- The Washington Times - Monday, March 30, 2009


JUPITER, Fla.Daniel Cabrera will have to hope one more exhibition start is enough to get him ready for his regular-season debut.

Scheduled to make his second-to-last start of the spring Sunday against the Marlins, Cabrera was scratched with neck spasms.

The right-hander apparently hurt himself Saturday while participating in a batting drill. Trainers checked on him Sunday morning, but he wasn’t well enough to make the two-hour drive from Viera to pitch against Florida. Reliever Julian Tavarez started and pitched one inning before handing off to a carousel of bullpen mates.

Manager Manny Acta said if Cabrera feels well enough Monday, he will pitch in a simulated game and still be on track for his regular-season debut April 8, also against the Marlins.

“We’ve got to wait and see how he is today and then try to plan accordingly,” Acta said. “You can’t plan on him throwing unless he’s able to. … [But] he’s not a guy to worry about because he’s a guy who pitched winter ball. So he’s been stretched out and all that.”


With Cabrera sidelined, Acta was forced to use seven relievers to get through a loss to Florida.

Tavarez (three runs) and Joel Hanrahan (two runs in two innings) were the only pitchers to struggle. The other Washington hurlers — Saul Rivera, Mike Hinckley, Steven Shell, Jesus Colome and Wil Ledezma — all pitched shutout innings.

Ex-Marlins player Josh Willingham provided the Nationals’ offense with a solo homer and an RBI groundout, receiving a nice ovation from the Roger Dean Stadium crowd.

Nationals killer Hanley Ramirez was overwhelming, going 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, a single, a stolen base and three RBI.

Mark Zuckerman


Daniel Cabrera [DOWN]

Scratched with neck spasms; on the bright side, he didn’t allow a run

Steven Shell and Mike Hinckley [UP]

Relievers each strike out three in one inning

Hanley Ramirez [UP]

Marlins stud even terrorizes Nationals in spring training


Washington: Partly cloudy, 60 degrees

Viera: Mostly sunny, 78 degrees


Monday: vs. Tigers in Viera, 1 p.m.

Tuesday: vs. Tigers in Lakeland, 1 p.m.

Wednesday: vs Blue Jays in Dunedin, 1 p.m.

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