- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ATLANTA — Just as the Washington Nationals thought Chad Cordero was healthy enough to resume the closer’s role, they’re now left to wonder whether he will head back to the disabled list.

Cordero has an appointment with Dr. James Andrews at 1:30 p.m. today in Birmingham, Ala., to examine his right shoulder, which caused him to start the season on the disabled list with tendinitis.

The reliever said felt clicking in his right arm when he got back to his hotel room Monday night, just after pitching a scoreless eighth inning against the Braves with his father, Ed, and agent, Larry Reynolds, in attendance.

Cordero said he had no pain and clicking doesn’t necessarily mean there is further damage to his shoulder, but Andrews isn’t usually consulted unless the situation is serious.

I wasn’t sure if it was anything serious, Cordero said. I told our trainer today, and I told my agent this morning. They decided to go ahead and do this just to make sure nothing’s hiding in there.

Cordero was not available to pitch last night and likely will be unavailable against the Mets tonight.

It makes sense to get another opinion, although I do think on the mound he’s been making progress, general manager Jim Bowden said. His arm speed’s getting better, his velocity’s getting better and I do think he’s going in the right direction.

A click can be normal. A lot of pitchers have it. He’s never had it before, so let’s check it out and make sure it’s OK.

No surgery for Young

After getting a second opinion on his sprained lower back from the University of Miami’s Dr. Frank Eismont yesterday, it appears first baseman Dmitri Young will not need surgery, just time to recover.

Eismont found a slight bulge in Young’s lumbosacral disc and some degenerative changes in both of his sacroiliac joints but said Young could be helped by time off and chiropractic care.

There is still no timetable on when Young could return.

Lopez named starter

Before Felipe Lopez’s fifth consecutive start last night — and third appearance in the leadoff spot in five days — manager Manny Acta said what has been increasingly obvious the last few days: Lopez is his second baseman.

He’s playing well, and he’s pretty much going to have to take himself out of it, Acta said. He’s played himself into it with the lack of offense that we’ve had. He’s been making things happen for us.

There’s also a good chance Lopez will continue to bat leadoff.

Acta said he is one of the few guys we have that could be a legit leadoff hitter and said Lopez’s base-stealing ability is better suited to hitting first instead of second.

[It’s] the fact that Lopez sees more pitches and the fact that Lopez runs more than [Cristian] Guzman and tries to force the action a little bit more, Acta said. We’ll want a guy who’s at least two hitters away from [Ryan] Zimmerman doing that rather than a guy right in front of him. So I think Lopez’s ability to steal bases makes him the favored guy.

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