- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not even the one bright spot in the Washington Nationals’ bullpen can avoid calamity.

Joe Beimel became the latest Washington player to land on the disabled list Tuesday, the victim of a strained left hip flexor that came about from a diving play the left-hander made in the eighth inning of Monday night’s win over the Atlanta Braves.

Beimel, who had posted a 1.23 ERA and four holds in eight relief appearances for a Nationals bullpen that owns an overall 0-5 record and a 6.04 ERA, is now on the 15-day DL for the first time in his career.

“It’s just one of those freak things, something you can’t really control,” he said. “Things were going well for me personally. … I just can’t get down about it. I have to do my rehab work and get back out there as soon as possible.”

Beimel believes he slipped on wet grass trying to field Kelly Johnson’s drag bunt, causing the injury. Initially worried about how he would get back on the mound and throw another pitch, he was bailed out when the rain intensified and the umpiring crew called for the tarp. By the time play resumed 33 minutes later, Garrett Mock had replaced him.

Having already turned over three-sevenths of their bullpen following Sunday’s late meltdown, the Nationals had to recall Saul Rivera, one of the relievers who was just sent down.

Rivera (0-3 with a 12.27 ERA in six appearances) was due to report to Class AAA Syracuse on Tuesday when he got word he could rejoin the Nationals.

Jersey maker apologizes

The uniform company that supplied the Nationals with misspelled jerseys has apologized for the gaffe.

Majestic Athletic president Jim Pisani issued a statement Tuesday accepting responsibility for providing Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman with jerseys that spelled “NATINALS” on the front. Dunn and Zimmerman wore the incorrect jerseys for four innings Friday night before the mistake was discovered and the players changed into new uniforms.

“All of us at Majestic Athletic want to apologize to both the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for accidentally omitting the ‘O’ in two Nationals jerseys last week,” Pisani said in the statement. “We take 100 percent responsibility for this event and we regret any embarrassment for the Nationals organization, players and fans.

Guzman, Harris getting close

Infielders Cristian Guzman and Willie Harris are each moving closer to coming off the DL and rejoining the Nationals.

Harris, out since April 12 with a strained oblique muscle, was due to begin a rehab assignment with Syracuse on Tuesday. If all goes well, Harris is expected to be activated on Tuesday, the first day he’s eligible to come off the DL.

Guzman, out since April 13 with a strained hamstring, is due to report to extended spring training in Viera, Fla., on Wednesday. He may at some point move up to a rehab assignment with one of Washington’s minor league affiliates before he’s eligible to return April 29.

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