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Nationals Journal: March 29, 2009 - April 4, 2009

Thoughts on the 25-Man Roster

Jesus Colome: He can't be brought back to the majors until May 15 because he was released (by Jim Bowden), according to the Nats. He's been told that if he pitches the way he did in Florida that he'll be...

By Thomas Boswell  |  April 4, 2009; 7:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Kearns In Right Field, And Other Assorted Nuggets

Though the Nationals still have not announced it, because the players involved had not been informed of the decision as of an hour before tonight's game, team officials are saying privately that Austin Kearns will be the starting right fielder....

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 4, 2009; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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The 25-Man Roster Is Set

Dave's still on the field, workin' it, but he hopes to get the dish on the right field situation before the game so stay tuned... Pitching Rotation LHP John Lannan LHP Scott Olsen RHP Daniel Cabrera RHP Shairon Martis Infielders...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 4, 2009; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Today's Lineups

Dave asked me to pass these along... along with word that Nick Johnson was scratched from the lineup and headed to Florida to be with his five-month-old son Nick Jr., who fell off the bed and cracked his skull but...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 4, 2009; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Impromptu Poll: Kearns or Dukes?

Howdy, folks. I have to make this short, because the clubhouse is about to open and I have to get to work. But it's highly possible Manny Acta will announce his decision today about the starting right field job. You...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 4, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Morning Reading [Update]

UPDATE: Read about the guy the Nats traded for WMP. Dribs and drabs. I'll take another run later; it's meetin' time again. Monday's opponent, the Florida Marlins, settled their roster Friday night. Jon Rauch stunk this spring, but the Arizona...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 4, 2009; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Nationals Lose in Norfolk, Head North to Washington

For those who follow spring training standings - and Friday's game in Norfolk came in a locale with neither grapefruit nor cacti - the Washington Nationals lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 6-3. It was a strong outing from the Orioles'...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 3, 2009; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Concession Locations

Ask, and ye shall receive. (Trying to wedge this in between posts; NJ is a-poppin' this afternoon.) (And I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself to Nats320 at the media event; I kept thinking "That guy looks familiar" and it suddenly...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 3, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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Area Supremacy, Roster Inactivity and Lineups

This is Zach Berman filling in from Norfolk's Harbor Park, where both Washington Nationals Manager Manny Acta and Baltimore Orioles Manager Dave Trembley claimed that this is their team's territory. The change in latitude does not change the meaning of...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 3, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Casto, O'Connor to Syracuse; T. Young on DL

Kory Casto and Mike O'Connor cleared waivers and were outrighted to Syracuse. The Nats also put righty Terrell Young on the disabled list, retroactive to March 27, with right shoulder inflammation. More to come from Mr. Berman in Norfolk....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 3, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Hello! (Or, Here Comes Boz)

Ever since Tracee and I were at the Olympics last summer we've been talking about Nationals Journal this season. I told her that when I wasn't actually at the park I was constantly watching Nats and O's games live on...

By Thomas Boswell  |  April 3, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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What's New at Nats Park

Well, there is a lot of activity going on at Nats Park. That's the first thing. Inside and out. New paint smell, that kind of thing. The bunting was up, the tarp was on. Everything looks good. Half Street is...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 3, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Mid-Morning Reading

So I was sitting on the train this morning, perusing "The Bill James Handbook" -- when will someone to come out with "Bill James for Dummies"? can't be too soon -- and thinking deep thoughts. I was looking at something...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 3, 2009; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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The 25th (Or 26th) Man On The Team

As it stands, today will probably be Kory Casto's penultimate game with the Nationals. The team is probably going to take a third catcher for its final roster spot, which means Casto will be placed on waivers. He'd have to...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 3, 2009; 7:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Two Bad Starts, One Slugfest

Let it be said, this was not a good day for left-handed starters. Both Jamie Moyer and Scott Olsen surrendered nine runs; when was the last time that happened in one game? There's a fairly basic explanation, of course: At...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 2, 2009; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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The List Of What's Left

The Nats currently have 34 players remaining in big league camp. Twenty-eight of those players are on the 40-man roster. Here's what we've got, position-by-position. (And yes, this is an exercise in anal list-making. It's also a way to sort...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 2, 2009; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
 
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Beer. Rent. The Important Things in Life.

Dan Steinberg has gotten a copy of the Pentagon Papers, er, a list of the beers that will be served at Nats Park. So, bigger ... I missed this earlier: The Nats paid their rent....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 2, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Sosa Is Coming, Sosa Is Coming

Jorge Sosa signed with the Washington Nationals just about four months ago. Only today, though, did Sosa receive approval to actually join them. The relief pitcher, stranded in the Dominican Republic because of visa problems, was finally granted his work...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 2, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Today's Lineup

Jamie Moyer pitches for the Phillies here in Clearwater, Fla. Maxwell - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 3 Kearns - 9 Willingham - 7 Belliard - 4 Flores - 2 Olsen - 1...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 2, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Heading North, At Least for the Weekend

Isn't spring training ever going to end? Light the candle! (Reference in honor of Space Coast Stadium.) Oh, wait, today's the last game in Florida -- until Monday, anyway. How strange to make the boys come north and send them...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 2, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Morning Reading

Make sure to check out Boz's column today. Take note, in particular, of the list he compiled of starting left fielders across baseball. A good one-third of MLB clubs will open the year with starters who probably can't match the...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 2, 2009; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Dukes, Lannan, Bard

Manny Acta made it very clear today that left field (Adam Dunn) and center field (Lastings Milledge) are settled. The only starting position up for grabs remains in right field, where either Elijah Dukes or Austin Kearns will win the...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 1, 2009; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
 
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Fifth Inning: Blue Jays 7, Nats 2

[UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.] -- Final line on Lannan: 4-2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 90 pitches, 51 strikes. [ANOTHER UPDATE] -- Shawn Hill makes the Padres rotation as the No. 5 starter. --- I warn you,...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 1, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Hernandez Will Start Year On DL

For the moment, Anderson Hernandez still has some tightness in his left hamstring. And as a result, the Washington Nationals will enter the first week of their season without their starting second baseman. Hernandez will be placed on the 15-day...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 1, 2009; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Lineup From Dunedin

Note the pitching match-up: John Lannan versus Roy Halladay. Also, note the lineup that must face Halladay. Milledge - 8 Bernadina - 7 Dukes - DH Eldred - 3 Casto - 5 Bard - 2 Maxwell - 9 Orr -...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 1, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Mid-Morning Reading

Kid Rock has acquired naming rights to Comerica Park in his hometown of Detroit. And I think that's the only April Fool's story on your mid-morning reading list. SI picks the Nats to finish last in the NL East, with...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 1, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Some Morning Reading

The Post's 2009 baseball preview section came out today, so we've got a healthy stock of morning reading material. Take note, especially, of Boswell's column: He envisions a "palatable" 2009 season in NatsTown, which could swing either way depending on...

By Chico Harlan  |  April 1, 2009; 7:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Pena Given Unconditional Release

After refusing to accept a minor league assignment, Wily Mo Pena was released tonight by the Washington Nationals, ending the outfielder's tenure with an organization that once viewed him as a centerpiece of its future. Pena had been placed on...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 8:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Dmitri, Stammen, Anderson

Dmitri Young is the story for tomorrow, I reckon, and he was happy to fill up a few notebook pages with a few one-liners, some solemn thoughts about his health/recovery, and several declarations of his readiness to play. So I'm...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Dmitri Young Goes Yard

[UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.] -- The tarp is off, and it looks like this game will be resuming within a few minutes. Sun is shining. --- Dmitri Young, in the top of the seventh inning, came up with two on and...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Fifth Inning: Nats 1, Tigers 1

Midway through this afternoon's game, the Tigers and Nats are tied at 1. We've seen a grand total of three hits so far -- none in the first three innings. Craig Stammen? Impressive. Maybe the Nats need a six-man rotation....

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Pregame Miscellanies

Here is your unsolicited recommendation for spring training: Attend a ballgame at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. This is the spring training home of the Tigers, and is, by a wide margin, the best Florida stadium I've visited in the...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Lineup From Joker Marchant

Today's lineup Milledge - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Johnson - 3 Dukes - 7 Young - DH Kearns - 9 Belliard - 4 Flores - 2...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Let The Road Trips Begin

Baseball has a long, rich history of exhaustive bus rides, most of them involving buses with far fewer technological bells and whistles than the one used by the Washington Nationals. But let's just say that in the next days, that...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 31, 2009; 5:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Dmitri Will Play Tomorrow

Since March 1, Dmitri Young has seen little more than massage tables and minor league pitching. But tomorrow, Young will return to the Washington Nationals after missing the bulk of the month because of a back injury. When the Nationals...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 30, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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The Misadventures Of Willie Harris

[UPDATE, 3:33 p.m.] -- The Nats are still trailing 3-2 in the top of the ninth. Detroit's staff has retired 22 of 23 since Zimmerman's home run. If you don't see another game-related update here, assume the Nats have fallen...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 30, 2009; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Top 4: Tigers 3, Nats 2

You can group Washington's remaining spring training roster into two groups -- those for whom stats matter, and those for whom stats mean nothing. For a good month now, Manny Acta has dismissed any ugly averages or ERAs from the...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 30, 2009; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Leading Off, Nick Johnson

[UPDATE, 12:35 p.m.] -- I neglected when posting earlier to name the pitchers. Shairon Martis is starting for the Nats, and will be working on a 90-pitch limit. Joe Beimel, Garrett Mock and Gary Glover are all scheduled to pitch...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 30, 2009; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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The Official Out-Of-Options List

It's almost impossible, for all the information on the World Wide Web, to find a resource that lists players who are out of options. (Hint, hint, baseball-reference.com... I'd pay a subscription fee for this kind of service.) Especially this time...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 30, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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The Great Boone Quiz Answers

Here are the answers to Boz's Boone Quiz: 1) All four Boones batted in the Series. 2) All four batted in the All-Star game. 3) And they all had at least 1,000 hits, too. Told you it wasn't fair. 4)...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 30, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The Great Boone Quiz

(This is from Thomas Boswell, and a perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. The answers will pop up at 9 a.m. tomorrow.) Good luck to Aaron Boone in his recovery from successful open heart surgery. I thought a quiz...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 29, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Bullpen Day

The Nats lost 5-2 today. The rain never came. The radar misled us. We were duped. As a result, we got an interrupted "bullpen day," where seven guys fighting for jobs in the Area of Greatest Uncertainty split the eight...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 29, 2009; 3:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Fourth Inning: Marlins 5, Nats 0

With Cabrera unavailable, this has turned into what Manny Acta called a "bullpen day" -- a inning-by-inning procession of relievers. So far, Julian Tavarez, Saul Rivera and Joel Hanrahan have already gone one inning, though it seems like Hanrahan might...

By Chico Harlan  |  March 29, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Technological And Muscular Spasms

First things first. Thanks to a technological helping hand from Nats PR man John Dever, my Dell laptop is good as new. Now, to be clear, that still doesn't put it on the level of a Mac, new or old....

By Chico Harlan  |  March 29, 2009; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Today's Lineup

Hi, folks. No, I'm not at the game. Don't I wish! Although we are finally having what appears to be a nice day in Washington. So happy to be working. Chico's computer is melting down -- maybe literally. So he...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 29, 2009; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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