The Washington Times - April 25, 2009, 12:31PM

We interrupt your day of saturated Redskins draft coverage for a few Nats news items:

—Josh Willingham will start tomorrow in left and Adam Dunn will play first base, part of the Nationals’ plan to get Nick Johnson a day off here and there. Johnson has played so well lately—and had the benefit of enough off-days—that the Nationals haven’t seen a need to take him out of the lineup. But tomorrow, he’ll get a break, with tough lefty Oliver Perez on the mound and the Nats’ next off-day still more than two weeks away. Hitting coach Rick Eckstein had plenty of good things to say, though, about the way Johnson’s swinging the bat, particularly on his homer last night. “He’s in a good position,” Eckstein said. “Power is a byproduct of comfort. He got a fastball out over the plate, and he put the barrel to the ball.”


—Dmitri Young is still at extended spring training working out, and acting general manager Mike Rizzo said he’s almost ready to go on a 20-day rehab assignment, which will probably happen at Class AAA Syracuse.

—Right-hander Terrell Young is still on a throwing program for his right shoulder inflammation. Rizzo said he’s still not able to pitch in games.

—Washington will find out on Tuesday if Steven Shell and Wil Ledezma cleared waivers. If both pitchers did, they’ll have three days to decided whether to accept their assignment at Class AAA Syracuse or get their outright release.

Now, the lineups:


Hernandez 2B

Johnson 1B

Zimmerman 3B

Dunn RF

Dukes CF

Willingham LF

Gonzalez SS

Nieves C

Cabrera P



Reyes SS

Murphy LF

Beltran CF

Delgado 1B

Wright 3B

Church RF

Santos C

Castillo 2B

Pelfrey P


OK, that’s all. You can get back to obsessing about Mark Sanchez.