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Hokie Hats, and a Move

First of all, what a nice, nice gesture to wear those Virginia Tech hats last night. Too bad it didn't come on a nicer night, when there might have been more people there to show their support. We should get a more palatable night sometime before August, I'm told by several sources in the weather industry. No promises, but it could come as soon as June. Seriously.

Second, and this wasn't in some of the $.35 editions, because it happened late, but: Kory Casto sent to Class AAA Columbus, Michael Restovich called up.

A minor move, yes, but one that could help all parties. (This does involve a change to the 40-man roster, and it hasn't been officially done yet, but they could move someone -- perhaps LHP Mike O'Connor -- to the 60-day disabled list in order to make room for Restovich. UPDATE: This is now official. O'Connor to the 60-day disabled list. He wasn't targeted to come back till June anyway, so it's no big deal. The one issue: Should they want to send Restovich back to Columbus when Logan comes off the DL, he'd have to be exposed to waivers again, and they could lose him, in theory.) Chris Snelling had clearly passed Casto in left field, and there's no reason - no reason at all - to keep someone like Casto on the bench. Remember: He didn't make the club out of spring training (was called up only after Nook Logan's injury) and he had never played above Class AA before this year. It's not like he had an automatic right to be here.

Casto had five hits in 29 at-bats, all singles. Meanwhile, Restovich hit decently at Columbus (.278 with a couple doubles in 36 at-bats). But the key: He's a right-handed hitter with some pop (though he didn't have any homers in the minors this year). The Nationals' bench, when was in the starting lineup, consisted of the following: Left-handed hitting Robert Fick, right-handed hitting D'Angelo Jimenez, Josh Wilson and Jesus Flores. That's not much in terms of accomplished pinch hitters from the right side. Restovich, who has 155 minor league homers, at least would provide the threat of a homer in a pinch hit situation.

Casto: Acta told reporters last night that he needs to play every day. Totally and completely makes sense. And last week, when it was becoming apparent that Casto would be sent down at least when Logan returned, Acta said he expected Casto would be able to handle the news. I would agree. Casto's an affable kid, and it helps that he was slated to be in the minors anyway. (Plus, with that .172 average, he doesn't have much of an argument.)

Casto, in general: Talking to a couple scouts last week. They said he was a "decent" prospect, the best hitting prospect the Nationals had last year at Class AA or Class AAA. But the consensus was he's still probably a fourth outfielder in the majors. We've talked a lot about how he's the two-time organizational player of the year, but he's never hit .300 in a professional season, and though he has shown some pop in the minors, does he really have enough power to be a corner outfielder in the majors, positions from which you need to get 25-45 homers?

Restovich: Been in the majors with the Twins and Cubs and Rockies and Pirates. We'll see.

(And that, folks, is the first link inserted into the Journal. Repeat: I have learned to insert a link into the Journal. The beast is out of the cage. I will not be contained from here on out.)

That's a lot of time spent on what is, essentially, a minor move.

(I promise I won't go overboard with this links stuff. Really. (Though I may already be addicted, as I went back to the previous entry (We're No. 6) and added some links there.))

From the other day: Thanks for your support in the Post Blog Battles. All in good fun, of course. I was in the office yesterday mingling with other members of The Department, and Goff showed me a bunch of stuff on his blog. I mean, he's got embedded video on there, etc. Tremendous stuff. All I have are these rudimentary words. I offer a half-hearted promise to branch out even more than I have today.

Tonight: Phillies at RFK. They got crushed last night by the Mets, Freddy Garcia's first start with Philadelphia (4-2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). Dominated by Tom Glavine and Moises Alou's first two homers as a Met. Chase Utley hitting .245. Ryan Howard hitting .238. Will that continue?

Others: Alfonso Soriano out a week with a hamstring problem for the Cubs. He has as many homers this year as Ryan Zimmerman - 0. Which reminds me: I need to do a where-are-the-old-Nats-now edition of the Journal. We'll get that done by the end of the week.

I'll talk to you from RFK.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 18, 2007; 9:43 AM ET
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Next: Minor League Update



... just to set your mind at (some) ease, some of us older Luddite-types consider ourselves to be quite well-served thabnk you with mere 'words'; no need for all the bells and whistles of embedded videos (sounds like something from the military). Still, if you feel you must, good luck to you.

Posted by: david f watts | April 18, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hey watch it with those youtube links, that O'Reilly/Geraldo dust up is not suitable for younger readers.

Thanks for the Overboard link, who doesn't love Goldie Hawn

Posted by: SacredCod | April 18, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to go to the game tomorrow and expect to run into a number of Philly fans there. Can someone remind me of the details, didn't we end their playoff hopes last year?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 18, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Very timely Kurt Russell link, what with Death Proof. Can "Escape from New York" jokes be far behind?

Posted by: JHM | April 18, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: i hate walks | April 18, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Great links Barry. Each more relevant than the last.

Posted by: Ghitza | April 18, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Barry, Ask Goff how to get the "Nationals Insider" link onto the Post's Nationals page. I bookmarked this journal page long ago when it was referenced in a chat. If I am not at my home PC I have a terrible time finding it just browsisng the Post site. All of the other local professional sports have an "Insider" link. Not a complaint, just a suggestion. And, thanks for your wonderful work.

Posted by: 6th and D | April 18, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Nice link!

Posted by: Juan-John | April 18, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Great progress, excellent use of links.

Restovich will help.

I'm curious though, can either Snelling or Church be taken out of the lineup when Nook comes back? Kearns is the slumping one right now, but you can't really take him out either. I'm a Nook fan (nookie?), but Snelling is really helping and Church has earned the right to stay in the lineup.

