By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 2, 2006
The Washington Nationals' eternal search for an everyday center fielder -- a quest that, thus far, has led them to start eight players there this season -- yesterday brought them former Detroit Tigers speedster Nook Logan, whom the Nationals acquired in a trade for a player to be named or cash considerations.
"Nook brings us speed and defense in [center field]," Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said in an e-mail response to a reporter's question.
The move came one day after the Nationals traded away veteran bench players Marlon Anderson and Daryle Ward, and was followed by the announcement that the team plans today to call up five minor leaguers -- right-handed pitchers Beltran Perez, Brett Campbell and Chris Booker, infielder Melvin Dorta and outfielder George Lombard. The Nationals' scheduled game last night against the Arizona Diamondbacks was rained out and rescheduled as part of a split-admission doubleheader today, with the games beginning at 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.
Yesterday's scheduled starters, Washington's Billy Traber and Arizona's Miguel Batista, are pegged to start the first game. Jason Bergmann and former Nat Livan Hernandez are scheduled to start the night game.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Nationals already lead the majors by having used 52 players this season, one more than the Cincinnati Reds.
Logan, a 26-year-old switch-hitter, stole 31 bases in parts of two big league seasons in Detroit, covering 508 plate appearances. But he lost the starting job this spring to Curtis Granderson and has suffered through an injury-marred season in the minors, which included a demotion from Class AAA to Class AA. Combined, he was hitting .218 with no homers, six RBI and 12 stolen bases in 39 minor league games.
Lombard, 30, is another speedy outfielder who will be making his return to the majors following a three-year absence; he was hitting .302 with 10 homers, 24 RBI and 19 steals for the Nationals' Class AAA team in New Orleans.