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Beimel Is Healthy And Waiting To Return

No longer is Joe Beimel hurting. He's just itching. On the disabled list April 21 with a left hip flexor strain, the Washington Nationals' best relief pitcher now has an entirely healthy left hip flexor and a gnawing desire to pitch again.

"I mean, I'm fine now," Beimel said today. "I was fine after about three days. It was one of those things where nobody expected it to heal that quickly."

As a result, Beimel is waiting, and "itching to get back out there," he said. While counting down the minutes until his return -- Beimel will rejoin the Nationals on May 6, his first day of eligibility -- the left-hander has followed a peripatetic schedule. Yesterday, he was in Viera, Fla., working out at the team's spring training complex and throwing a 25-pitch simulated game. This morning, he flew back to the District. Tomorrow and Sunday, he'll pitch in a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac.

Since Beimel injured himself, Washington has restructured its bullpen, replacing Joel Hanrahan with a closer-by-committee system, which means Beimel will return to a new role. At minimum, he'll share the ninth inning duties with Julian Tavarez and Kip Wells. But there's a chance, Manager Manny Acta said, that Beimel will take the job.

"We won't be afraid to hand him the closing job if he proves he's the guy for it," Acta said.

Beimel's present inability to appear in games hasn't prevented him from joking about his next bullpen entrance. Friend Jonny Gomes, an old teammate with Tampa Bay, recently sent Beimel a white bathrobe with Beimel's name and number -- 97 -- stitched onto the back. The robe, displayed with the esteem of a retired jersey, hung today from Beimel's Nationals Park locker.

A few other notes...

* Tomorrow through Sunday, the Nationals will be collecting new and gently used baseball and softball equipment at the Nationals Park center field entrance, park of their annual drive to benefit DC public high schools.

* I miss hearing Beimel's entrance music, "God's Gonna Cut You Down."

* This is Washington's 21st game of the year... and its first against a team that doesn't play in the NL East.

* What do Joe Beimel, Kip Wells and Julian Tavarez have in common? Here's a hint.

* A few were asking earlier today on this blog why the Nats traded for DFA'd Logan Kensing, given that they could have claimed him off waivers a few days later. Answer, per Mike Rizzo: The Nats simply didn't want to take the risk that another team would trade for Kensing before he went through waivers.

By Chico Harlan  |  April 30, 2009; 7:02 PM ET
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Next: "Over And Over And Over And Over"


Thanx for the insight on Kensing, Chico.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 30, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

WHAT is going on with Cabrera??

Posted by: PattyinSJ | April 30, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

It's such a long 60 feet to home plate when Cabrera is on the mound.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 30, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Zimm!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | April 30, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Seriously - is he injured or is he always like this?

Posted by: PattyinSJ | April 30, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Zimm!

19 games in a row now yessir

Posted by: Brue | April 30, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

This could be a long, hard "all-hands on-deck" night for the bullpen, and might demolish Flores - too bad the Nationals sent Bergmann down.

Posted by: BinM | April 30, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Another fun piece, Chico. Will look forward to Beimel's return.

In other news, maybe you (or Dan) should ask him about his bobblehead day:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 30, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

OK, it's confirmed - DCab is the biggest "cement-head" in the NL. He gets in his own way defensively, doesn't check runners, can't walk & chew gum at the same time & now throws strikes less than 50% of the time. AA-C-C-K!

Posted by: BinM | April 30, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

That was a good hard 92 mph breaking ball Bob.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 30, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

That was a good hard 92 mph breaking ball Bob.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 30, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

re: Beimel...yes, awesome song choice for a pitcher. Looks like they'll need plenty of arms tonight. Here's hoping Cabrera can be lucky, since he's sure not being good.

Posted by: petey5 | April 30, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera sits 'em down, three in a row? Am I watching the same game?

