- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Second baseman Jose Vidro’s strained left hamstring might have prevented him from being traded.

The Washington Nationals placed Vidro on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, retroactive to July 18, and recalled infielder Bernie Castro from Class AAA New Orleans.

Vidro’s name had been mentioned in trade rumors, with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets reportedly the most interested in acquiring the three-time All-Star.

“We don’t trade injured players,” Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. “We want to get our players healthy, regardless of who they are. You don’t trade injured players. I’m always upfront and honest with GMs I’m talking to on their health. That’s the only way you can do business.”

Vidro, who played just 87 games last year because of knee and ankle injuries, will be examined today in Cincinnati by Tim Kremchek, the Nationals’ senior medical consultant and Reds medical director.

With less than a week until the trading deadline, Vidro said he hadn’t put much thought into getting dealt.

“It’s not something that I was looking forward to, but it’s not something that I was really concerned about because if it happens, it happens,” Vidro said. “I have eight to 10 teams that they can trade me to and I chose the teams that I don’t want to. … It’s not any of my concern. If I was playing, it would probably be a different story.”

Vidro, 31, attempted to work out before last night’s game but was unable to run.

“Definitely, it’s going to help me,” Vidro said of going on the DL. “It’s been seven days already. The worst thing is if I go out and try to play tomorrow and I’m hurt, we lose another 15 days.”

He is hitting .300 with six home runs and 33 RBI and 16 doubles in 90 games. Vidro injured himself last Monday in Miami against the Marlins and has sat out the last six games.

Meanwhile, Castro is hitting .284 (76-for-268) with two home runs, 25 RBI and 22 stolen bases this season for the Zephyrs. Considered one of baseball’s fastest players, Castro has stolen 40 or more bases at the minor-league level six times, including a career-high 79 in 2001.

Castro will back up Marlon Anderson at second base while Vidro is out.

Guillen’s surgery

Outfielder Jose Guillen underwent successful reconstructive elbow surgery yesterday. The Nationals’ right fielder had the Tommy John procedure performed by orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

Guillen, whose ulnar collateral ligament was completely torn, will return to his Miami home and begin a physical therapy program in two weeks. Guillen is out for the rest of the season, after which he becomes a free agent.

“Tommy John surgery can be eight months. It can be 12 months. It can be 15 months. It can be two years. It’s different with everybody,” Bowden said.

Guillen, who battled myriad injuries, including chest, shoulder, wrist and hamstring problems, batted just .216 in 69 games with nine home runs and 40 RBI.

Escobar’s status

Center fielder Alex Escobar remains day-to-day with a mild right hamstring strain.

In 42-at bats since being called up from Class AA Harrisburg on May 20, Escobar has hit .429 with three home runs, two doubles, one triple and 12 RBI. On Saturday against Chicago, Escobar had a pinch-hit two-run homer in the sixth inning of a 7-3 win. Escobar limped noticeably all the way around the bases.

“I’m feeling good, but again I don’t know how long it’s going take,” Escobar said. “I haven’t done anything after that.”

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the https://www.washingtontimes.com/sports>Sports Page

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