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Comings and goings (pt. II)

Just wanted to provide a (very) quick update before it got too late. Here's the skeletal update on what happened today at Nats Park.

Headed to the DL; Lastings Milledge, who injured his right groin. He'll be out 2-4 weeks.

Coming to roster as the new CF: Roger Bernadina, 24, from Harrisburg. He'll be starting Sunday's game.

Pitching for the team Tuesday: Collin Balester, 22, currently at Columbus. He hasn't been recalled yet officially, but he'll be making his major league debut during the series in Florida. Management had said they wouldn't recall Balester unless it was supposed to be for a long period of time. So evidently, Balester will have a good chance to stick around.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 29, 2008; 1:14 AM ET
 
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Next: This afternoon's lineups

Comments

The hits just keep on coming... well hopefully Bernadina and Balester can perform here like they did in the minors. I guess now is as good a time as any to let the kids come up to the show and play... the future is now, even if its not by choice.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | June 29, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least we are bringing up some youth. Too bad it's not to replace Paul Lo Duca tho.

youdeaddawg.blogspot.com

Posted by: Bergmann on Man | June 29, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

I blogged about all of this tonight: http://dcsportsplus.blogspot.com/2008/06/bunch-of-nats-news.html

I'll just copy/paste my thoughts (and you can check the rest out if you want, mainly the links to the baseball-reference pages of Bernadina, Balester, etc.)

Tough break for L-Millz and his Center Field Thrillz, but that's really the Nats' luck as of late. He'll be out 2-4 weeks, so not as bad as I thought. Wonder if 2-4 weeks will beocme 4-6 though, with our awesome training staff!

The only good news that comes out of it: Bernadina gets a shot. The 24-year-old has spent 7 years in the Nats system after being signed at 18 out of the Netherlands Antilles (aka Curacao, I believe). He's pulling a line of .325/.397/.475 in AA right now (with a career line of .292/.364/.414 in 636 at bats in AA and .258/.343/.375 overall) and is a good baserunner (career 77% base stealer, 75% in AA, 26/35 this year). He looks to me like a lefty version of Milledge at this point, but with a less power but better defense.

Good news: Austin Kearns is said to be back next week, which will (thank goodness) keep Pena/Harris/Lo Duca/Casto out of LF as much as possible (my dad keeps saying they're "showcasing" Lo Duca in LF to boost his trade value. It makes sense, as there are some really stupid GM's out there. Apparently versatility is in the eye of the beholder). Nationals.com says that Dukes will shift back to LF (even though I think they should stick him in CF, as he's more likely to be a full-time ML CF in the future than Roger Bernadina, who I think will end up as a Tom Goodwin-like player...#4 OF, #1 pinch runner, defensive replacement). I'm a little afraid Bernadina will end up like Brandon Watson, but I'll put a little more faith in him.

Great news: Collin Balester is going to make the start on Tuesday against the Marlins. The 22-year-old righty has a 9-3 record and a 4.00 ERA in AAA Columbus this year. Hopefully, he'll never see AAA again! It's good to see Balester and Bernadina finally get a chance (unfortunately at the expense of starters Shawn Hill and Milledge), but sometimes you have to lose someone for a while to find out who is really a contender from the minors rather than a pretender. The Nats have room on the 40-man (space was made when Nick Johnson was put on the 60-day DL), but no room on the 25-man roster. Top candidates to be sent down/outrighted: Pete Orr, Jesus Colome. The dark horse is obviously Fail-ipe, who is destined to be traded to the Dark Side tomorrow night or Monday.

Posted by: Hoagie | June 29, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Boy what a night.

Snoop and 311 both brought the house down and than I get home and see the O's blew out the Nats.

How sweet it is.

So what was it you all were saying after last nights game?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 29, 2008 4:06 AM | Report abuse

"It doesn't seem to me that there's any complicated formula to building an expansion team. . . You go for young players and understand it's going to take time. . . [They] get their brains beat out early in the season, [and are] doing fine now."
Jim Bouton, Ball 4, August 23, last paragraph (1970)

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 4:44 AM | Report abuse

If there's anything better than going to the ballpark with friends on a beautiful summer evening, let me know.

