- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2006

As of Wednesday, Washington Nationals second baseman Jose Vidro was ready to go on a rehab assignment today with the Class A Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge, Va. But before last night’s game against the Florida Marlins, Vidro’s immediate plans had changed.

“It’s not going to happen until probably Monday, until I feel that I’m ready to go, and I’m not going to push it, simple as that,” Vidro said. “The last time I did it, I ended up losing more games, so I’m not going to do it.”

Vidro has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 25 (retroactive to July 18) with a strained left hamstring. Vidro is eligible to come off the DL now, but isn’t ready yet.

“Where did you [reporters] get that from anyway?” Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. “I told you guys when you came and asked me and I said there wasn’t one [rehab assignment]. I don’t know where that came from.”

Both Vidro and manager Frank Robinson said Wednesday that today looked like the day when the former three-time All-Star would begin a rehab stint and then get activated sometime over the weekend.

“No setback,” Robinson said of Vidro’s injury. “It means that he is still here and working out. Until he goes on a rehab assignment, he is far away, yes.”

However, until Vidro returns to Robinson’s lineup, the Nationals second base job is being handled by committee. Minor league journeyman Bernie Castro started at second last night. Marlon Anderson and Damian Jackson are also seeing time at the position.

The switch-hitting Vidro is hitting .300 this season with six home runs, 16 doubles, and 33 RBI.

Guzman and the shortstops

Injured shortstop Cristian Guzman is rehabilitating his surgically repaired right shoulder in Georgetown. Guzman had a season-ending operation to repair a torn labrum May 8.

Last month, the Nationals acquired 26-year-old shortstop Felipe Lopez in an eight-player deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

“That’s OK for me because I’m not playing,” Guzman said. “So, whatever the team wants to do — bring in somebody else — that’s fine for me.”

Back in spring training before he was injured, the same question was raised to Guzman about the Nationals signing veteran shortstop Royce Clayton in the offseason. Guzman hit just .219 last year in 456 at-bats.

Guzman’s response to the question was that the club could “bring in Derek Jeter if they wanted.”

Roster move

The Nationals recalled right-hander Jason Bergmann from Class AAA New Orleans following last night’s game and gave center fielder Luis Matos his unconditional release.

In 26 games (four starts) with the Zephyrs, Bergmann was 8-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 601/3 innings. Bergmann fills the hole created by the Livan Hernandez trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks and will most likely start tomorrow’s game against the New York Mets.

Matos hit just .200 (3-for-15) in 14 games (one start) after the Nationals signed him as a free agent on July 14. Matos was hitless in his last four pinch-hitting appearances, including striking out twice with the bases loaded.

“I just [started] one game and they just decided it didn’t work out, so I just move on,” Matos said. “It’s hard when they release you, but I know something is going to come up better.”

Pitching potpourri

Injured right-handed reliever Felix Rodriguez is scheduled to make a rehab appearance Sunday with Potomac and then go to New Orleans, where he would be available to pitch Tuesday. … Rookie right-hander Shawn Hill, who has been on the DL with right elbow soreness, will start today for the Class AA Harrisburg Senators when they play at the Reading Phillies.

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