Day Feeling Optimistic About Arm

By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 26, 2005

Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Zach Day, who was placed on the disabled list May 31 with a fractured right radius, said his arm feels 100 percent and that he expects to go on a rehabilitation assignment shortly after he throws a simulated game Tuesday.

Day, who threw on the side yesterday, was hit on the wrist by a line drive off the bat of Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr. on May 23.

"My arm strength felt better than it has in a while," Day said. "The ball is coming out of my hand really good. . . . I had time to think about things in the two weeks while I was off and I just tried to get back to when I was feeling good."

Day said the period at the end of May when he was nearly traded to the Florida Marlins was "wild." The 27-year-old said the move was "pretty close" to happening, adding that he has always liked playing for the Nationals and that he needs to do a better job on the mound.

Robinson Tied for Last in Poll

Nationals Manager Frank Robinson said a recent Sports Illustrated poll that rated league managers was a "popularity poll."

Robinson and Texas Rangers Manager Buck Showalter were tied as the worst manager in baseball, according to 450 players polled in spring training.

"Buck and I are not two of the worst managers in baseball," Robinson said. "And I will leave it at that. I don't worry about polls." . . .

Outfielder Ryan Church did not play for the second consecutive game last night and remains day-to-day with a bruised left shoulder.

Should the rookie not play today, he would have five days of rest because the Nationals were off Thursday and do not play tomorrow.

Church suffered the injury when he collided with the outfield wall after making a diving catch to preserve a 5-4 victory at Pittsburgh on Wednesday. . . .

The Nationals held a team meeting before last night's game.

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