Posted by: flynnie | June 29, 2008 4:47 AM | Report abuse

They're going from playing like a minor league team to actual BEING a team filled with minor leaguers. Here's hoping for some scrappy wins!

Posted by: Capybara | June 29, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

A rough night to be sure. But, like others have commented, one mans bad luck is another mans good fortune. May Lastings mend well, in the meantime, good luck Colin and Roger. Welcome to the bigs.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 29, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

So who's job is it now to not catch the ball in CF?

Posted by: ??? | June 29, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

whose

Posted by: Grammar police | June 29, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Remember, these are the Nationals. 2-4 weeks = 4-6 weeks. See you in mid-August Lastings.

Posted by: ChrisC | June 29, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

We have a long way to go. I'm hearing almost universal regret over loosing a #3 hitter w/ no real big-league track record who is hitting .243 with 11 RBIs, slugging .384 during. Oh yeah, and he is our worst defensive outfielder (that one is subjective but doubt I'll get much argument). What exactly are we loosing?

The season is a wash, personally I'm thrilled to see a real prospect get a chance. I hope he gets a month or more of playing everyday so we can see what he can do.

Posted by: Avar | June 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Oh yeah, and he is our worst defensive outfielder (that one is subjective but doubt I'll get much argument)."

I beg to differ.

Posted by: Wily Mo Pena | June 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Lastings is not a "real prospect." Please. He has made positive strides in all aspects of his game given the chance to play. He is not an ideal #3 hitter, on that I agree, but now who hits #3 until Zimm gets back?

Posted by: joNAThan | June 29, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Fun graphic on bad long term pitching contracts. How coudl we forget Darren Dreifort?

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2008/06/29/baseball_notes/

Posted by: PTBNL (Poster to be named later) | June 29, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Time for change that you can believe in! From the fooling around during the National Anthem to lazy play on the field, the Nationals have demonstrated they do not deserve Major League status. There is a lack of discipline that betrays all possible explanations of the "plan" or puposeful patience as these boys grow to men. Meanwhile I'm paying big league prices for a minor league product...shame on me.

We have an over-weight, slowing bat at 1st, a half-stepper at 2d, a rent-by-the-day 3d baseman, and had a centerfielder who was more mustard than meat. For too many players, we're worried about behavior more than performance.

Time for a big-shake-up; maybe starting at the top.

Posted by: Bill | June 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Dmitri is a back-up with diabetes who produced last year even when overweight. He has defensive deficiencies, but ideally he is not the starter. The starter, is injured (and stays injured).

Agreed on Lopez. I think we all agree. Next. He is Mr. Lazy Play. Who else?

"rent by day 3rd baseman"....again, the starter, who most would agree is a solid fixture, is injured. Boone, Belliard and friends are major-league worthy backups.

CF who is "more mustard than meat"--I'd say more spam than steak right now, but he is/was making progress. I guess you preferred Andruw Jones.

And regarding the national anthem--I guess folk have differing views of acceptable behavior--but what are you talking about? Should they salute? Should they sing along? Are we not free to smile or should we be taken out back and shot if we don't act like you? And how bout the fans who talk incessantly during the anthem? And those idiotic O's fans who yell "O?" Which is more boorish or disrespectful? I don't see a connection between bad behavior and deportment during the national anthem.

And who, aside from Dukes, behavior are we worried about? Hey, the Nats embrace the spirit of America--give us your tired, your weak, your poor, your retreads, your injured, your rappers (oh my God, not rap!), your VP's sons, your Rule V picks....

Posted by: Reality Check for Bill | June 29, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

They don't need to sing or stand at attention - they need to keep their mouths shut and focus on the game that is about to start.

Posted by: Bill | June 29, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

No, they do not. You might like them to, but they do not need to.

***********
They don't need to sing or stand at attention - they need to keep their mouths shut and focus on the game that is about to start.

Posted by: Bill | June 29, 2008 6:28 PM

Posted by: it takes all kinds | June 29, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, they do need to.

Posted by: Hoagie | June 29, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Maggie | July 1, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: sally | July 1, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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