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Kearns to DL; Padilla Called Up

Jorge Padilla, born Aug. 11, 1979, a third-round pick by the Phillies in 1998, a veteran of 12 minor league seasons and 1,165 games, was promoted on Wednesday afternoon by the Washington Nationals, added to the 40-man roster as Austin Kearns (right thumb) was placed on the disabled list. For Padilla, this will be a long-awaited major league debut.

Of all the position players to make it to the big leagues with year with the Nats, Padilla has to be the most unlikely. He was signed by the organization as a minor league free agent on Nov. 27, 2007. He is actually the same age as Kearns, 29. Think back to the February days when Washington came to camp with an outfield as deep as the ocean... Wily Mo Pena, Lastings Milledge, Ryan Langerhans, Austin Kearns, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes, Roger Bernadina, Justin Maxwell, Leonard Davis -- all these players were ahead of Padilla on the depth chart.

But Padilla was putting up fantastic numbers this year with Class AAA Syracuse, and earned a trip to the International League all-star game. At the time of his call-up, he was hitting .367 (311 at-bats), best in the league, with 114 hits, four homers and 21 RBI.

Kearns has been bothered lately by a right thumb contusion, and was examined Tuesday by a doctor.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 5, 2009; 3:21 PM ET
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Next: Lineups From Nats Park


Any word on Ryan Z's shoulder today? Is he playing tonight? (Is anyone - more rain? -- arrrghhh!)

Posted by: cdstej | August 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

a little late, but that YouTube to Hitler's rampage against the Nyjer-Milledge trade was hilarious!

Posted by: mo_dc | August 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and watching the postings on Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter about all the talented players the Pirates traded away the past couple seasons sure brought back memories of the 2005 and 2006 Nats. That year, I fumed about how MLB pillaged the Expos farm system to save money and prepare for contraction (*FIRE SALE!*) and then when moving to DC, selling to Lerners, didn't even have the decency for some kind of supplemental draft to re-stock -- worse than an expansion team!

(Who am I kidding - i'm STILL not over it!)

Posted by: mo_dc | August 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Indeed, why shouldn't Rigs be considered for the manager's job in 2010? He seems to have his players believing they can win, which was not the case before."

Acta had his players believing they could win when he first started, too. Indeed they were 64-64 over the last 128 games of his first season. How'd that one work out? Perhaps it would be worth revisiting Riggleman's worth when or if he manages to put together a .500 streak that long with the Nats. Now, I'd say it's way too soon to tell anything about him other than he's not Manny Acta.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 5, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Leonard Davis or Daniels will replace him in Syracuse?

Posted by: periculum | August 5, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Youtube link to the Hitler rampage? :-)

Seriously, glad Kearns is on the DL. That means he can be sent to the minors for a few "rehab" starts once his thumb heals and hopefully regain his hitting mojo, right?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 5, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Eclipse, but the Nats' management won't have the luxury to wait 128 games before deciding on whether to rehire Rigs next year.

Agree that it's way too early to make him the permanent manager, but isn't it way too early also to rule him out? That's all I was saying.

And you've hit on a very important point: he's not Manny Acta. That was the point of making the switch.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link to YouTube. Warning, not safe for work -- the audio's not the problem, although loud. It's the subtitles.

You've probably seen variations on this -- my personal favorite was something related to the Cowboys and T.O./Romo stinking it up in the playoffs, if I remember correctly.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

If wonder if Padilla will be starting tonight? Zimmerman's shoulder sounded a bit worse than one game off would cure. I doubt he starts. As I will be at the game tonight, I will cheer Nick at his first AB. Let's continue the streak!!

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | August 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with eclipse. If by the comment below you mean that the team made a change for change's sake, then I would agree.


And you've hit on a very important point: he's not Manny Acta. That was the point of making the switch.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 5, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The press release should say, "The Nationals have been bothered lately by Kearns' missing bat, and finally made up an excuse to get him out of the dugout." We should have thought of this in May.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Zim is in the lineup tonight and batting 3rd.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully no one cheering the impending end of Austin Kearns (though I would point out, a 15-day DL, followed by a rehab start, puts us firmly in expanded roster zone, negating the need to DFA) are not the same people insisting on the sacrosanct need for character in the clubhouse. If they are, they would be hypocrites.

Posted by: Section506 | August 5, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I love that Padilla has finally gotten called up. He can be 2009's Rick Short. I hope, like Short, he'll get a good hit the first time he's up. Ah, 2005 had so many good moments.

Posted by: Natsgal | August 5, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how much playing time padilla will get. The outfield seems to be set with Willingham, Morgan and Dukes, but Elijah is always an injury risk. Perseverance should get at least a token reward.

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 5, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse


are you ever going to do another chat? it's been too long, mon ami.

Posted by: surly_w | August 5, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, well. I wanted Padilla to get the start. Hopefully he gets an at-bat today. The kid has waited long enough, and earned this.

