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Milledge back, Estrada gone

After today's game -- an enthralling pitcher's duel, and a 1-0 San Francisco win -- the Nats recalled CF Lastings Milledge, who's recovered from his groin injury. They also decided to stop carrying four catchers on their roster.

To corresponding with Milledge's return, the Nationals designated catcher Johnny Estrada for assignment, a decision that will terminate Estrada's disappointing, injury-filled year with the team. The Nationals have 10 days to either trade or release Estrada, signed this offseason to a one-year, $1.25 million deal.

"I'm the odd man out," said Estrada, who had just been recalled from the DL on July 18 (right elbow).

Here are a bit more of his thoughts.

Q: Did you think you'd get a longer look before the team made a decision?

I thought. I played in the first two games right off the break which I thought was a surprise, and I didn't expect to play those two games. But I had that and today. There's not much I can show with that. I thought I called a pretty good game today and worked well with Redding.

Q: What's your preference for what comes next?

Mentally, I'm ready to go home. It's been a grind for me all season. I've been hurt. This is the first time I had surgery this past offseason. My arm never felt right the whole year; it still doesn't really feel right. A couple months left in the season, and I'm spent. It's been a long time coming back from rehab, and I'm ready just to go home. Work hard in the offseason and see what happens next year. Obviously they can trade me, do whatever they want with me, but mentally that's where I'm at right now.

Q: When it's all said and done, how frustrating has this whole year been?

Yeah, it's been frustrating... I still know I have a lot left in the tank, and look forward to playing against the Nationals.

Q: Do you even consider it an option to report to Class AAA Columbus (if you clear waivers)?

[Heck] no. You won't see me in Triple AAA. You can print that, too.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 24, 2008; 7:46 PM ET
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