Nats May Not Have Seen the Last of Guzman

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 3, 2007

The Washington Nationals are hoping shortstop Cristian Guzman, out since June with torn ligaments in his left thumb, will return for the final two weeks of the season, General Manager Jim Bowden said yesterday.

"Can't tell you how soon he's ready," Bowden said. "But I hope for the last 10 days, two weeks, he'll be playing some. That's our plan."

Guzman, who missed the season's first five weeks with a hamstring strain, hit .329 in 43 games for the Nationals before hurting the thumb on a play at second base June 24 against Cleveland. He appeared well on his way to putting behind a miserable 2005, in which he hit .219, and a 2006 lost to shoulder surgery.

"It would be valuable to him to get some at-bats for next year," Bowden said. "He had a good year. It'd be nice to get a few swings and a few grounders heading into the offseason."

Guzman said yesterday that he shared Bowden's hope. He has thrown but has not fielded grounders. He took batting practice for the first time yesterday.

"I feel good, and I want to play," Guzman said. "We'll see."

Detwiler to Debut Soon

Several sources within the organization said first-round pick Ross Detwiler will be among those called up tomorrow, after the minor league season ends. Detwiler, a left-hander from Missouri State taken sixth overall, is 2-2 with a 4.42 ERA for Class A Potomac. The club apparently wants to give Detwiler a taste of the majors, though one source said it is almost certain he won't get a start.

Bowden would not address specific players who will be called up, but when asked if there were any pitchers from this year's draft who would be promoted, he said: "There's a possibility you'll see one pitcher in that category. It's possible. Maybe as early as Tuesday." . . .

Felipe Lopez's double in the ninth inning of yesterday's 2-1 win over San Francisco extended his modest hitting streak to six games, though he has just seven hits in that span. Lopez's average hasn't been above .252 since May 31.

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