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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Intersting personnel developments afoot

Lots of movement in the Nationals player personnel this week:

OF Brandon Watson, fresh off of a 43-game hitting streak in the International League, has been called up to the Nats from AAA Columbus to fill in for utility man Robert Fick, who is on bereavement leave for the next week. General Manager Jim Bowden had the quote of the day when he put his own post-modern variation on the time-honored phrase "cup of coffee" when he said that Watson would have, "..a tall, double shot, skinny, soy foam vanilla latte." with the big club. I know that some extremely-knowledgeable Nats fans aren't impressed with Watson, and with good reason, but I'm hoping that the guy has turned a corner in his career and is living up to the potential that the Nats saw in him when he was their starting centerfielder on Opening Day 2006.

OF Alex Escobar sprained his right ankle with Class A Potomac during the rehabilitation assignment for his injured shoulder and will be out two weeks. I was seriously hoping that Escobar would return to the Nats soon, he's an exciting player to watch, but the poor guy has been plagued with injuries his entire career.

Injured starter Jason Bergmann might be activated to pitch this coming Tuesday in Atlanta. That is the best news for the Nats and (hopefully) the worst news for the Atlanta Braves.

Relief-man Luis Ayala will be activated this Friday, his first appearance in the majors since 2005. This is VERY exciting news, as Ayala was widely regarded as one of the best setup men in baseball before his reconstructive elbow surgery. I have fond memories of his appearances in the Nats inaugural season, coming in to protect a lead and then handing it off to closer Chad Cordero for the win.

Maybe some of these moves will shake things up a little and provide a fun little spark going into the end of June. Let's hope so.

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