- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nationals cut two, put reliever on DL

NORFOLK — Except for a final few moves likely to come Saturday, the Nationals‘ Opening Day roster is mostly set.

On Friday, the Nationals outrighted infielder Kory Casto and left-hander Mike O’Connor to Class AAA Syracuse. They also placed right-hander Terrell Young on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, delaying a decision on whether to keep the first pick in December’s Rule 5 draft on their roster all year.

None of the moves was unexpected, but for Casto and O’Connor, they signify another step toward the end of the line. Both players cleared waivers and cannot be outrighted to the minors again after this season without their consent. The news was especially disheartening for Casto, who acknowledged he was hoping someone would snatch him off waivers.

“I know that I’m a better player than this,” said Casto, who has hit just .149 this spring. “I’ve had good springs and I’ve gotten sent down, and I’ve had a bad spring and I’m getting sent down. I don’t know what to say.”

A tougher competition for infield spots than in years past didn’t help Casto.

“We do have two good infielders here in Willie Harris and Ronnie Belliard. He’s blocked right now,” manager Manny Acta said. “The good thing about it — if you want to call it good — is he’s still in our system. We still like him. He’s got to go down there and do his thing.”


Baltimore right-hander Koji Uehara, pitching on his 34th birthday, had his best start of the spring. He allowed just two runs on one hit — a Ryan Zimmerman homer in the fourth inning — and needed just 72 pitches to get through six innings.

Zimmerman had two of the Nationals’ four hits. Nationals starter Daniel Cabrera, the former Orioles ace, gave up five runs on four hits and four walks in five innings.

— Ben Goessling


Ryan Zimmerman [UP]

Tidewater native got a standing ovation for his fourth-inning homer

Daniel Cabrera [DOWN]

Showed many of the struggles he had with the Orioles

Elijah Dukes [DOWN]

Went 0 for 3 with a strikeout; does he have any more ground to lose to Austin Kearns?


“He was a little off with his control. But other than that, he threw the ball with good velocity. We all know that he’s going to get in trouble when he walks guys.”

— Manager Manny Acta on Daniel Cabrera


Saturday: vs. Orioles, 6:05 p.m.

Sunday: Off

Monday: at Marlins, 4:10 p.m.

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