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 30, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Double ... wild pitch ... yeah, it's the same game.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 30, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

After listening to the top half of the first on the radio on the way home, I was ready to post this:

"Welcome to Craptown. Get your dread on."

But then Zimm rescued us with that dinger, and I remembered that this was a new year. Again. We're not good, but we're better. We need decent pitching though. It's not clear that Cabrera qualifies.

Joe B will help. Maybe he can convince some other team's closer to defect to our side. Lidge would be good, and he's from PA.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 30, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, thank you Mr. Boggs for that gift. I wouldn't be surprised if Cabrera tries to steal (aw, Dibble beat me to it)

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera HBP...the irony. My head...

Posted by: petey5 | April 30, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Three-up, three-down again? Does Cabrera have an evil twin who pitches alternate innings?

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 30, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yep, his name's Leinad Arerbac

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Dunnkey, give that ball the whatfor...

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Atta Boy, Jeezuss Flowers!!!

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera goes 6 innings with 3 ERs, a quality start... Don't hate on the poor man. So what if his control doesn't exist?

Posted by: swang30 | April 30, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Those 6 IP were an odd mix of crazy and lucky. I'll take it.

Posted by: petey5 | April 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of interesting 6 innings, TB's Matt Garza's just finished his 6th up in Boston... I say no more.

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

(correction: down in TB)

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

re: HotNats


Posted by: petey5 | April 30, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

What's the odds on Hinckley getting the boot when Beimel goes active next week?

Posted by: BinM | April 30, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Ump HBP? Is that why yahoo declares that the inning is over before the Nats even bat?

Posted by: petey5 | April 30, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Hinkley is the only other lefty, but if he keeps walking people, maybe, BinM

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This bullpen is a complete joke.

Posted by: rskinz34 | April 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

is there something about the background for the catcher? both catchers are having trouble coming up with high pitches, and Flores has had several pop out of his mitt.

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

there's nothing complete about it

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Whew, whew, and whew

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Good question, CEvans, hadn't thought about their sightlines and possible distraction...

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Definitely digging the Dibble

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Good point CEvansJr

Posted by: rskinz34 | April 30, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse


With the Nationals, it might be that Flores is just gassed - Cabrera & Hinckley were all over the place, and Kensing wasn't exactly "on-target" either.

For the Cardinals... I got nothin', other than Larue is a hack.

Posted by: BinM | April 30, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

This team is such a joke... are we playing in St. Louis or are we in Washington? There's probably 20 nats fans at the game.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 30, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

9 walks by nats pitchers. lol!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 30, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Does Thurston make it 10, now? oy, oy, and oy

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

walk #10

Posted by: rachel216 | April 30, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Gracie just called... do I keep her on the line or just say...

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

10 walks, how many wild pitches? Now a hit by pitch. haha.

does this team not want to have any fans? they make it really hard for people like me to root for them.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 30, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

BinM, you may be right about Flores. It almost looks like he's breaking in a new mitt

(as Tavares hits ANOTHER guy, on 0-2 no less--and the umps aren't even warning anyone-he even got one off the head himself)

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

and I was about to say -- "but no one breaks in a mitt in a game"

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dsk097 | April 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

More sloppy defense
Another bullpen disaster
Couple thousand people there - and they're mostly Cards fans

I don't know how much more of this team I can take

Posted by: Kev29 | April 30, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

so, CHICO -- is Flo breaking in a mitt, or what?

Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe we blew a lead in the 9th inning... I'm shocked.

Not at all.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 30, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The only bright spot I can even conceivably pull from this one is that I really didn't expect us to win this game with Cabrera starting... Other than that — agreed, dsk, welcome to the suck.

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

well, at least they haven't ba---


Posted by: CEvansJr | April 30, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I feel like I'm in the movie Groundhog's Day. Every day, different guy, different way (giving up a run on a balk?!?), same outcome.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 30, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least Zimmermann is starting tomorrow...

Posted by: rxs85 | April 30, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Z's HR into his 19-game hitting streak is another bright spot. Seems like yesterday.

