- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2008

ATLANTA | In a season riddled with injuries, there’s a twisted propriety to the fact that when the Washington Nationals activate their No. 3 hitter from the 15-day disabled list, it’s because another middle-of-the-order presence is headed to the DL.

The Nationals announced after Saturday’s win over the Atlanta Braves that first baseman Dmitri Young will go on the DL as he attempts to stabilize his blood sugar level. Young, who was diagnosed with diabetes in Nov. 2006, missed the last two games with high blood sugar and was examined by Dr. Brooks Lide, the Braves’ internist, after Friday night’s game. Lide said Young would be fine if he could get his blood sugar under control.

Washington will activate third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the disabled list on Tuesday. Zimmerman, who has been out since late May with a small labral tear in his left shoulder, is scheduled to play at Class AAA Columbus on Sunday and complete his rehab assignment. He will join the Nationals in time for Tuesday’s game at San Francisco.

“We’ll be able to have a little more depth in our lineup, we’ll be able to move [shortstop Cristian Guzman] to one of those two top spots in the lineup,” manager Manny Acta said. “And we’ll have a threat in the lineup.”

Acta’s enthusiasm was tempered by the news about Young, who will return to the District on Sunday to see doctors about his diabetes.

“That’s the thing with diabetes,” Young said. “It’s a monster. You’re never going to know everything about it. You just have to keep an eye on it.”

The move likely makes Paul Lo Duca the Nationals’ starter at first base, at least until Aaron Boone returns from a strained left calf muscle. Lo Duca started the last two games at first.

Young was placed on the DL retroactive to July 12, meaning he could come back as soon as next Sunday if his blood sugar comes down.

Milledge starting rehab

Milledge, who went on the disabled list June 28 with a right groin injury, will start a rehab assignment on Sunday with the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in Viera, Fla.

He is scheduled to play three innings Sunday, and has already been running and swinging a bat.

Bullpen back to normal

The Nationals’ bullpen resumed its usual configuration Saturday night after Jason Bergmann pitched two innings against the Braves the night before.

Bergmann’s first post All-Star break start is scheduled for Tuesday, so Acta had made him available out of the bullpen for the first two games of the series to keep him fresh.

But after the right-hander threw 27 pitches Saturday night, Acta had seen enough.

“He could have gone three [innings] if he needed to, but he went two innings and we thought it was enough,” Acta said. “He’ll be able to throw a side and start his day.”

Had the Nationals taken the lead in the ninth inning of their eventual 7-6 loss to the Braves, Acta said Joel Hanrahan would have pitched the ninth inning. Closer Jon Rauch was away from the team dealing with a family issue.



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