» This Story:Read +| Comments
NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

Tough Roster Decisions Await Acta

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 27, 2008

A day after backup catcher Wil Nieves won a game with his first major league home run, Paul Lo Duca, the Washington Nationals' starting catcher, took batting practice for the first time since he was hit by a pitch on his right hand April 13. With Lo Duca feeling better and headed for a rehabilitation assignment Monday, the Nationals will face the first in a series of decisions about their roster.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

"Absolutely, we have to find spots for those guys," Manager Manny Acta said. "We're going to have to make tough decisions down the road."

In order to keep Nieves, who has drawn raves for his defense and was hitting .350 before last night's game against the Chicago Cubs, the Nationals would have to carry three catchers -- Nieves, Lo Duca and Johnny Estrada. While that seems unlikely, Acta said, "There is always a possibility of everything."

The Nationals will also have to make a decision when outfielder Elijah Dukes, who went 0 for 2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch yesterday for Class A Potomac, recovers from his strained right hamstring. Rob Mackowiak is just 1 for 16 thus far and could be a candidate to lose his roster spot. And eventually, first baseman Dmitri Young will return from his sprained lower back, though that date is further away.

"I'm not pushing it," Young said yesterday. "I'm not going out there till I'm 100 percent."

Lo Duca said he will start a rehab stint with Potomac Monday, and Acta said it will likely only take him three or four games to get ready.

"I'm ready to get back on the field and start playing," Lo Duca said. "It's a little boring on the bench."

Peña Gets His Ring

Wily Mo Peña, acquired in a trade with Boston last August, received his World Series ring from the Red Sox in the mail yesterday. The Sox had invited him to their ring ceremony earlier in the month, when Peña was on the disabled list, but he opted to stay in Viera, Fla., to recover from a strained oblique muscle.

"I got a ring," Peña said, smiling. "Hopefully, we get one here soon."


» This Story:Read +| Comments

More in the Nationals Section

Nationals Journal

Nationals Journal

Adam Kilgore keeps you up-to-date with every swing the Nationals make.

Stadium Guide

Stadium Guide

Take an interactive tour of the district's newest stadium, Nationals Park.

Baseball Insider

Baseball Insider

Dave Sheinin reports the latest MLB news and examines the game's nuances.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity