The Washington Times - March 13, 2009, 05:31PM

I’m here at Osceola County Stadium for tonight’s Nationals-Astros tilt, or the Let’s-Get-This-Out-of-the-Way-and-Board-a-Bus-to-Port-St.-Lucie-in-the-Morning Classic. Not much to be interested in with the Nationals‘ lineup (Elijah Dukes and Ronnie Belliard are the only regulars), but there are a few notes:

—Dukes is in center tonight, and while it’s possible to read into that somewhat, it doesn’t sound like anything more than giving someone else a look there in the event that Lastings Milledge can’t play.


Shawn Hill‘s bullpen session went fine today, and unless he experiences any pain tomorrow, the Nationals will try to work him in on Monday against the Marlins. Randy St. Claire said Hill threw all of his pitches (his total workload was 30-35 pitches) and will get “an inning here or there” to start.

—Jesus Flores will test his injured elbow tomorrow by throwing, though he won’t let it fly, Acta said. Dmitri Young is also doing better with his stiff back, but Acta said the next step for the injured first baseman would be some at-bats against minor leaguers before appearing in a game.

—John Lannan will also pitch against the minor-leaguers tomorrow, so that the Nationals can get a look at Shairon Martis against the Mets, who should look markedly different as their Dominican players start to come back from the World Baseball Classic.