- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ATLANTA — Here comes the future. The Washington Nationals will bring up rookie third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from Class AA Harrisburg when teams are allowed to expand their rosters to 40 players today.

Zimmerman, 20, becomes the first of what is expected to be a flurry of minor league call-ups over the next few days by the Nationals. Zimmerman, whom the Nationals selected with the fourth pick overall in June’s baseball draft, joins the Nationals after hitting .337 (83-for-246) with 11 home runs, 21 doubles and 38 RBI combined at Class A Savannah and Harrisburg. Zimmerman will be the second player from this year’s draft to reach the big leagues, following Atlanta Braves’ rookie right-hander Joey Devine.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Zimmerman, the Nationals outrighted left-hander Matt White to Class AAA New Orleans.

Where’s Cruz?

Newly acquired shortstop Deivi Cruz was a no-show yesterday. Cruz, whom the Nationals acquired Tuesday in a trade with the San Francisco Giants, apparently missed his flight from the West Coast and won’t join the club until today.

Cruz, 32, was expected to be in Atlanta last night before the second game of the doubleheader. Following Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Braves, manager Frank Robinson indicated Cruz will become the Nationals’ regular shortstop, replacing Cristian Guzman.

Because the Nationals traded for Cruz on Tuesday, he will be eligible for the club’s postseason roster even though he is not yet with the team.

“He missed a couple flights, and I don’t have any idea where he is,” Robinson said.

Drese weighs surgery

If right-hander Ryan Drese decides to have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, he probably won’t be ready to pitch until after the beginning of next season and possibly not until June.

If Drese opts not to have surgery, he risks his shoulder never returning to normal. Drese is at home pondering his options and will return to Washington tomorrow when the Nationals return from Atlanta.

Drese went 3-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 11 starts with the Nationals after being claimed off waivers June 10 from the Texas Rangers.

“Usually for a labrum, you’re figuring six to eight months, so it would put us late spring training or early next season if he had it done now,” Nationals team physician Bruce Thomas said.

Shirts for everyone

Infielder Jamey Carroll presented T-shirts to the players yesterday in honor of veteran infielder Carlos Baerga.

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