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Lineups, 40-man talk

Here's the matchup for tonight:

Langerhans -- 8
Lopez -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5 (OBP now: .298. OBP last year: .351)
Young -- 3 (average with two outs: .397)
Kearns -- 9 (check out these splits: .315 average/.556 slugging percentage vs. lefties; .240/.343 vs. righties)
Church -- 7 (walks by month: April -- 15; May -- 12; June -- 3)
Belliard -- 4
Schneider -- 2
Bowie -- 1

Escobar -- 4
Renteria -- 6
C. Jones -- 5
A. Jones -- 8
Francoeur -- 9
McCann -- 2
Diaz -- 7
Saltalamacchia -- 3
Smoltz -- 1

The Nationals cleared another spot on the 40-man roster today when they passed RHP Beltran Perez -- who is 4-3 with a 5.81 ERA for Class AA Harrisburg -- through waivers and outrighted him to Harrisburg. This just clears more space, and makes it more likely that there are moves on the way.

In the last week, the Nationals have quietly moved former prospects Frank Diaz, Mike Hinckley and Larry Broadway off the 40-man, where they are protected from other teams. It makes sense to do this when those guys are slumping, because other teams aren't likely to snare them. Broadway is still hitting under .200 for Class AAA Columbus. Hinckley, a lefty who was once the organization's top prospect, started well with Harrisburg but is now 6-7 with a 5.22 ERA. Diaz, in the Futures Game a couple years ago, is hitting .238 for Harrisburg.

So the Nationals have just 35 men on the 40-man. (Players on the 15-day disabled list count on the 40-man roster; players on the 60-man disabled list do not. That's why they moved guys like Nick Johnson earlier in the year -- it didn't affect his return date, but they needed a spot on the 40-man.) They have FIVE (5) spots open, meaning they could add guys through trade, etc., without having to clear space. This is the rumble before the storm, I'd say.

Here, then, for your consideration are the players on the 40-man. Those on the active big league roster are marked with an asterisk.

Tony Batista *
Ronnie Belliard *
Cristian Guzman
D'Angelo Jimenez *
Felipe Lopez *
Dmitri Young *
Ryan Zimmerman *

Kory Casto (Class AAA Columbus)
Ryan Church *
Austin Kearns *
Ryan Langerhans *
Nook Logan *
Brandon Watson (Class AAA Columbus)

Jesus Flores *
Brian Schneider *

Robert Fick *

Luis Ayala *
Mike Bacsik *
Chris Booker (Class AAA Columbus)
Jason Bergmann *
Matt Chico *
Jesus Colome (15-day DL)
Chad Cordero *
Emiliano Fruto (Class AAA Columbus)
Joel Hanrahan (Class AAA Columbus)
Shawn Hill (15-day DL)
Ray King *
Mike O'Connor (Class AA Harrisburg)
John Patterson (15-day DL)
Jon Rauch *
Saul Rivera *
Chris Schroder *
Jason Simontacchi *
Billy Traber *

60-day disabled list:
Alex Escobar
Nick Johnson
Ryan Wagner

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 27, 2007; 3:37 PM ET
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