Nationals Notebook

Young, an All-Star in 2007, Likely Finished With Club

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, July 27, 2009

Dmitri Young's tenure with the Washington Nationals began in 2007 with a career-reviving comeback. Now, his time with the team will end, it appears, after his latest comeback attempt was cut short because of injury. Young, 35, who had been on an extended rehab assignment this month with Class AA Harrisburg, tore his left quadriceps in a game on July 18. The injury will end his season and, presumably, his time with the Nationals. Young's current two-year, $10 million contract expires at the end of the year.

Young has since returned home to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he is rehabbing and spending time with his children. The first baseman said in a text message on Sunday he is "preparing myself 4 next year sumwhere."

Young crammed a career's worth of triumphs and setbacks into his three seasons with Washington. Signed off the scrap heap in February 2007, Young parlayed that long-shot chance into an all-star season. He played in 136 games, hit .320, and authored one of the most endearing stories in baseball. He also earned himself a contract the franchise would come to regret.

In the middle of a lackluster 2008, Young lost control of his diabetes, experiencing blurred vision and dizziness. He missed the rest of the year as he fought his disease. This year, though his diabetes wasn't a problem, nagging injuries kept him from the major leagues. He dealt with hip and back problems, only beginning his rehab assignment on June 26. In 10 games with the Senators, Young was hitting .241 with no homers and two RBI.

Partial Work Day for Morgan

Willie Harris started in center field for the Nationals on Sunday, taking over for Nyjer Morgan, who reported slight tightness in his left hamstring. As a precautionary move after a late night on Saturday, interim manager Jim Riggleman sat Morgan for Sunday's afternoon game, to give him rest before the Nationals embark on an eight-game road trip.

Morgan flied out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and had a bunt single to lead off the 10th before scoring the winning run.

"Nyjer is fine, he's just a little tight," Riggleman said. "Last night I checked with him after the game and he said, 'I'm all right, but I just kind of feel there's a little something there,' and after a short turnaround today, we're going to hopefully get him back 100 percent tomorrow."

The final out of Saturday night's 13-1 victory over San Diego was recorded at 12:57 a.m., after a rain delay in the second inning suspended play for 3 hours and 11 minutes. Many of the players did not leave Nationals Park until the wee hours of Sunday morning, and they had to be back at the stadium by 11 a.m. for Sunday's 1:35 p.m. start in the series finale.

"I'm tired, that's for sure," Harris said. "Here [in the clubhouse] I'm tired because I'm not doing anything, but once I get moving, I'll be ready to go."

Harris played in center for eight innings; Morgan came in to pinch-hit for pitcher John Lannan. After his flyout to center field, Morgan came in to play center field in the ninth inning, while Harris moved to left field as Adam Dunn was taken out of the game. Austin Kearns also replaced Josh Willingham in right field.

Morgan had said before the game that he was ready to play whenever Riggleman needed him.

"It's nothing major," he said. "I want to be out there, I don't like sitting on the bench."

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