By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 31, 2008
Washington Nationals left fielder Elijah Dukes left last night's 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves with a strained right hamstring, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list immediately after the game. Meantime, closer Chad Cordero -- whose absence was felt in the ninth inning, when the Braves came back to tie the game -- has tendinitis in his right shoulder and won't be available for at least a couple of days.
Dukes strained his hamstring March 14 in a spring training game, but he tested it and pronounced himself ready to go for the opener. He appeared to aggravate the injury running out a grounder in the fifth. Manager Manny Acta said Willie Harris would replace Dukes, already subbing for the injured Wily Mo Pe¿a, in left field today in Philadelphia.
Cordero said he felt a "sharp pain" while playing catch before the game. He had a cortisone shot.
"All of a sudden, I just got that pain, and it went down my arm," Cordero said. "Hopefully, it's only a couple of days."
Jon Rauch will close in Cordero's absence.
The Nationals also recalled right-handed reliever Chris Schroder from Class AAA Columbus.Washington Must Wait
Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig said last night that the Nationals have been persistent in their pursuit of a future All-Star Game, but that with so many new ballparks that have yet to host one, he can't commit to Washington yet.
The Lerner family, which owns the Nationals, wrote a letter to Selig soon after they took over ownership of the franchise in July 2006. Last night, Selig attended the opening of Nationals Park, which he called "remarkable."
"They certainly have let their intentions be known to me," Selig said. "We have enormous interest in cities wanting all-star games. They're lined up for years to come. I've got five more years [on his contract], but I don't want to hamstring the next three commissioners by awarding the all-star games.
"But they deserve one here, and we'll just have to figure that out. They do deserve one."
St. Louis's new Busch Stadium was awarded the 2009 event, and Anaheim, Arizona and the New York Mets are all interested in hosting future games. . . .
The Nationals signed middle infielder Ray Olmedo, who has played in 198 major league games with Cincinnati and Toronto, to a minor league contract. He adds depth at the system's weakest positions.