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Dukes: I'll be ready in a day or two

Elijah Dukes said he doesn't think his strained hamstring is that bad.

"It was almost like a little strain, cramp almost feeling. Maybe it came from just sweating a lot. I don't know what it actually came from. I know that I'll be ready within a day or two. It's just a little soreness right now."

He also does not seem terribly concerned about the role he plays on the team. He is almost certain to be the starting left fielder now that WMP is out.

"We're a team, and if he's not ready, then hopefully I can be in there to fill in. That's the good thing about having somebody behind you that you know that can fill in for you and you don't have to rush your way back. You can take your time and come back healthy. He understands that, and I understand that. When he comes back, I'll probalby be the fourth guy again. We'll see what happens."

Also: Matt Chico made a mechanical adjustment -- a higher leg kick -- that he believes might change him as a pitcher. I'll get into that more in the paper.

Nats leading 8-4 in the bottom of the eighth. Steven Shell gave up back-to-back-to-back homers at one point.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 14, 2008; 3:33 PM ET
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Dukes seem to be taking to all the coaching of Young and others on how to beheave and say the right things. Most encouraging.

8-4! Barry, Is the Nats batting coming around for real or are they just facing won't make it to the bigs pitching?

Posted by: A Hardwick | March 14, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Atta boy, Elijah - encouraging words, hopefully there's a corner and he is now on the good side of it.

Also, anybody else find it interesting the type of day the Boone boys had today. With a combined 73 years between them: 4 for 7 (.571) with a bomb, 4 RBI's, and 7 total bases.

Posted by: Corey | March 14, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

repeating from last post...


From your earlier post about 3WT carrying this afternoon's game instead of tonight's game, the reason is the station is only broadcasting games from Viera this spring. Tonight's game is in Winter Haven. For those of you who have the package, the night game is being carried by WTAM at 7:05.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 14, 2008 03:59 PM

Posted by: natscribe | March 14, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I usually lurk, but like to jump in here every once in a while. I don't have nearly the baseball acumin you regular poster's have, so bear with me.

I think the Dukes deal looks better with each passing day. I know his baggage is serious and that the short leash he is on is well deserved, but he deserves a chance nonetheless.

Working in the mental health field, I take my hat off to the organization for the manner in which they have handled Dukes' transition. I think keeping him away for the first few days was an excellent idea and was most likely done at the recommendation of those working on the counseling side.

I think his raw atleticism could blossom into something special.

I hope he is right about being back on the field in a few days.

Posted by: TimDz | March 14, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The more I think of it, if Whitesell is lost while the front office juggles 40 man availability, then bringing up Detwiler & Maxwell at the end of last year seems more questionable.

Neither had a major league contract and neither were required to be on the 40 man roster.

Did Bowden know at the end of last season that he would be able to acquire Dukes & Milledge? Or that Whitney & GGuzman would be available in the rule 5? Nope. Maybe Maxwell was expected to contribute to the big team this year. Maybe Detwiler had a wink/nod agreement to be on the roster at the end of the season. But a little foresight would have shown the need to have an extra couple roster spots available going into 2008.

I like the plan. But the plan is long term. Making moves which inhibit your ability to maneuver long term is not good for the plan.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 14, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The organization has enough on its plate with Dukes. I am glad to see the team is going to focus on his development and not bring in a guy like Jeff Weaver who could have poisoned the club house.

Posted by: Roy Hobbs | March 14, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: test | March 14, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I co-sign with Ocho about the roster juggling. Calling up Detweiler and Maxwell last year means, in effect, that the Nats actually have a 38-man roster to maneuver. The club may end up losing other players of value because of JimBow's largesse last September.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 14, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

What does my large ass have to do with anything?

Posted by: Jimbo | March 14, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Los Doce Ocho / natsscribe: Whitesell probably was not going to help in the short term (Nick, Dmitri, ABoone, and Whitney if he survives) nor in the longer term with Marrero behind him. As Barry suggests, it may have come down to him or Little Papi. He's not a big loss.

I think your main point, are we handicapping our roster flexibility by putting two guys on at the end of the year, is a closer call. I think it is likely that Detweiler will receive a call up sometime this year, either as a spot starter or September, so he will need a 40 man roster space this year. Perhaps with a 60 day DL guy, there was some potential to juggle the spot (have him replace an expiring contract next fall), but it is still a matter of taking one chance or the other, and they probably thought the more time he spends with the major league team and with Randy St. Claire, the better his development. Maxwell I think is a tougher call, but my sense is that it sent a good signal to the system that you move up several levels, pummel the ball, and work hard you will get rewarded with a shot. Also, I have a sense they wanted to see what they had in him before they made offseason moves for outfield help.

Posted by: PTBNL | March 14, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

laughing here, "Jimbo"

Posted by: MIB | March 14, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

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