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Lo Duca, Estrada both on DL tomorrow; Flores up, Dukes back

Never a dull moment.

As reported earlier, Paul Lo Duca has a broken bone in his right hand. Haven't talked to him yet -- he's sitting in the clubhouse watching Twins-White Sox and looking rather depressed with a cast on his right wrist.

But the other news: Johnny Estrada will also go on the disabled list with what they're calling "ulnar neuritis" in his right elbow. "I'm done trying to just battle through," Estrada said of his balky elbow, on which he had surgery in the offseason. "I've got to look out for what's best for me and my career." He also noted: "I'm throwing changeups to second base."

The rub: Jesus Flores will be recalled from Class AAA Columbus tomorrow. Haven't talked to Manny Acta yet, but I'm guessing he'll be the starter, with Wil Nieves a two-times-a-week backup, because the organization's plans have always called for Flores to play regularly regardless of what level he's at.

The other part: Elijah Dukes will be reinstated from the disabled list tomorrow as well. Dukes hit .238 (5 for 21) at Columbus while rehabbing his strained right hamstring suffered opening night.

Remember all that talk about whether Willie Harris or Rob Mackowiak or someone else would lose a job when Dukes came back? This is why it's always dangerous to predict things a couple weeks out.

More news when I get it.

By Barry Svrluga  |  May 8, 2008; 5:07 PM ET
 
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Next: More on the injuries, moves

Comments

Estrada can "worry about his career" on the DL all the way to the end of his contract, IMHO.

http://www.nationalspride.com/columnists/index.cfm?blog=mike

Posted by: NationalsPride Mike | May 8, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness - I hope they both heal, and have success in finding some other major league fanbase to torment with poor throws to second base and weak hitting.

Here's to a Flores/Nieves (Flowers and Snow?) tandem the rest of the year!

Posted by: Ryan Dylan | May 8, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Note the similarities

http://tinyurl.com/4u26ge

http://tinyurl.com/3kvjbk

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 8, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I had just posted on the previous note saying bring up Dukes and not Flores, but that was before two catchers were put on the DL. This ought to be good.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 8, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

You have to say that since you bought the jersey!

_________________________________________

Also, yet again, I am all for Milledge, right or wrong. I think I will be right.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 8, 2008 5:14 PM

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 8, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

506, you crack me UP.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 8, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

i don't think johnny bench or pudge would throw out many runners on this team, either. seriously, the pitchers give them almost no chance whatsoever. nieves has made some absolutely beautiful and quick throws, right on the bag, but still not gotten the guy out cuz he was halfway to 2b by the time the ball left the pitcher's hand.

Posted by: 231 | May 8, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, if there was ever a time when Capitol Punishment would have some hilarious and though provoking observations... followed by equally amusing comments, this would be it.

Posted by: Sec 314 | May 8, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Wiz medical staff is moon-lighting with the Nats during the summer... great....

Posted by: CN | May 8, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

231: I think you're right, but theoretically anyway, getting quicker to the plate is something the pitchers can work on. Sadly, Lo Duca and Estrada have been noodle-armed for a couple of years now and aren't likely to get any quicker.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan | May 8, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

very true, ryan. will they get better? until then, it's a moot point.

Posted by: 231 | May 8, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if a team has ever been more improved by two disabling injuries on the same day as the Nats just have.

Baseball reference THAT ONE

Posted by: RIP Gal Revels in Pee | May 8, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

506: you crack ME up, too.


Flowers & Snow! love it.


Anybody got a sewing machine and a seam ripper? Know where I can find some red, three-inch, polyester letters "F L E S"? Oh yeah, baby. Custom indeed.

http://tinyurl.com/5rabkv

Posted by: i hate walks | May 8, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Well I am guilty as charged because I posted numerous times that Mackowiak and harris would be the first to go. Though the unexpected does happen all predictions on roster movements are predicated on circumstances remaining static.

Posted by: lwhite | May 8, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone doubt that Nieves gives the team a better chance to win every game than does Flores? I realize that long term, they want Flores to get experience, but this team, while not destined for the playoffs, is not doing badly and it seems odd to me that Nieves is always the last option to catch when he consistently has been the best catcher on the team. Even if he reverts to form offensively, I stand by these thoughts.

Posted by: Slovington | May 8, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

So am I counting correctly when I say we have 6 4th outfielders as of tomorrow?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 8, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Are they going to have Kids run the Nats day this year...it's our next hope.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you ever see Johnny Bench play because I did and yes he would have thrown out some of these runners.....LoDuca has come close with his wet noodle arm; Bench makes Brian Schneider look like LoDuca. Bench had the likes of Lou Brock and Marry Wills, Joe Morgan running and still got them often enough.

