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NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

No Trip to DL For Cordero, Not Just Yet

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By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

PHILADELPHIA, March 31 -- Washington Nationals Manager Manny Acta said the club is not yet considering putting closer Chad Cordero on the disabled list although he has tendinitis in his right shoulder and won't throw until Wednesday -- at the earliest.

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"Right now we're not even considering the DL -- yet," Acta said Monday, a day after Cordero felt pain in his right arm while warming up for the season opener against the Atlanta Braves. Cordero received a cortisone shot, and he was unavailable to close out what became a 3-2 win.

On Monday, Cordero said he hoped the shot would alleviate the pain. He also said he doesn't believe the problem caused him to lose velocity in spring training, something that scouts noticed.

"I don't think so, but you just never know," he said. "It might have been building up to where it was just going to give away. . . . I really don't think it did, because at that point, I wasn't trying to throw hard at all."

Chico Mixes It Up

The Matt Chico experiment continues. The left-hander, who is trying to restore his old windup while simultaneously retiring major league hitters, lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs in Monday's 11-6 win over Philadelphia. Those are mixed results from a mixed delivery.

"I kind of got lost mechanics-wise, was going back and forth between the new and the old," Chico said. "Couldn't really find it."

Chico might have been spared one of the runs, but in the fourth, center fielder Lastings Milledge broke back on a ball hit by Chase Utley, turning an out into a bloop single. Utley later scored. . . .

An MRI exam on left fielder Elijah Dukes confirmed he has nothing more than a strained hamstring, but his trip to the disabled list has a significant impact. The decision to recall reliever Chris Schroder from Class AAA Columbus -- in fact, Schroder was driving to Ohio with his wife when he received the call about 11:15 p.m. Sunday -- leaves Acta with a short bench. Willie Harris is now the starter in left, and that makes Rob Mackowiak the only reserve outfielder.

"You have to be a little more careful with the pinch-hitting situations," Acta said. He said the club considered bringing up outfielder Justin Maxwell before it recalled Schroder, who will help with bullpen depth in Cordero's absence.


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