The injury-riddled Washington Nationals settled yesterday on rehabilitation assignments for two disabled list players, sending first baseman Nick Johnson and outfielder Ryan Church to Class AA Harrisburg for games over the weekend.
Shortstop Cristian Guzman continues to improve from his strained hamstring, and General Manager Jim Bowden said, "Our goal right now as an organization is try to get these guys that have these lingering injuries 100 percent for the first game after [next week's] all-star break."
Johnson, who hasn't played since June 26 because of a bruised heel, threw and hit yesterday and will play for Harrisburg on Sunday and Monday. Church, who hasn't played since running into the outfield fence June 22 in Pittsburgh, is scheduled to play Friday through Monday.
Byrd Has Hearing
Outfielder Marlon Byrd had a hearing in front of MLB Executive Vice President John McHale regarding his appeal of a two-game suspension resulting from a collision with umpire Joe Brinkman on June 4. Bowden, Manager Frank Robinson and assistant general manager Tony Siegle joined Byrd and players association official Bob Lenaghan, while MLB's vice president for on-field operations, Bob Watson, presented the league's case and the umpires' reports. McHale likely won't make a decision on whether to reduce Byrd's suspension until after the all-star break.