Still your point is well taken that Acta seems to have run a very weak Spring training for pitchers' Fundamentals....Holding on runners, covering 1st base, bunting etc.

Posted by: JayB | May 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Slovington - depends to me what you mean by "every game" - Nieves is hitting pretty well right now in a small sample size, but so was Flores before he went down. So, I think if Flores hits to his capacity, no, then I disagree - Flores did a nice job of the "catch and throw" duties when he was back there last year, if the pitching staff can be believed. I think, though, that if "the offense reverts to form" (which I think you mean if it gets better - unless you mean stinks the joint out like last year!) then Nieves might be more palatable because you won't need as much offense from behind the plate. Still, though, this season is about the long-term. I'd rather lose 10 games now and figure out if Flores has what it takes or not to be an everyday ML catcher. Nieves was comfortable with the backup role behind Posada last year - I think he'd be a good backup for Flores and personal caddy for Lannan. If Flores wears down, then Nieves can catch a few games in a row, I think.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan | May 8, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, 506, I believe you're right in your count.

Can't say I'm sorry about the catcher situation. I wasn't a big fan of PLD but I actually felt sorry for him yesterday. With him and Estrada both on the DL, the Flores/Nieves combo should help the team defensively. (And I like Flores, but I have to agree with a poster above about Nieves always being the catcher of last resort right now.)

Posted by: samantha7 | May 8, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

yes, jayb, i saw bench play. yes, i was being a bit sarcastic, but honestly, not *too* sarcastic. because i've seen nieves make damn at least a few near perfect throws, right on the runner side of the bag, quick up and release, and still not get the runner out (and not always all that close, either).

Posted by: 231 | May 8, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"Jeez, if there was ever a time when Capitol Punishment would have some hilarious and though provoking observations... followed by equally amusing comments, this would be it."

Too bad, he's gone. Instead you get his old trolls like me hanging out over here now. Might as well get used to it...

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 8, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Dukes back from DL, we're now carrying basically SIX outfielders on the 25-man roster. Technically Harris can play 2nd, but he's really a LF defensive replacement at this point. Pena, Millege, Kearns, Dukes and Mackowiak all fighting it out for time.

I still think Mackowiak might get the axe if Manny decides he needs another bullpen arm. They've only got 11 pitchers right now.

Posted by: Sec131 | May 8, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

i think i'd like to see schroeder up and mackowiak somewhere else.

Posted by: 231 | May 8, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"So am I counting correctly when I say we have 6 4th outfielders as of tomorrow?"


No. Five and Austin Kearns.

Say what you will about his slumptacular batting average, he's an excellent outfielder. And although he missed catching the ball last night (perhaps because his coaches had him poorly positioned, that's an ongoing debate), he missed it while diving on his face in an effort to catch it. Would it have been just another out? Maybe. Would it have made the highlight reel? Unlikely. Go ahead and hate, but he's a Pro, that Kearns.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 8, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

They should be have 12 or 13 pitchers with this staff. Rob M needs to go as does WMP or Milledge depending on options.....I think having Milledge "learn the game" in AAA might be just the ticket.

Posted by: JayB | May 8, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

231,

I understand your point, but please do not try to say that Nieves and Bench arms are in the same leagues.....just sounds uninformed to me. Bench's arm was one of the best ever and he had a much quicker release than Nieves.....just a poor comparison.

Posted by: JayB | May 8, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm an AK guy too (and no, I don't have his jersey ....)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 8, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Bob L.-

Good one, but unfortunately I haven't even been to the park to buy a jersey. We have planned several trips, only to have them blown up by circumstances.

An Briosca Mor- You're no troll. You were one of the more insightful posters on Capitol Punishment. It's good to have you.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 8, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I will confess to being a "hater" when it comes to AK, probably just the residue from my general attitude toward his sponsor JimBo and my specific disgust with the way JimBo handled Church. But AK has on several occasions come through to make me look like a fool when I've put the badmouth on him, at RFK and even at the new park. If I thought it would help him achieve (note that I did not say regain) the form and level of play that many (well, JimBo, Sutton and some on this board) ascribe to him, I would badmouth him even more. But even if he "progresses to the mean," he's really not much more than a good 4th outfielder.

Would be really glad to be proven wrong.

Posted by: Litany of Disappointments | May 8, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

jayb, nowhere in my comments have i made any allusion to nieves being bench's equal. my point was that even bench (or pudge), who was better than anyone we have on our roster anywhere, wouldn't have gotten them. as noodley as loduca and estrada's arms are, they only bear partial blame for the SBs. and nieves has legitimate gripes with all of his pitchers for the ones he would have gotten if given even half a chance.

