- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 10, 2005

PHILADELPHIA — The Washington Nationals’ ongoing injury carousel took a strange spin yesterday.

Second baseman Junior Spivey will be out eight to 12 weeks after breaking his right forearm during batting practice after a ball ricocheted off a support pole in the batting tunnel at Citizens Bank Park and struck him.

X-rays taken at the stadium revealed a fracture. Spivey will undergo surgery tomorrow morning at Washington Hospital Center with Wiemi Douoguih, the Nationals’ orthopedic surgeon, performing the procedure.

The Nationals will not immediately place Spivey on the disabled list, preferring to wait until after the All-Star break to make a move.

Spivey, acquired in a June10 trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for disgruntled right-hander Tomo Ohka, will become the third Nationals player to sustain a broken right forearm and the 20th player the club will have put on the DL.

“I was hitting off the tee, [the pole] was right there and the ball just shot back at me,” Spivey said. “I took a hard swing [afterward] and felt it pop. It’s frustrating. I can’t even describe how I feel right now.”

Spivey, a sure-handed infielder, had filled in at second base until regular Jose Vidro returned from the DL last week. He had two game-winning hits for the Nationals and was batting .232 overall with seven home runs and 24 RBI.

Meanwhile, infielder Tony Blanco was unavailable for yesterday’s game with an inner ear infection and probably will miss today’s series finale at the Philadelphia Phillies. Blanco first started experiencing symptoms Wednesday at RFK Stadium, when he was available only to pinch run.

Now Blanco, a Rule 5 draftee, is complaining of dizziness and blurred vision. If his condition doesn’t improve during the break, he could land on the 15-day disabled list. Blanco is hitting .250 in 44 at-bats, mostly as a pinch hitter.

Frank’s All-Star feelings

Manager Frank Robinson blames the Nationals’ front office for not getting the word out when it came to the National League’s All-Star voting. None of the team’s field players was even on the radar screen after the final fan vote. Vinny Castilla, 38, was the highest vote-getter, finishing seventh among third basemen with 514,911.

“None of our players showed up in the, what, top 10 or 15, which is our fault,” Robinson said. “It’s our front office’s fault, and it’s our fans’ fault. We didn’t get out and push these kids and vote for them. We didn’t promote them as a ballclub.”

Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez and closer Chad Cordero, who leads the majors in saves with 31, will be the only Nationals in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in Detroit. Hernandez and Cordero were selected for the NL All-Star team by other players.

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