnett in the late innings against quality left-handed hitters.

“I don’t think we really have a situation where we anoint someone as the closer,” Riggleman said. “There have been various people who have been successful in certain innings. But we are going to try to get outs.”          
           

Inbox is back on Sunday

The Inbox is back on Sunday. Send your questions to bill.ladson@mlb.com.

Scott Olsen to see Dr. James Andrews

Looking to get a second opinion, Nationals left-hander Scott Olsen will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday about his sore latissimus dorsi, a muscle near the shoulder area.

Olsen was scheduled to start on Monday against the Mets, but the Nationals will call up a Minor League pitcher from Triple-A Syracuse to pitch that game.

According to a baseball source, right-hander J.D. Martin is the leading candidate to get the call up. Entering Saturday’s action, Martin is 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA for Syracuse.    

Saturday's starting lineup between Nationals, Cubs

Cubs:

Fukudome – CF

Theriot – SS

Lee – 1B

Ramirez – 3B

Bradley – RF

Soriano – LF

Fontenot – 2B

Hill – C

Wells – P

Nationals:

Morgan – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Harris – 2B

Gonzalez – SS

Nieves – C

Zimmermann – P

 

Olsen not pitching Monday against Mets

After watching his team lose to the Cubs, 3-1, on Friday night, Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman announced that left-hander Scott Olsen will not pitch against the Mets on Monday because of a sore latissimus dorsi, a muscle near the shoulder area.

It’s not known if Olsen will go on the disabled list. If Olsen is missing just one start, Riggleman may go to one of his relievers to start Monday’s game.

If he is missing more than one start, Olsen will go on the disabled list and the team will call up somebody from Triple-A Syracuse. 

Olsen has already spent time on the DL this season. He missed more than a month because of a sore left shoulder.            

Riggleman, Nationals support Austin Kearns

Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns hasn’t received much playing time lately. In fact, he has only 17 plate appearances in his last 22 games. It doesn’t help that he is 12-for-79 [.152]  in his last 37 games. 

Part of the problem is that Kearns hasn’t been able to make the proper adjustments with his hands. He is usually vulnerable to inside pitches. 

Although he hasn’t played much, Kearns has earned the respect of the organization. He has never complained about lack of playing time, according to interim manager Jim Riggleman.

“This is one of the finest people you ever want to meet. What a class individual,” Riggleman said. “A lot of people with his stature in the game would display an attitude and a body language that would be very hard to be around. I appreciate the way he is handling the situation.”

Kearns has been on the trade block for the most of the season, but there doesn’t appear to be any takers. Kearns has an option for $10 million for 2009, but that is not expected to be picked up by the Nationals.     

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