As for the manager, it has to be Bobby Valentine. He takes young teams to the next level, if not all the way.


Posted by: kevincostello | August 5, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Ryan Z's shoulder today? Is he playing tonight? (Is anyone - more rain? -- arrrghhh!)

Posted by: cdstej | August 5, 2009 3:30 PM

Yes, Zim is playing tonight and in the starting lineup. You would think that is the big news of the day instead of debating when Kearns will be back.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Less than 2 hours to game time:

- see you at Duffys after the game!

Posted by: mo_dc | August 5, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

+1/2 St.

i would also endorse bobby vee. many veteran baseball men have said he's a great judge of young talent and how to properly utilize his personnel. but, i think it depends who's the GM. bobby vee and steve phillips clashed because both wanted to be the front man for the mets.

Posted by: surly_w | August 5, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@mo_dc, I think it was you in the last post that opined that Kearns's injury could be a face-saving one. It crossed my mind too. I'm thinking if the details remain vague it could be a possibility. And much as I love the guy, not such a bad one.

re: riggleman vs. acta.
1. i like riggleman's style so far
2. i like how the team's playing these days
3. i like these recent wins

what this *doesn't* mean:
a. that i hate manny or think he's stupid or a bad manager or was the sole reason for the miserable first half.
b. that i think riggleman is the second coming and soley responsible for our nice wins.

point being i think we can like all three things without necessarily waiting for statistical proof that they're all related.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

oh. and i just remembered something else about last night's game--i LOVED that Riggleman kept Bergmann in to hit for himself.

We still needed offense, but Bergy was being all lights out and riggleman didn't want to waste his anemic bench. It was bold but it made perfect sense.

And then Bergy, gawd bless 'im, even made great contact with the ball into short right field, which was thisclose to being a hit.

great stuff last night.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I think Zim wants to be a part of the "turn-around", the long awaited resurgence as much as any other player. But I also think management should be cautious: they are seven games from reaching what should be a modest goal of 30 games under .500. Its not worth taking any sort of risk at all with Ryan Zimmerman.

Posted by: periculum | August 5, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say he was stinkin up the joint for 26 games, but for a week or 2 before he was sent lower in the order.
What was his average for the 13 games before, I ask again.

Posted by: alm1000 | August 5, 2009 3:51 PM

Sigh. Fine, here are Guzzie's numbers from the previous 13 games BEFORE he was moved down to the #6 slot (although I don't understand why you need the numbers from the previous 13 games as opposed to the previous 26 games that I had given. One would think 26 games is a better indicator as to whether someone was "stinkin up the joint" as opposed to only 13 games.):

Previous 13 games, batting mostly leadoff (4 games at #2):
AB .. R ... H ... 2B ... 3B .. HR .. RBI .. BB .. SO .. AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS
60 ... 5 ... 20 ... 2 .…. 1 .… 0 .…. 3 .… 1 ..… 7 ... .333/.344/.400/.744

Team record in these 13 games: 6-7

Still, not exactly "stinkin up the joint." This just shows me that Guzman is a much better hitter at the top of the lineup (either #1 or #2) than anywhere else.

Posted by: erocks33 | August 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Mo, I think he closes early during the week. best check first.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 5, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I respectfully disagree with you on Bergmann's AB, NatsNut. (I made this point in the wee hours today.) The Nats were down 3-0 in the 6th and Bergie was the lead-off hitter. It made absolutely no sense (and he ended up getting knocked out in the 7th, giving up a run, thanks to Villone). The miraculous outcome aside, you can't just give up an inning when you're losing by three runs that late.

Posted by: nats24 | August 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse


dclifer97 -- One final note on F. Robby's 2 GS game against the Senators: Frank came one out away from a chance to hit a 3rd slam in the 9th inn. I was there that night and the only reason my buddy and I stayed for the whole game was to maybe witness history. The O's had the bases loaded and 2 out but Paul Blair made the final out of the inning leaving Frank in the on-deck circle. At that time, we were getting killed and we really wanted to see him do it. I immediately thought about this game last week when Willingham hit the 2 slams.

Posted by: OldSkoolDiehard | August 5, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Positively Half Street !!! Hello!! I'd no idea you were still with us! - If you go to the Posts "help" page and send them an e-mail asking them to delete your account, you can then open another one - with your original, memorable and ingenious handle! No disrespect to Costello, a name that goes back to 4th century graveyards in Tipperary, and is covered in glory! I was just quoting you after the Pittsburg win - your unforgettable description of "that improbable, giddy feeling" that lasts all day after a Nats win. Wonderful to see that you're still here!

Posted by: flynnie2 | August 5, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope Kearn's trip to the DL is the team's way of saying goodbye while preserving his dignity. He is just not a major league ballplayer at this point.

Posted by: hz9604 | August 6, 2009 5:45 AM | Report abuse

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