The Washington Times - May 29, 2008, 03:19PM

While Ben will have his own minor league story in tomorrow’s paper, this report comes straight from the mind and laptop of Nats PR man Bill Gluvna.

Mark Zuckerman



This Week’s Top Headlines
MARCO…POLO!: RHP Marco Estrada is 5-0 with a 1.03 ERA (4 ER/34.2 IP) and a .176 (22-for-125) batting average against in his last 6 starts…he tossed his first professional complete-game shutout, striking out 7 in a scheduled 7.0-inning game* Tuesday vs. Akron (Indians)…Estrada, selected in the 6th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, ranks among Eastern League leaders in ERA (2nd, 2.14), wins (t-2nd, 6) and strikeouts (9th, 48)…the 24-year-old has allowed 2 earned runs or less in 8 of 10 starts…he has surrendered just one home run in 54.2 innings overall.
* Per minor league guidelines for a doubleheader, the game was only scheduled for 7.0 innings
ARE YOU MOCKING ME?: RHP Garret Mock allowed one run and 2 hits, striking out 9 and walking one in a season-high 7.0 innings last night vs. Louisville (Reds)…Mock owns a 2.29 ERA (12 ER/47.0 IP) in his last 8 starting assignments beginning April 17…he has struck out 37 and walked 7 (5.2 SO/BB ratio) in that span…Mock, 25, is 2-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 10 starts overall…Mock was acquired from Arizona with LHP Matt Chico in exchange for RHP Livan Hernandez, August 7, 2006.
Triple-A Columbus Clippers
International League West Division
29-25, 3rd Place, 4.0 Games Back
PAPER CLIP-PARD: RHP Tyler Clippard is 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA (7 ER/34.0 IP) in his last 6 starts, after going 0-3 with a 7.32 ERA (16 ER/19.2 IP) in 4 starts to begin the season…he earned the win Sunday vs. Buffalo (Indians), allowing just 3 hits in 6.0 shutout innings, fanning 6 and walking one…his 53 strikeouts pace Washington farmhands and rank 8th in the International League…Clippard, 23, was acquired in the off-season from the Yankees in exchange for RHP Jonathan Albaladejo…he is scheduled to make his next start tomorrow at Buffalo.
KORY’S STORY: OF Kory Casto earned Offensive Player of the Week honors for the period of May 19-25, hitting at a .500 (12-for-24) clip with 3 doubles, 2 homers and 10 RBI in 6 games…he recorded multi-hit performances and drove in at least one RBI in 5 of those 6 contests…Casto missed 36 games after undergoing successful surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his right hand…overall, the 2-time (2005, ‘06) Nationals Minor League Player of the Year is batting .318 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI in 17 games.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Southern Division
30-21, 2nd Place, 1.0 Game Back
COCA-(ZINI)COLA: In a combined 17 appearances with Harrisburg and Potomac, RHP Zech Zinicola is 4-2 with a 1.16 ERA and an organization-best 8 saves…overall, he has struck out 25 in 23.1 innings…the 23-year-old, is  a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities since making the jump from Potomac May 3…Zinicola was selected in the 6th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University.
ROGER THAT: OF Roger Bernadina leads the EL and Washington farmhands with 17 steals…the left-handed-hitting 23-year-old is 21-for-59 (.355) with 9 extra-base hits (3 doubles, 5 triples, a homer) and 14 RBI in his last 16 games…Bernandina, who appeared in 3 spring training games with the Nationals this year, is batting .319 with 7 triples, 3 homers and 29 RBI in 48 games overall.
ARE YOU FOR REAL, OR MARTIS-ING ME?: RHP Shairon Martis is 3-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts…in his last 3 starts for the Senators, he has posted a 1.68 ERA (3 ER/16.0 IP)…Martis, 21, was acquired from San Francisco in exchange for LHP Mike Stanton, July 28, 2006.
Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
32-19, First Place, 4.0 Games Ahead
ROSS IS BOSS: LHP Ross Detwiler struck out 9 in 6.0 innings to earn the win Sunday vs. Salem…he has struck out 18 in 10.0 innings over his last 2 starts…Detwiler, Washington’s top pick (6th overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, has won each of his last 3 decisions, and is 4-2 with 50 strikeouts in 45.1 innings overall…the 22-year-old, who became the first player from the 2007 First-Year Player Draft to reach the big leagues, will make his next scheduled start tomorrow vs. Kinston (Indians).
HEATING UP: OF Chris Marrero is hitting .310 (18-for-58) in his last 15 games, after hitting .210 (26-for-124) in 34 games to begin the season…he has 2 home runs and 5 RBI in the last 3 games…Marrero has 8 homers (4th in the CL) and 25 RBI in 49 games overall…the 19-year old, who entered the season as the Nationals’ top prospect according to Baseball America, has 31 home runs and 129 RBI in 196 career games as a professional. 
YO, ADRIAN: RHP Adrian Alaniz is 7-0 with a 2.72 ERA and a .212 BAA in 10 starts overall…the 24-year-old has earned the win in each of his last 5 starts, striking out 27 in 27.0 innings…he leads the Carolina League in wins, and ranks among league leaders in ERA (6th) and strikeouts (t-6th, 49)…Alaniz, who was a New York-Penn League midseason All-Star in 2007, was selected in the 8th round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Texas.
Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
27-25, 5th Place, 6.5 Games Back
MAKE WAY FOR THE KING: INF Stephen King, a 3rd round selection from the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, has hit safely in 20 of 23 games overall, batting .351 with 17 runs scored, 2 home runs and 14 RBI…the 20-year-old is 20-for-47 (.425) with 5 doubles, a home run and 10 RBI in the last 11 games…he has just 18 strikeouts through 23 games this season, after striking out 35 times in his first 23 games last season.
MIC(HAEL) CHECK: OF Michael Burgess paces the South Atlantic League with an organization-best 11 home runs…Burgess, Washington’s 3rd selection (49th overall) in the 2007 draft, is hitting .352 (25-for-71) in 16 games beginning May 12, raising his average from .207 to .260…he has 6 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers and 15 RBI in that span…the 19-year-old has tallied 23 extra-base hits (9 doubles, 3 triples, 11 home runs) and 35 RBI in 49 games overall.
THE CAT IN THE HAT: OF Aaron Seuss has posted a multi-hit effort in 7 straight games…he is 17-for-36 (.472) with 6 doubles and 10 RBI during the 7-game tear…the 23-year-old, whom the Nationals selected in the 27th round last June, is batting .304 with 17 doubles, 6 homers and 33 RBI in 47 games…last season, he was a New York-Penn League midseason All-Star.