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. But hey, these are my biases. Anyway, Dever cunningly suggested that I use something called the System Restore, which essentially sets your drive back to a selected earlier date. It worked. Eureka! All of a sudden, instant release. This system restore was something other, more educated tech minds hadn't suggested, so Dever deserves a huge tip of the cap.
Now that that is fixed, we can talk about Daniel Cabrera, scratched from today's start because of muscle spasms on the right side of his neck. The Nationals, for now, are optimistic that Cabrera will return to make his final exhibition start, scheduled for next Friday, April 3. But in order to stick to that schedule, Cabrera must feel well enough to pitch either a bullpen side or simulated game before then.
"We have to wait and see how he is today and make a plan accordingly," Manny Acta said, "because you can't plan on throwing him unless he's able to."
Cabrera first alerted the team of his neck problems yesterday, after some batting practice drills for pitchers. (Cabrera, by the way, needs plenty of practice here: He's 0-for-14 lifetime with 14 strikeouts.)
A few other items for the early afternoon...
* Adam Dunn is at first, and he'll probably get one or two more starts there this exhibition season. Once the year begins, Acta said, Dunn will get an occasional start at 1B not only for the purpose of spelling Nick Johnson, but also to provide at bats to the other outfielders.
Josh Willingham is not considered a part of the first base picture.
* Acta on the juggling act with the outfielders: "It's never easy, but one thing we have to make clear here is, we're a team. I do love players who want to be out there every single day, but at the end of the day it's a team effort, and it's not about making people happy. It's about putting out there the best team on the field. And also, make everybody feel important."
* Last year, Acta performed an unusual duty for a manager. He was the one who positioned the infielders and outfielders -- and this is something that actually requires a lot of attention and study, knowing the tendencies of opposing hitters, etc. This year, Pat Listach is positioning the infielders and Marquis Grissom is positioning the outfielders. This won't draw a lot of attention on a daily basis, but this was kind of cool: Yesterday, with Darin Erstad batting, Grissom barked at CF Willie Harris, moving him at least 30 feet toward the left-center gap. Erstad hit a ball that might have been a double without the shift. Harris barely had to move to make the catch.
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