Posted by: HotNats | April 30, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

WHEN WILL IT END??????????

Posted by: amorris525 | April 30, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Can Zimmermann pitch nine innings? Might be the only way to preserve a win.

This really has been another very painful game to watch. The opposing team really does not even have to do anything to win, we do all the work for them. The Cards should come to the stadium with a six inch stack of Thank You notes.

Posted by: driley | April 30, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

It's like watching reruns over and over. Swallow some tums and go to bed.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 30, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Man-o-man, its beyond ones comprehension that no one that Acta trots out there can throw a strike. Damn I'm going tomorrow night because its part of my STH package but...., if Zimmermann wasn't pitching I guess I would be praying for rain. The Cardinals are about as bland as can be, yet they win becuase bad teams like this one just hands them a W!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 30, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

How many games is that where we've lost a lead or a tie in the ninth inning or later? Must be some kind of record.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 30, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

after the game manny sounded like a man who wants to get fired, and I can't blame him "on a last place team, with a half-empty stadium, there is no pressure" rough quote about not being able to even get it over the plate

Posted by: bford1kb | April 30, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

the second most profitable baseball franchise last year should not by putting this out there, the bullpen is the cheapest thing in baseball

Posted by: bford1kb | April 30, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks the entire coaching staff doesn't need to be fired -- if they had any honor they would quit in shame -- is either high or never played baseball beyond coach-pitch or t-ball.

12 strike outs.
11 walks.

Let's not talk about the latest 9th inning collapse.

I am not sure there is a single major league baseball player on this entire sorry roster.

Dump them all. Sell the team. Bulldoze the stadium and run StanK and the Lerners out of town.

This is beyond embarrassing.

For the prices these "people" charge, they owe us a helluva lot more. A... helluva... lot... more.

Posted by: randy_boyd | April 30, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that will change the culture of losing is to change the manager you can stay on the Manny bandwagon if you want but like I said in an earlier post Stan the Plan loves this guy(Acta) because he ain't gonna rock the boat you think Dukes would be getting picked off like he's been if there was a different skipper hell its like Ray Charles is on base, the bullpen is a joke and Hanrahan.... its way beyond ability with this guy its psychological, this team hits well and the starting pitching is improving with every game,its the pyromaniacs they can't help themselves they will find a way to lose the game but in the end its Manny and he needs to go and that goes for St.Claire also.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 30, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay maybe i banged my head but I think this team will turn it around. We are light years ahead of last year. They are not as bad as they are playing right now. I believe this team, with all its warts, is still better than the Mets and Braves.

I know every night is lesson on how to blow a game but things will change.

Posted by: mjames0 | April 30, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe that it has gotten to be this bad. Acta's Presser was well just down-right depressing. Does anyone realize that NO ONE will ever want to play here. This is baseballs version of the bunny ranch without the bunnies. 6 months in 05 with lots of chills and thrills, numbness since. Seriously its time for Acta to ask for a reprive from the governer (oh yeah he works in DC, I guess its from the Mayor). He has lost the bullpen, now he is on the verge of losing the respect of the few decent players he has on the team. If I see Stan on Friday night I plan to ask him if the Plan is still working, I'll let y'all know what he says.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 30, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

walk this waaaaaaaaaay!

Posted by: surly_w | April 30, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, fellow Nats fans. We're at the end of our rope. Even the most rabid among us are starting to sour on this bunch.
I'm not ready to call for Manny's head yet, but for the first time I'm thinking about it. Maybe this team does need a disciplinarian and change for change's sake.
What they CLEARLY need is some relievers who can throw strikes and not get behind 2-0 on every frickin hitter. I'd like to see Manny pull one of these guys simply for falling behind one batter. I know we'd run out of relievers quick, but you gotta make a statement. Is it psychological? I can't imagine they don't know to throw strikes. WTF?!
This team would be nearing .500 if not for the bullpen. Seems like not that long ago the Nats' bullpen was their strong suit, while their offense was nowhere--now it's reversed.
Time for bed. Maybe when i wake up the team'll be fixed.

