Worlds of Hurt: Young, Escobar, Simontacchi

By Steve Yanda and Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 21, 2007

Amid a flurry of injury news released yesterday, the most significant item was a bruised left heel that kept Washington Nationals all-star first baseman Dmitri Young out of the starting lineup. Team officials said the injury occurred during the Houston Astros series earlier this week when Young ran out a ground ball to first and came down awkwardly on the bag.

General Manager Jim Bowden emphasized the injury was minor. "If we were in a playoff race, he'd be out there playing," Bowden said. "It's a day-to-day thing."

Young grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning last night against the Colorado Rockies.

One player dealing with a more severe prognosis is outfielder Alex Escobar. Expected to return to the big league club this weekend, Escobar instead is being sent to Viera, Fla., for treatment on his right shoulder. Manager Manny Acta said the move will allow Escobar to retain the five days he has remaining in his rehabilitation period.

"His arm has not made as much progress as we wanted," Acta said. "He's not throwing right now adequately enough to play up here."

Also yesterday, the Nationals placed starting pitcher Jason Simontacchi on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with right elbow tendinitis. The team is expected to call up right-hander Chris Booker from Class AAA Columbus on Sunday. Booker is 1-4 with 24 saves and a 3.83 ERA in 42 games out of the bullpen for Columbus.

Some Scouting Work

Scouting director Dana Brown and special assistant to the general manager Chuck LaMar were in Binghamton, N.Y., Thursday and last night, scouting the Class AA clubs of the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. Thursday, they saw Binghamton right-hander Kevin Mulvey, the Mets' second-round pick in the 2006 draft, throw six innings of five-hit, two-run ball.

Mulvey, who is 8-8 with a 3.12 ERA in his first full Class AA season, is the kind of prospect the Mets might include in a deal for bullpen help. Mets General Manager Omar Minaya drafted Nationals closer Chad Cordero and traded for setup man Jon Rauch when he was the GM of the Nationals' predecessors, the Montreal Expos.

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