Soreness in Simontacchi's Arm Remains

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 2, 2007

Injured Nationals starting pitcher Jason Simontacchi hopes that a visit today to the Birmingham, Ala., office of orthopedic surgeon James Andrews will explain why the soreness in his right arm has yet to subside.

The Nationals placed Simontacchi on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis shortly after he took the loss in a 5-3 defeat at Florida on July 15.

"I don't know what's going on with it," said Simontacchi, who is 6-7 with a 6.37 ERA in 13 games this season. "It hasn't gotten any better, it hasn't gotten any worse."

Simontacchi said he got a cortisone shot before he landed on the disabled list. Once he was on the DL, Simontacchi said he rested several days before throwing, but the soreness in his elbow remained.

"He felt something before," Manager Manny Acta said. "But it wasn't anything serious."

Simontacchi, 33, hasn't thrown since last Wednesday.

"It's still sore," he said. "I'm just trying to figure out what's causing it."

Andrews is scheduled to run several tests on Simontacchi's elbow. The pitcher is scheduled to return the team before game time today.

"We'll go from there, depending on what Dr. Andrews has to say," Acta said.

Marrero Honored

Outfielder Chris Marrero was named the top hitting prospect in both the Class A Carolina League and lower-A South Atlantic League in a survey of minor league managers by Baseball America.

The Nationals selected Marrero in the first round (No. 15) of the 2005 first-year player draft. He is batting .290 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI in 97 games between Potomac and Hagerstown.

July Is a Winning Month

With Tuesday's 6-3 victory against the Reds, the Nationals finished July with a 14-12 record, the first time the team had a winning month since going 15-14 in September/October 2006. "It's a sign of progress," Acta said.

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