Posted by: jdsp2000 | April 30, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

the natstown bullpen has been declared a federal disaster area and should be evacuated. all of its occupants are to, never mind.

Posted by: surly_w | April 30, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Someone... anyone... HELP !!!

You can't tell me there's not a 13-year-old kid in the DR (who's really 27) or some 12-year-old in Taiwan (who's really 24) that we can't get here to play some semblance of baseball.

Posted by: randy_boyd | April 30, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, so much for the bullpen by committee, how about drawing straws for the new strategy....

Posted by: bromisky | April 30, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse


you know that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee, don't you?

Posted by: surly_w | April 30, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

dang... I may have to change my website from to

This is simply horrific... Wake me up when spring training 2010 gets here...

Posted by: randy_boyd | April 30, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from the game, still in shock. Cabrera was the best pitcher out there, and if the bullpen had gotten its act together the way it did last night, Cabrera would have had a win. I felt like they were acting out some sort of strange baseball primer, demonstrating all the ways they could be scored on without the other team hitting - so help me, five runs on three hits. Ohhh....

Posted by: Traveler8 | April 30, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

We are 5 for April.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 30, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

On another note. A lot of us talk thru our a$$es on this forum, myself included, but you folks who think Manny's calling pitches really take the cake.

506, I promise you don't need to waste Boswell's time with this question. Manny aint callin pitches and neither is Randy.

And besides the fact I didn't see Manny take his hands out of his pockets the entire game, nor did Jesus toward him once the whole game, isn't that just baseball 101? Isn't that the CATCHER'S JOB, for crying out loud?

Can't believe I'm even arguing this, but I couldn't let this one rest.

That is all.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 30, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

A point for consideration regarding the buillpen. There are too many very recently converted starters down there, guys who are used to having real relief pitchers bail them out in tight spots. Hinckley, Hanrahan and Mock were converted last year and Wells has been a starter most of his career. Starting pitchers generally aren't in the games at crunch time and I don't see the mental toughness needed to get key late-inning outs from most of the above mentioned guys.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 30, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I ended up having to go to a dinner tonight, so I missed the game. I'm sure my TV did not mind, as it would would have had a beer bottle smashed through it if I had been home. I did - unfortunately - turn on my car radio on the way home as the game was in the top of the 9th. The first play I heard was Hanarahan giving up a run via balk (at least that's a new one)before he even had a chance to throw a pitch. As I listened, I felt bad for Charlie and Dave. I can only imagine them jumping ship for a better gig as soon as they're able.

We're coming into a new month, and I hope we have a new team to show for it. April is behind us, so let's leave it there. I still say Manny is gone by the All-Star Break unless things improve really soon, and by really soon, I mean by this weekend. Taking 3 out of 4 from St. Louis would be a huge morale boost which would be most welcome at this point. We'll see...

Posted by: BGinVA | April 30, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Right on TippyCanoe. They were lucky to get Dunn and only because no one else wanted him. If they do crap this year (ha... if...) they'll have to play damn good next year to retain him. An he's not even a top shelf player. Who else is going to bolt? That's what these guys don't get. You lose fans you lose the players no one wants to play here and no on wants to watch the players you do get.

I remember when those 80s Braves teams that were absolute s&*#@ and the joke of MLB. They'd have the games on TBS and the stands were ghost towns. Really sad. Even worse than this. But that's where we're headed.

But I guess if they could turn that disaster around there's hope for us.

Can Manny. I don't care what the FO says you know they've gotta be thinking about it. I like the guy. Hate to see it end this way but it's time now.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | April 30, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

new post.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 30, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Those '03 Pirates were a juggernaut!

Posted by: paulkp | May 1, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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