NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

Pérez Will Miss Second Straight Start

By Chico Harlan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 13, 2008

PITTSBURGH, June 12 -- The Washington Nationals determined Thursday that Odalis Pérez, who had been scheduled to pitch Saturday against Seattle, will miss his second consecutive start with shoulder tendinitis. The team will recall a starter from Class AAA Columbus to take the left-hander's spot.

Pérez hasn't pitched since June 3, so if he's placed on the disabled list -- "a possibility," Manager Manny Acta said -- the transaction can be made retroactive to June 4. Tyler Clippard, the most likely replacement, started for Washington on Monday against San Francisco, allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings. Garrett Mock, who made a spot start Sunday, is another possibility.

Pérez believes he'll miss just one more start.

"I just want to be 100 percent ready to go," Pérez said. "I don't want to be pitching uncomfortable."

Dukes Hazy on the Details

Elijah Dukes wanted to talk about his Tuesday night argument with Acta only long enough to say that it wasn't worth talking about.

"We talked it out," said Dukes, who argued with Acta in the dugout after scoring on (and celebrating) Lastings Milledge's two-run homer. "We talked about it and that's it. We just had a conversation, really. We were just having fun. We probably went a little bit overboard, but that's not what [the disagreement] was about."

Dukes declined to elaborate.

Lo Duca to DH?

Paul Lo Duca, on a rehab assignment in Class A Potomac, likely will rejoin the Nationals soon -- perhaps in time for the series that begins Friday in Seattle, Acta said. Lo Duca began the season as the starting catcher, a job he likely has lost based on the emergence of Jesús Flores, 23.

If Lo Duca (fracture in his right hand) returns during the next six games, all at American League parks, he likely will get at-bats as a designated hitter. He'll have a harder time nudging Flores, batting .315, from his old spot. "I think it's pretty obvious what's going on," Acta said about the starting catcher's job.


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