Acta looks safe through Thursday

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NEW YORK | The Manny Acta watch apparently will continue for at least another day - and possibly through Thursday or longer.

The Washington Nationals did not announce the firing of the third-year manager Monday, and a team spokesman said Acta was in New York for the start of the Nationals’ three-game series against the Yankees on Tuesday.

If Acta is not let go before Tuesday night’s game, it would stand to reason he will survive at least through the Yankees series, rather than handing the reins over to bench coach (and prospective interim manager) Jim Riggleman in the middle of what might be the Nationals’ toughest road series of the year.

Reports surfaced this past weekend that the Nationals were set to fire Acta, possibly as soon as Monday. Team president Stan Kasten did not confirm or deny the reports Saturday and only said he is “troubled” by the team’s record, a major league-worst 16-45.

Zimmerman second

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is second among third baseman in NL All-Star balloting, according to the latest update released Monday. But he has some work to do to secure a starting spot for the July 14 contest in St. Louis.

Mets third baseman David Wright had 1,256,736 votes as of the ballot release, putting him more than 330,000 ahead of Zimmerman. But the 24-year-old still could be on track to make his first All-Star appearance, regardless of the voting. He appears to have the inside track to be the Nationals’ representative at the game; he is hitting a career-high .310 with 12 homers and 42 RBI, and he gained plenty of attention with his 30-game hit streak this season.

Olsen goes three

Left-hander Scott Olsen pitched three innings at Class AAA Syracuse on Sunday, the latest step in his bid to return from left-shoulder tendinitis that has kept him out for a month.

Olsen gave up two runs on four hits while striking out two and walking two. Acta has said the Nationals want Olsen to throw five innings in a rehab start before activating him from the 15-day disabled list.

16 picks

The Nationals announced they have signed 16 more picks from last week’s draft, most notably third-round pick Trevor Holder, a right-hander from the University of Georgia.

High school shortstop Michael Taylor, the team’s sixth-round pick, also signed, as did ninth-rounder Taylor Jordan, a right-hander from Brevard Community College in Florida.

Washington has signed four of the first 10 players it selected last week.

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