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Personnel issues

... which, of course, are different than personal issues, which I'm sure you don't want to hear from me. But a few things.

* Dmitri Young will get three or four at-bats tonight, then play tomorrow in the home game.

* Ryan Zimmerman is not in the lineup tonight, and Manny Acta said it's unlikely he'll play Zimmerman on Friday. Just a precaution, says the skipper, and Zimmerman says he's fine.

* Paul Lo Duca got two at-bats -- and two singles -- in a minor league game this morning. He is so itching to play that he was at HSCS at 7:30 a.m. -- when there was a night game -- and he had to wait for someone to unlock the place. The plan: He'll play Saturday against the Dodgers (with whom he came up) and catch three innings. They'll then build from there, going to four innings, five, etc. "I feel great," he said, and he actually believes his knee is better than it was before surgery.

* Odalis Perez got his visa, is due back into town tonight, and is scheduled to pitch in the Dodgers game on Saturday.

* Shawn Hill is playing catch from 90 feet. GM Jim Bowden said things are going well. Acta says there's no schedule to get him back on a mound. I'll check with Hill.

* Wily Mo Pena strained an oblique muscle in BP yesterday. Bowden said he's not sure how serious it is. Again, day-to-day.

Going down to watch some BP, with Johnson, Kearns, Milledge and Dukes in the cage. It is truly beautiful out here today, the best weather day of the spring.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 13, 2008; 4:12 PM ET
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Next: Nats combine for no-hitter!


Barry, and anyone else who cares to jump in, which player has been your most pleasant surprize of ST? From afar I am most impressed with Millidge and Dukes but all my info is second hand.
Thanks again for working so hard to keep us informed.
Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 13, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Somebody tell Wily Mo that if he doesn't swing out of his shoes every hack he takes then that won't happen -- wait wait, don't tell him that: I like it when he swings out of his shoes, that's what he is there for.

Posted by: Corey | March 13, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I've been away a few days. Has anyone received their 3/29 tickets - particularly 20 game plan holders who didn't purchase parking?

Many thanks.

Posted by: HD Nats fan | March 13, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

On the trade speculation front, I don't believe the NYY have a bullpen lefthander likely to make there 25 man (just Sean Henn and Kei Igawa on their 40 man, and Heath Phillips as a nonroster invitee). With O'Connor pitching well, and Chico on the roster, perhaps King is a guy the NYY would want.

Posted by: PTBNL | March 13, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

are oconnor or chico good as situational lefties? they've both been starters for their careers, right? it's a different mentality.

Posted by: 231 | March 13, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

If the NYY wanted King they would have tried to sign him.

Plus it is a major no-no to sign a FA and then sign him before he plays. What kind of message would that send to future potential FA targets?

Posted by: estuartj | March 13, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The Yankees are looking for Billy Traber to be their situational lefty.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | March 13, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

231 /estuartj - yes, you are right. I just figured King wouldn't object to going to a contender, but if the NYY wanted him, he was on the market. And O'Connor lacks experience as a match up guy. Still, I'm surprised that the NYY would go into a season without a lefty in the pen. Do you have Mike Stanton's cell phone? ;-)

Posted by: PTBNL | March 13, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Why must I post
When all my friends have moved on?
My old post reborn:

If this were New York
Zimmerman's hurt hip trumps all
Others also play

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 13, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I have a 20 game package and did not buy parking and I have not seen any tickets for 3/29.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 13, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else privately nervous that Zimm's flexor injury is just a bit more serious than the team is disclosing?

Posted by: MKevin | March 13, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Lohse is a Card.
Mirabelli released by Boston.

Posted by: MKevin | March 13, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse


Mirabelli, huh? I am not convinced that his bat is that much beter than the guys we have in camp now, but that presents an additional option, doesn't it?

I will have to see how much Lohse was paid.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 13, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

You definately don't sign Doug Mirabelli to hit or throw much for that matter but he'll call and catch a good game.

Lohse is rumored to be 1yr $4-5 million.

Posted by: MKevin | March 13, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Andrew - regarding Traber - funny, he is not listed as on the 40 man per ESPN, but he clearly is listed on the 40 man per MLB. I forgot about him. 4 games, 3.2 innings, 1 hit, no runs. Looks like he may hook on.

More generally, do the Nats really need an older lefty situational reliever at this point in the building process? Nothing against Ray King, but isn't he a luxury for us and a final link for a contender? I'd think he'd expect to be traded sometime this year.

Posted by: PTBNL | March 13, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

By the way, poking around ESPN's cite, there is some tough news about Rick Sutcliffe's health.
Fortunately, the words "treatable" and "curable" are in the article.

Posted by: PTBNL | March 13, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone as dubious about the so-called "lefthanded specialist" role as I am? I think it just takes up a roster space because a manager may go several games when the need for the so-called "specialist" never arises. It would be a shame if a pitcher like Schroder gets sent down to carry such a luxury, I agree with Padres GM Kevin Towers who says he would rather have an effective righthander rather than a lefty specialist because the righthander allows for more roster flexibility. SD won 90 games last year and almost went to the postseason.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 13, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Amen to nattscribe. Our bullpen is loaded, not counting Ray King. Would rather watch Hanrahan throwing heat to to a tough lefty hitter than suspect "situational lefties" such as King.

Posted by: CapPeterson | March 13, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

No 3/29 or Opening Night tickets yet.

Posted by: WA2CHI | March 13, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

No 3/29 tix, but I won't be in town that weekend anyway (which sux donkey balls)...

Posted by: Juan-John | March 13, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Spring Training Query: We'll be in Florida next week and plan to see a couple of games. But we also note that no Nats game is scheduled for March 19. Can we expect the team to be working out at Space Coast Stadium that day? If so, is there a best time to go, particularly if my daughter wants to see Ryan, Dmitri, and other regulars? Any thoughts/suggestions from experienced Spring Training visitors would be much welcomed. Thanks and regards, Keith

Posted by: Keith in Arlington | March 14, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

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