- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 29, 2007

Perhaps the Washington Nationals were waiting to see how last night’s starter, Jerome Williams, looked before making a roster decision.

Left-handed reliever Ray King was not activated off the 15-day disabled list yesterday even though he is eligible to come off the DL. The Nationals are planning to activate King today but currently are undecided on a corresponding roster move.

“We’re going to have to decide like we did in spring training,” manager Manny Acta said. “The guys that have options and stuff, probably.”

Acta said whatever collateral move the Nationals make for King will involve demoting another pitcher. Among the relievers, right-handers Ryan Wagner and Saul Rivera have minor league options left. However, both Wagner and Rivera have pitched well lately.

Wagner has thrown scoreless relief in four of his last five appearances. Rivera came up huge in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Mets. Entering in the sixth inning for rookie starter Matt Chico, Rivera worked out of a bases loaded jam, stranding all three runners.

“Yes, it will be a pitcher because I mean [Cristian] Guzman and [Nook] Logan are pretty close too,” Acta said.

Williams, who entered last night’s game 0-4 with a 7.77 ERA, has no options left. If the Nationals were to make a roster move with Williams, they would have to outright the right-hander and see if he clears waivers.

Williams, though, may have saved his job with his performance last night, tossing six shutout innings of one-hit ball against the New York Mets.

Schneider makes quick recovery

Backup catcher Jesus Flores started last night in place of Brian Schneider because the Nationals’ starting catcher was suffering from flu-like symptoms. But in the 12th inning, Acta inserted Schneider into the lineup as a pinch hitter for Wagner.

“He had a fever earlier in the day,” Acta said before the game. “He’s not feeling well.”

Schneider, though, struck out to end the game.

Guzman sees more action

Guzman played five innings at shortstop and went 1-for-3 at the plate in his second extended spring game in as many days while rehabilitating his strained left hamstring.

Guzman injured his left hamstring breaking out of the batter’s box on Opening Day and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 3. The Nationals would like to see Guzman play a full nine-inning game at shortstop at their extended spring camp in Viera, Fla., before activating him off the disabled list.

Minor league brawl

The Class A Potomac Nationals were involved in a benches-clearing melee with the Winston-Salem Warthogs on Thursday night in Winston-Salem, N.C. Potomac catcher Brian Peacock and pitcher Clint Everts were hospitalized overnight for observation.

Everts, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2002 draft, suffered a concussion after severe blow to his head and missed his scheduled start on Friday. Peacock suffered hairline fractures to the vertebrates in his lower back.

Everts is scheduled to pitch against the Warthogs on Wednesday at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va.

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