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A very innocuous health report

To answer your questions/concerns as quickly as possible: He's OK, and he's OK, too.

I'm talking about Lastings Milledge and Willie Harris, of course. One was hit by a pitch today in the eighth inning, and the other departed the game before the bottom of the eighth in an uncharacteristic lineup change.

Milledge first. His left hand was struck by a Ryan Dempster fastball, but the initial prognosis indicates nothing more than a bruise. Basically, the pitch pinned the fleshy part on the side of Milledge's hand against the bat. (Imagine as if he'd slammed it in a door.) Milledge's hand, after the game, had a bloody bruise along the outside, but the center fielder seemed confident he'd be ready to play tomorrow. The team doesn't believe X-rays will be necessary.

As for Harris, he was given a breather for the final inning and replaced in left field with Pete Orr.

"He's fine," Manny Acta said. "I just thought he needed a blow. He has played just about every inning for such a long time, and I thought he just needed a blow."

Oh, and one more thing.

After the game, I asked Acta if he foresaw Odalis Perez remaining in the rotation come September. Acta indicated that the team plans of now to stick with Perez. But he also kept the door open for an alternate plan.

"Well, we owe it to him, because he's been solid for us the whole season," Acta said. "He's been a good citizen, and he's helped some of our younger guys here. Unless we change our mind in the last month, up until now he's going to stay there. But that all depends on when we sit down with Jim [Bowden] and do the call-ups and decide what we're going to do moving forward for the last month."

By Chico Harlan  |  August 23, 2008; 6:35 PM ET
 
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Next: Lineups from Wrigley

Comments

Thanks for the injury update, Chico. glad to hear that Milledge will be ok and also Super Willie.

It will be interesting to see how they handle the Perez situation. He has done a pretty good job for the team overall. I respect the team for wanting to show him loyalty, but it would be tough to not give his innings to a younger guy given their situation.

Posted by: NatsVerse | August 23, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Why do our players do better after they get traded? Are they upset with the team? Do we have bad coaches? What?

------------------------------------

Felipe Lopez can relate to that "Welcome to Baseball Heaven" slogan that permeates Busch Stadium. Going from the last-place Nationals to the playoff-hopeful Cardinals has been a joy, and Lopez is doing his best to keep the good times flowing.
"It's very exciting," Lopez said. "In Washington, it just seemed like everything was going wrong for the team. Now I'm with a team that has a chance to make the postseason, and these guys have been awesome to me. I just want to help out wherever I can."

Lopez, who was acquired on Aug. 6, has given St. Louis manager Tony La Russa another versatile player who can be slotted in at a variety of positions as a switch-hitter. Lopez, who got another start at second base on Saturday, also can play shortstop, third base or the outfield.

The fresh start seems to have rejuvenated Lopez, who hit .326 in his first 14 games as a Cardinal. Even though he didn't join in Friday's hit barrage against the Braves until late in the game, La Russa liked the way Lopez kept battling.

In his first four at-bats on Friday, Lopez was 0-for-4 and stranded nine runners. But he was 2-for-2 thereafter, and that made an impression on La Russa.

"He kept playing," La Russa said. "That's one of the secrets in this game."

Lopez loves coming to Busch Stadium and playing before packed houses.

"When you are playing for something and have a great fan base, it really makes it fun," Lopez said. "I just feel very fortunate to be here. You can go anywhere in the country and you're still going to see St. Louis fans."

Lopez arrived in St. Louis without any expectations regarding playing time.

"I just told myself that wherever they put me, I would do my best and try to contribute to a winning team," Lopez said. "It's not about me trying to win a starting position. It's about fitting in and helping the team."

Lopez reached base in 13 of his first 14 games.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity," Lopez said. "This is a great place to play baseball."

Posted by: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080823&content_id=3355375&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb | August 23, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

and if I ever get frustrated expect me to stop hitting......

it is annoying we get nothing in return for him

Posted by: FLop | August 23, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I get frustrated as he-double toothpicks with the team, but do **I** stop showing up?

Hell, yeah.

Posted by: Avg. "Whatever" Fan | August 23, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, so they'll have to amputate and he'll be "day-to-day" until he's fitted with a removable claw....

And, what was up with the poison chicken soup that they fed to Odalis? I thought Chicago had cuisine and stuff.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 23, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Former Nats with talent do well on other Major League teams because they find themselves on a team with mostly major league players on the roster. The more talented the team, the less pressure on any one player, the easier it is for each player to perform up to and beyond their capabilities. The Nats wont have major league players (talent wise) occupying the majority of their 25-man roster for some time to come, especially if this is to be accomplished solely through internal development.

No point in having buyer's or seller's remorse. It is harder for players to do well on a team that has so little major league talent.

Posted by: L Street | August 23, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the updates, Chico. Glad to hear that Willie is okay and that Milledge appears to have only a bruise.

Glad that Felipe ended up somewhere with GOOD fans, as opposed to here. We love you, too, buddy. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 23, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

At least he's not "Day-to-Day"... :) (Milledge, that is.)

Is 2 measly innings off really that much of a break? methinks Manny is trying to hide something...

Posted by: SF Fan | August 24, 2008 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps poisoned soup is the secret to the Cubs home field advantage this year, cat daddy (that or some good, old-fashioned espionage). ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 24, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

"Honestly, I just hope for a better situation [next year] than it was with Washington," Crow said. "The way they dealt and handled everything, the way they talked to me and my family ... I think any of the 29 other teams would have handled it better. I'm just really looking to get into a better situation than I was dealing with the Nationals."

Posted by: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/aug/24/crow-content-with-decision-to-reject-offer/ | August 24, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

That's funny, because we think that any of the other draft picks could have handled it better.

Posted by: Fake FO | August 24, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"habitually late in paying...reimbursements to players for their expenses"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Watching Odalis' first three innings yesterday was a near vomiting experience for us fans as well. When after 3 innings he had stranded 8 runners I laughed out loud in a bout of gallows humour. By the fourth inning the universe had returned to norm and we were behind by 4 runs.

What is up with Flores? On some days he looks like a veteran hitter in that he keeps his at bat alive and delivers a clutch hit. On other days he looks completely dominated by the pitcher. Yesterday he swung like he did not have a clue.

When September 1 rolls in I hope that we use Perez's and Redding's would be starts for some of our minor league pitchers. What do we have to lose? Why does Manny have a sense of obligation to Perez? To me the good will that Perez has built up should be an asset that will be weighed in the the winter when the 09 staff is pencilled in and free agent contracts are determined.

Posted by: Dale | August 24, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a, one always hears of pitchers (and other players) not feeling "comfortable" when they don't do well. It gives pause for speculation as to a reason for home field advantage.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 24, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I really think that there are a lot of baseball fans in DC that would (will) come and support the team when they are shown a reason to part with there hard earned dollars. Currently, I really can't put blame on them for not showing up. There just isn't eneough tradition as of yet to have that much loyalty to support them when they are going south with not much hope. Can you imagine what the attendance this year would have been had they still been in RFK. This off season should (must) be about improving this club to give fans a reason to trek to the park. If they don't, the bounce, small as it is, of the new park will be lost. Come on Jim, Mark and Stan, don't let this happen. Manny deserves to have players that give him a fighting chance of success. Right now....it's just depressing.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 24, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Hope that Chico didn't have chicken soup for lunch. :D

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 24, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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