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Cintron Recalled From Class AAA Syracuse

Tabulate his absence from the big leagues, and Alex Cintron barely missed a moment. His final appearance with the Baltimore Orioles came last season, in the team's second-to-last game. Today, with the Washington Nationals' season not even two weeks old, Cintron was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse, returning to a big league clubhouse and inheriting a role -- permanent or not, who knows -- as a switch-hitting reserve middle infielder.

For Cintron, his arrival in Washington, and his corresponding addition to the team's 40-man roster, is particularly satisfying. Because since September 2008, Cintron has been through an odyssey. Right as the season ended, the 30-year-old felt pain in his right elbow. He had it checked out. A New York doctor performed surgery to remove bone chips. Cintron needed a new team. Several called and asked him to play winter ball, a means for demonstrating his health. But Cintron didn't have it yet. As a result, only the Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays showed interest. Even that was modest.

Cintron, plotting the next move in his career, scanned both teams' depth charts at shortstop. He saw a better chance to emerge with Washington, and signed a non-guaranteed minor league deal.

"So I thought it was my opportunity to come here and prove that I was healthy," Cintron said.

Though the shortstop was demoted toward the end of spring training, Cintron has provided Washington some evidence of, first, his health and second, his ability to hit. Across 39 at bats this spring, Cintron hit .333 (with a .667 slugging percentage). During his five games in Syracuse, Cintron went 9-for-18.

At worst, Cintron will remain with Washington while Cristian Guzman, placed on the disabled list yesterday, nurses his hamstring. But he has the chance to stay even longer, because the team's other shortstop option, Alberto Gonzalez, is a 26-year-old who is better off playing every day -- even if those at bats are available in the minors.

"We don't know how long he's going to be here," Manager Manny Acta said of Cintron.

By Chico Harlan  |  April 18, 2009; 12:49 PM ET
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Good for him. When is Guzman eligible to come off the DL? I guess it doesn't matter too much, given that the team went 1-8 when he was batting well. Without improved pitching the team is doomed.


Posted by: kevincostello | April 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 18, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Kearns baby! Grand salami in the first...

5-0 Nats with Bernie at the dish.....

2 more outs and the first ends with Olsen staked to a 5-0 lead.....

Posted by: Barney001 | April 18, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 18, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Can you say slugfest?
Nats better keep their hitting shoes on.

Posted by: patchss | April 18, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Come on now Olsen...

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 18, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

MLB Gameday says that Olsen's current fastball velocity is only 85mph.

Can anyone who's watching confirm? Does he have arm problems?

Posted by: Barney001 | April 18, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse


Arm slot seemed ok early, but he's starting to drop. Don't think it's an injury, just not staying on top enough.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Olsen got a couple up to 90 against Cantu - that's more like it.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

So far, Drake is calling a shallow, but "on the black" strike zone - at least he's being consistent.

Posted by: BinM | April 18, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Came in late, psyched to have caught the highlight of the GS for Kearns... speaking of which, hasn't there been around 7 GS's this past week, in addition to 3 cycles?

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

you've got to be kidding me...
hellnrahan did it agin.

Posted by: HotNats | April 18, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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