As many of you saw tonight (not including myself, as I didn't have power), Lastings Milledge went down with a groin injury trying to make a play on a line drive (that ended up an Alex Cintron triple). The Nats announced he was going to the 15-day DL and Harrisburg's Roger Bernadina would be his replacement. Tough break for L-Millz and his Center Field Thrillz, but that's really the Nats' luck as of late. (edit: Chico Harlan says about Milledge in Nationals Journal: "Headed to the DL; Lastings Milledge, who injured his right groin. He'll be out 2-4 weeks."), so not as bad as I thought. Wonder if 2-4 weeks will beocme 4-6 though, with our awesome training staff!
The only good news that comes out of it: Bernadina gets a shot. The 24-year-old has spent 7 years in the Nats system after being signed at 18 out of the Netherlands Antilles (aka Curacao, I believe). He's pulling a line of .325/.397/.475 in AA right now (with a career line of .292/.364/.414 in 636 at bats in AA and .258/.343/.375 overall) and is a good baserunner (career 77% base stealer, 75% in AA, 26/35 this year). He looks to me like a lefty version of Milledge, but with a little less power and a little better defense.
Good news: Austin Kearns is said to be back next week, which will (thank goodness) keep Pena/Harris/Lo Duca/Casto out of LF as much as possible (my dad keeps saying they're "showcasing" Lo Duca in LF to boost his trade value. It makes sense, as there are some really stupid GM's out there. Apparently versatility is in the eye of the beholder). Nationals.com says that Dukes will shift back to LF (even though I think they should stick him in CF, as he's more likely to be a full-time ML CF in the future than Roger Bernadina, who I think will end up as a Tom Goodwin-like player...#4 OF, #1 pinch runner, defensive replacement). I'm a little afraid Bernadina will end up like Brandon Watson, but I'll put a little more faith in him.
Great news: Collin Balester is going to make the start on Tuesday against the Marlins. The 22-year-old righty has a 9-3 record and a 4.00 ERA in AAA Columbus this year. Hopefully, he'll never see AAA again! It's good to see Balester and Bernadina finally get a chance (unfortunately at the expense of starters Shawn Hill and Milledge), but sometimes you have to lose someone for a while to find out who is really a contender from the minors rather than a pretender. The Nats have room on the 40-man (space was made when Nick Johnson was put on the 60-day DL), but no room on the 25-man roster. Top candidates to be sent down/outrighted: Pete Orr, Jesus Colome. The dark horse is obviously Fail-ipe, who is destined to be traded to the Dark Side tomorrow night or Monday.
Yesterday, the Dark Side Bird tripped Teddy in the Presidents Race. Tonight, Teddy beat the Dark Side Bird in an "unsanctioned race" (meaning the Nats can stretch out the misery of Teddy until they feel like giving him a win).