- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nook Logan met confused catcher Gregg Zaun when the outfielder stepped to the plate during the Washington Nationals’ weekend series in Toronto.

Logan was hitting right-handed, and on the mound was Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

“Zaun said, ‘You’re not switch-hitting anymore,’ ” Logan recounted yesterday at RFK Stadium. “He didn’t know.”

Indeed, the center fielder gave up hitting from the left side two weeks ago, a relatively unusual decision during the middle of a season. It has left him in a platoon with the left-handed hitting Ryan Langerhans.

Logan, who was hitting .215 entering last night’s game and owned an on-base percentage of .253, struggled to a .189 average and .231 on-base average from the left side. He has had only a few righty-against-righty appearances since the switch, notably the start against Halladay when he struck out three times — including once when he saw seven straight sinkers.

“I feel comfortable up there,” said Logan, who started last night against Detroit lefty Mike Maroth in his first game against his former team. “I just drew one of the best guys. If I had my pick, it wouldn’t have been him. But you have to go out there when you’re name is in the lineup. I’m not afraid.”

He’s also looking to establish himself as more than a part-time player, which he has been for much of the portions of four seasons he has spent in the majors.

“He wants to get a chance to become a better right-handed hitter and maybe if it’s the next step someday become an everyday player,” manager Manny Acta said. “He doesn’t have enough at bats up here from the right side for us to assess him against right-handed pitchers.”

O’Connor activated, optioned

Left-handed pitcher Mike O’Connor was activated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Class AA Harrisburg, where he made two recent rehabilitation starts coming off elbow surgery in November.

The Nationals made room for O’Connor on the 40-man roster by transferring reliever Ryan Wagner to the 60-day DL.

No rush for Watson

Brandon Watson’s 43-game hitting streak at Class AAA Columbus ended last night, but not before the outfielder set an International League record and secured a tie for ninth in minor league history, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

It still doesn’t have him close to another look in Washington.

“We haven’t talked about any of that kind of that stuff,” Acta said. “Obviously we congratulate Watty. We like him as a kid and as a player, and it’s good what he’s doing, and he has to keep it up because we haven’t talked about him, but that doesn’t mean what he’s doing isn’t being noticed.”

Extra bases

Pitcher John Patterson, on the disabled list since May 6 with right elbow soreness, is set to make a second rehab start at Class A Potomac on Thursday, and he already plans to change one thing from Friday’s outing.

“I was just trying to overthrow,” said Patterson, who surrendered three runs in 21/3 innings last week. “It’s typical of the first rehab start back. You’re excited to be on the mound and all that. Next time, I’ll try to control it a little bit more and locate the ball.”

In other rehab starts, Jason Bergmann will pitch tomorrow for Columbus, and Jerome Williams will go Thursday for Harrisburg. …

Acta said Levale Speigner should be available in a long relief role tomorrow. Speigner was blasted Saturday at Toronto, and his turn will be skipped this week because Washington has a day off Thursday.

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