Posted by: 231 | May 8, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I hope for the best for Lo Duca and Estrada. May they heal, but more importantly, may they take all the time they need to heal properly. I love the tandem of Flores and Nieves. The future is now.

By the way, sad economic news on Channel 4. The cost of beer has risen 4% from a year ago due to the recession.

Posted by: 6th and D | May 8, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Kearns lover, not a hater. I'm just revising my expectations and expecting him as more of a .250 hitter, hot glove, which would be fourth outfielder on a top-notch team that I hope to have in three and three-quarters more years.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 8, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Lo Duca broke his hand while fouling a ball off the bat. The ball did not hit his hand. His hand just broke on a routine foul ball. Steroids!!!

His arm is terrible..Steroids

He can not hit...Steroids

Nice acquisition by the drunken GM Jim Bowden

Posted by: Stro | May 8, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of positioning of OFs (and our infamous "prevent defense"), does anybody know if we have an outfield coach per se? Seem to recall that Jose Cardenal was working with Soriano two years ago (at least in spring training) but don't know if he's still affiliated with the club. Even more to the point: who's been assigned to work with Milledge on improving his reads off the bat?

Posted by: CapPeterson | May 8, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Nieves and Flores split the time behind the plate (unless Lannan is pitching) - perhaps alternating nights or switch every third night. Gives them both a substantial opportunity to play and develop. I feel bad for LoDuca and Estrada but I think we are a better team without them (which is not something that could reasonably have been forcasted either). And, on a more personal level, it has troubled me that LoDuca always seems ready with a quote at hand. Go get them Snowflower!

Posted by: lowcountry | May 8, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. I can't forget what a breath of fresh air Flowers was last year. He was last year what Snow has been this year.

And I'm thinking he'll be so stoked to come back up, FULL-TIME no less, (HOORAY!!) that he'll get off his slump pretty quick.

I'm thrilled at this new development, I love Nieves, but Flores trumps him in my book.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 8, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

...
I thought it was so cute that Flores had his helmet painted like Schneider's last year. He seemed like such an eager but humble little sponge. And if he got anything, I mean anything from Schneider, it can only be good.

Posted by: NatsNut (Flores love, cont'd) | May 8, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Dukes back, Flores and Nieves. Now all we need is Young and Bergmann back and then I'll really feel like this is THE 2008 Nationals we're supposed to have.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 8, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

4-pitch walk?

Hey. Where is everyone?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 8, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

4-pitch walk followed by a strikeout. Thats strong.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 8, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

ewww thats a heinous looking outfield. Mackowiack and Harris playing on the same night. Oy.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 8, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

ewww thats a heinous looking outfield. Mackowiack and Harris playing on the same night. Oy.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 8, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"An Briosca Mor- You're no troll. You were one of the more insightful posters on Capitol Punishment."

I dunno. Chris Needham himself frequently called me a troll - which actually was the nicest thing I ever got called over there. So even though I've seen what you guys can do to frequent posters here, I think I can handle it.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 8, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Quiet here tonight... Charlie and Dave are railing the strike zone tonight. What's the over/under on how long this 1 run lead holds up?

Posted by: MKevin | May 8, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"By the way, sad economic news on Channel 4. The cost of beer has risen 4% from a year ago due to the recession."

That's why if a recession gets bad enough they call it a depression. Because if you can't afford to buy beer, you're gonna be pretty depressed!

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 8, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"By the way, sad economic news on Channel 4. The cost of beer has risen 4% from a year ago due to the recession."

That's why if a recession gets bad enough they call it a depression. Because if you can't afford to buy beer, you're gonna be pretty depressed!

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 8, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

looks like im not the only one having trouble with double posts tonight...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 8, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

nice job Willie!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

long enough to become a 2-run lead??

Posted by: 231 | May 8, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I chuckled. I'll nominate it for post of the night as a way to welcome An Briosca Mor to the neighborhood.
______________
That's why if a recession gets bad enough they call it a depression. Because if you can't afford to buy beer, you're gonna be pretty depressed!

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 8, 2008 8:35 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | May 8, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Boy, y'all are quiet tonight. Generally, I just lurk here, but I'll come out for a moment to toast our coming catching tandem: Jesus (welcome back) and Wil (you're my current favorite).

And another cheer for great defense by Rob M!

Posted by: dcbatgirl | May 8, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

so, the two *substitute" outfielders each connect for a dinger and Mack makes a POD catch to save the game from repeating the previous two...

Hmmm, Manny might be onto something here?

Posted by: N@sfan | May 8, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm up!

Posted by: New Post | May 8, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

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