By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 31, 2007
Major league rosters are allowed to expand from 25 to 40 tomorrow, and the Washington Nationals are likely to get two waves of reinforcements -- the first as early as tomorrow, the next after most minor league seasons are over on Tuesday. General Manager Jim Bowden said yesterday, via e-mail, "No decisions have been made, although discussed many times."
However, don't expect a flood of position players to be called up. Perhaps the two most likely are outfielders Ryan Langerhans and Justin Maxwell, players who would come at their promotions from completely different angles. Langerhans, acquired in a May trade with Oakland for outfielder Chris Snelling, hit .182 in 86 games for the Nationals before being designated for assignment Aug. 18.
Maxwell is only at Class A Potomac, but he has been hot there lately after hitting .301 for low-Class A Hagerstown. But at 23 he is older than most of the Nationals' best offensive prospects.
There are also a slew of pitchers who could provide some rest. Club officials said that when rookie lefty John Lannan was shut down -- and optioned to Class AAA Columbus -- he would return. Acta has said rookie lefty Matt Chico will return as well. Other candidates include several Columbus pitchers who have already spent time in the majors -- lefty Billy Traber (2-2, 2.21 ERA) and right-hander Winston Abreu (3-0, 1.20) -- as well as some who haven't been here, such as lefty Arnie Mu?oz (3-1, 2.72). First-round pick Ross Detwiler, who has thrown 11 scoreless innings his last two starts for Potomac, remains a possibility.
"He's going to bring over here a couple of extra arms, and it's going to help," Manager Manny Acta said of Bowden. "Whether it's going to help us win a game here or there, we have to see that. But the fact that it's going to give us an opportunity to rest some guys and to take a look at some guys to see if they can fit here for next year's plan, it'll help that way." . . .
Chad Cordero threw two scoreless innings in Thursday's 12-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, only his second outing of more than an inning this season and his first two-inning stint since Sept. 2, 2006, when he got the win in the first game of a doubleheader against Arizona. He picked up the save in the nightcap, giving him three innings in a day.