Posted by: Dog F. | April 18, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Barry. Lovin' the links!

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 18, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Hope you are a well rested BS. Having you back is like a fix for an addict. It just feels good. And now, a more enhanced BS, complete with linkage. Could there possibly be anything better...aaaahhhhh.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 18, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

nice job w/ the links Bar-Bar.

Maybe we'll pass the Soccer blog now!

Posted by: rich | April 18, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

LOL! Nice links!
Don't you dare get too serious Barry or I'll quit visiting.

Posted by: NatsNuts | April 18, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Didn't have time to follow the links but they look great, love the overboard and the time, good stuff.

Casto/Restovich move makes sense. They said they wanted Casto playing everyday so I figured they would either give him anothere shot in the line up or send him down. On the one hand, I think the 7-8 games he got playing every day isn't enough to evaluate (Kearns and Zimmerman would be in AAA based on that) but as you said he hasn't done AAA yet and probably should.

Snelling and Church doing so well does make problems for Nook when he comes back. Can't sit Kearns, he will hit, just in a slump. Hope Casto hits .300 in Columbus and maybe we'll see him later this season. Definitely need a rightie w/ pop off the bench.

Welcome back, let's sweep the fillies.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | April 18, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Casto can provide a spark to the dormant bats here in Columbus. Although, Larry Broadway absolutely crushed a ball in a 6-4 win over Durham last night.

Posted by: Jason | April 18, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

would love to see a "where are they now" edition.

Posted by: phillip | April 18, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Good use of links, please don't just restrict yourself to baseball links or other stories though. When you reference something totally off the wall, link it. Oh wait, you did with the time and Overboard. Ok then, make sure the links are blue. Wait, already done. Well Barry, you've officially made it to 1997, congratulations. How about a "Why Aren't They Here Now" story?!

Posted by: Links | April 18, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Remove the Goff link.....we don't need him to get even MORE hits !!!

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | April 18, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Would love to hear an interview with Restovich about the Clippers organization and his take of how things are down on the farm and who he thinks will be the next few call ups. Anybody else worried about the farm system?
Columbus Clippers (AAA) and Harrisburg Senators (AA) are in last place. Potomac National (A) are in first, Hagerstown(low A) is in 2nd last.
Marrero is only batting .245 0 HR batting cleanup and King (.217 but 2 HR) aren't doing well in Hagerstown.

Oh I forgot the best part Buffalo Bisons (Clevelands AAA Team) beat Columbus 17-1 on the 16th. Tim Redding (our Nats Projected #2 starter early in Spring Training) went 1.1 innings allowing a mere 10 Hits 12 Runs 2 Walks and O K's for a mere 11.91 ERA. This might be the worst line ever recorded in Baseball history. Clippers SP Chris Michalak hurt last night. 3 Clippers regulars Nunez (.067), Harper (.050), & Dorta (.100) batting less than .101 I think Columbus is missing being the Yankees farm system.

Posted by: Washington not kind to minor league cities! | April 18, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Very moved by their wearing VT caps. Good guys, those Nats. A friend in Austin even emailed me about it!

Posted by: JennX | April 18, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I would love to hear Restovich talk about the Clippers and who he thinks would be the next few call ups?

Anybody else worried about the Farm System? The Columbus Clippers (AAA) are in last place, so are the Harrisburg Senators(AA). Potomac Nationals (high A) are in 1st, and Hagerstown (Low A) are in 2nd last with Marrero and King not doing well.

Anybody see Columbus losing to Buffalo 16-1 the other day. Redding maybe had the worst pitching line ever.

Redding (L, 0-2) 1.1 10 12 12 2 0 0 11.91

Then Michalak got hurt yesterday!!!

Posted by: Columbus in trouble | April 18, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I was looking at the Nats schedule for the end of APril and then May: RFK to SD to CHI to MKE to RFK to CIN to STL to RFK.

Whatever happened to road trips that encompassed geographical commonalities like SD, SF & LA?

Posted by: Dancer | April 18, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

You have done what Jason La Canfora has not... although now your blog looks like ESPN's page 2 Uni-Watch. Nice. I'm telling you Barry, you need a picture of your cheeky self, a nice big link on the WaPo sports page and a few personal stories to get the readers emotionally invested in Barry. The rest should just take care of itself.

It was painful to watch Zimm and Young leave guys on in scoring position last night with the game so close. Your # 3 and 4 guys need to get it done in those situations. Hey, at least the games are close now.

Posted by: Dorf | April 18, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Dorf --

while #3 and 4 should get it done, they did almost everything they could to get those runners in (10 and 12 pitch at-bats are not that common). Plus, if Langerhans isn't playing the left-field line against Dmitri, he's got himself a double and the Nats are in the lead.

However, I put the blame solely on Belliard. Your #2 guy has to be able to lay a bunt down to move the runners over. Seems no matter who's wearing a Nats uniform, no one is capable of laying down a sacrifice bunt. Shameful.

Posted by: e | April 18, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Milwaukee and Chicago are close enough to bus between and Cincinnati to St. Louis isn't that bad either, just a short hop. Those two are closer than going from LA to SF or SD to SF. In fact, I think CHI to MIL is closer than SD to LA but not sure.

Posted by: To Dancer | April 19, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Dancer, Cincy to St.L is about 350 mi, roughly the same as SF-LA. You're right about LA-SD, it is well over 100 mi., more than Chi-Mil (about 80, from the North Side).

Posted by: GoogleEarth | April 19, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Jaimie Carroll is a good bunter. Good all around, for that matter. Glad we still ... Oh wait, we sold him for a bag of balls.

Posted by: ooops | April 20, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

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