The Washington Times - May 15, 2009, 05:41PM

Plenty of news to start this 11-game homestand, the longest of the season. Here it is, in bullet-point form:

—With his strained right shoulder still ailing, catcher Jesus Flores was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to May 10, as the Nationals recalled Josh Bard to get a second catcher on the roster while Flores is out. Manny Acta said Flores shouldn’t be out any longer than his 15 days. Bard will split time with Wil Nieves until Flores returns. The fact that the Nationals have four games in the next 48 hours meant they needed another catcher on the roster. “It’s getting better,” Flores said, “but if something happens to Wil, we can’t take the risk.”

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—The Nationals designated Logan Kensing for assignment, just over two weeks after the Florida Marlins did the same thing before they traded him to Washington. “We like Logan, and we hope he gets through waivers so he can stay in the system,” Acta said. “But the way our bullpen is, we can’t be hiding anybody.” Jesus Colome is back in Kensing’s place, and the Nationals hope he can have the same kind of success in middle relief he had in spring training.

—Mike Hinckley, who was designated for assignment on May 7, has cleared waivers and opted for free agency, the team announced today. Personally, that one surprises me a little bit. Hinckley had gotten some opportunities here as a left-handed specialist, and might have gotten another one. It’s hard to imagine there’s another team with as wide-open a bullpen picture as this one.

—Ryan Zimmerman held court with reporters this afternoon to discuss the end of his 30-game hitting streak. He said the only at-bat in the streak where he felt any pressure was the one in the ninth inning against the Giants on Wednesday, when he grounded into a forceout to snap the streak. “I wanted to continue it for other people,” Zimmerman said. “They had more fun with it than I did. It would have been fun to bring it back here.” Indeed, the fact that the streak reached its crescendo and then died with the team on a West Coast road trip couldn’t have worked out much worse for the Nats PR-wise. “We jinxed it. We were dying for him to get a hit,” Acta said. “He told me a few times, ‘I can’t wait to get home.’ It would have been nice for our fans to experience the streak, but he couldn’t get it done.”

That’s all the news for now. Back with more later.