- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 2, 2006

Less than 24 hours after trading Marlon Anderson and Daryle Ward, the Nationals acquired center fielder Nook Logan from the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later or cash.

Logan, 26, is known for his speed and defense. After watching numerous center fielders struggle for the past two seasons — both at the plate and in the field — general manager Jim Bowden decided the Nationals needed a defensive stalwart to play center field.

“We like his speed and defense,” Bowden said. “He’s going from [the Tigers’] big-league club that’s in first place to our club that’s in last place. I expect him to play center field tomorrow in one of the two games. And I expect him to go run the ball down and catch the baseball.”

To make room for Logan on the 40-man roster, the Nationals outrighted reliever Kevin Gryboski to Class AAA New Orleans.

Logan’s weakness is his hitting. He opened the season at Class AAA Toledo, where he batted .185 with no home runs and four RBI and was sent down to Class AA Erie on June 28. Logan batted .247 in 20 games with no homers and two RBI in Erie.

Logan does not have a plate appearance this season with the Tigers. Last year was Logan’s first full major league season, and he batted .258 with 17 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 129 games. Logan was the Tigers’ regular center fielder for most of the first half of the season before his poor hitting cost him the starting job.

Meanwhile, by trading Anderson and Ward, Bowden is stockpiling pitchers for the future.

Bowden made the moves late Thursday night, and he particularly liked the trade of Anderson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 20-year-old pitching prospect Jhonny Nunez. The 6-foot-3 Nunez was undefeated (6-0 with a 1.58 ERA) in seven starts this season in the Gulf Coast Rookie League.

Bowden also acquired right-hander Luis Atilano from the Atlanta Braves for Ward. Atilano was the Braves’ first-round pick (35th overall) in the 2003 draft but had Tommy John surgery three weeks ago.

According to a team source, orthopedic surgeon James Andrews performed the surgery and told the Nationals that Atilano has just a partial tear in his right elbow and should be ready for 2008.

Rainout

It took tropical storm Ernesto to force just the second rainout at RFK Stadium in the Nationals’ two-year existence.

Last night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks will be made up today as part of a day-night doubleheader. The first game will start at 1:05 p.m., and the nightcap is at 7:05. Both teams will keep their pitching rotations intact.

Diamondbacks right-hander Miguel Batista (10-5, 4.46 ERA) is scheduled to face Nationals left-hander Billy Traber (3-3, 7.14) in Game 1.

Former Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez (10-11, 5.27) will start the nightcap for the Diamondbacks against Nationals rookie right-hander Jason Bergmann (0-1, 6.64).

Fans can exchange tickets to last night’s game for today’s afternoon game, or the tickets can be exchanged for any of the 17 home games left on the schedule.

Fans also may exchange tickets to last night’s game for comparably priced tickets for any home game next season, except for Opening Day.

September callups

The Nationals called up five players from the minors and will add them to the roster today now that rosters have increased to 40 players.

Outfielder George Lombard, infielder Melvin Dorta, right-handed starter Beltran Perez and right-handed relievers Chris Booker and Brett Campbell will have their contracts purchased today.

Lombard, who underwent abdominal surgery for a sports hernia earlier in the season, hit .302 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI in 62 games this season with New Orleans.

Lombard, 30, was in the Nationals’ spring training camp this past spring and is glad the team gave him another chance. Lombard said he played all three outfield positions this season for the Zephyrs.

“I’ve been around this game a long time. I thought I learned a lot this year and I definitely feel that I’m the best player I’ve ever been in this game,” said Lombard, who turned down a football scholarship from Georgia in 1994 to play baseball.

The Nationals brought up Perez from Class AA Harrisburg. Perez went 8-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 16 starts for the Senators after shifting from the bullpen on May 21. Booker went 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 19 games with New Orleans, and Campbell went 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 games at New Orleans.

Dorta spent the majority of the season in Harrisburg where he was an Eastern League All-Star. The Nationals called up Dorta for a two-game stint in July and he went 0-1 in his only plate appearance in his first callup.

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