- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Outfielder Alex Escobar, whose once-promising career has been derailed by injuries, went back on the disabled list only two days after he was called up from the minors.

The Washington Nationals placed Escobar on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring. He will be out one to two weeks. He had three hits in eight at-bats since being called up from Class AA Harrisburg on Saturday.

“I wasn’t expecting this feeling the way I was physically,” said Escobar, who sat out all of last season with a fractured right foot. “This came out of nowhere. It’s very frustrating, especially when they bring you up here to help the team out a little bit. At least this time it isn’t that bad. It’s a minor injury.”

Escobar said he felt something pop in his hamstring while running out a groundball to short in the seventh inning of the Nationals’ 3-1 win Sunday over the Baltimore Orioles. Escobar didn’t notify the club’s training staff until just before yesterday’s game.

“Yeah, I was surprised to hear it, period,” Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. “Let us know yesterday. I’m looking at it as nothing more than a missed opportunity. He could use it.”

Utility infielder Damian Jackson started in center field last night. The club didn’t recall an outfielder from its farm system because right fielder Jose Guillen is expected to be back in the starting lineup tonight after missing the past five games with a strained right hamstring.

Escobar, who was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization, said he didn’t feel much pain after the game Sunday.

“Because yesterday it wasn’t sore,” Escobar said when asked why he waited so long to notify the training staff. “After the game it was just a little tight. Today is when I felt it the most.”

Schneider to Potomac

Catcher Brian Schneider will begin a rehab assignment tonight and tomorrow at Class A Potomac.

Schneider, who is on the 15-day disabled list, will be the Potomac Nationals’ designated hitter for the next two days. He is eligible to come off the DL on Friday.

Schneider won’t chance playing catcher for Potomac.

“I feel good. I’ve been catching here. I’ve been catching bullpens,” he said. “Catcher is a position where anything can happen at any time — to catch a foul tip or something. When I’m ready to play in two days, I don’t take that chance. That’s why I’ve been catching here.”

In another rehab assignment, right-hander Pedro Astacio will start Friday’s game for Potomac at the Salem Avalanche. Astacio opened the season on the DL with a strained right forearm.

Staff writer Mark Zuckerman contributed to this article.

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