Bergmann drawing interest from Blue Jays
Righty was designated for assignment by Nats on Thursday
WASHINGTON -- The Blue Jays have expressed interest in acquiring right-hander Jason Bergmann, whom the Nationals designated for assignment Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
Dana Brown, the special assistant to Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, is familiar with Bergmann, as Brown was the scouting director of the Expos when he drafted Bergmann in the 11th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.
Neither Brown nor Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo were available for comment Sunday, but one source said if Bergmann played for the Blue Jays, he would be considered an extra pitcher who wouldn't be needed until the middle of the season. The Blue Jays are not planning to trade anyone of significance for Bergmann.
Bergmann has been inconsistent during his five years with Nationals, going 12-24 with a 5.04 ERA in 155 games. This season, Bergmann gave up four runs in 2 1/3 innings before being taken off the Nationals' 25-man roster.
Washington has seven days from the time Bergmann was designated for assignment to trade or release the right-hander. If he clears waivers, the team could assign Bergmann to the Minor Leagues. Rizzo already said he has no intentions of releasing Bergmann.
Dunn providing solid defense at first base
WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn is off to a slow start with the bat, going 5-for-32 [.156] with a home run and two RBIs entering Sunday's finale vs. the Brewers. However, he hasn't let his offense affect his defense, which has been solid.
Dunn has made nice plays around the bag, such as on Thursday, when he threw out Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz at third base after fielding a slow roller hit by J.A. Happ.
"I know it's a matter of time before the offensive side comes, but they are two different aspects of the game -- you have an offensive side and you have a defensive side. It's just like any other sport," Dunn said. "I'm having fun over at first base, the more I don't have to think about it."
Dunn said there is still room for improvement at first base. He wants to show the team he can easily go to his left and right as far as catching ground balls and line drives.
"I want to see how much range I can cover," Dunn said. "I always look where the second baseman is and see where he is playing. I want to be able to get to the balls. It's a matter of positioning.
"I want to position myself better to where I can take some balls that are hits between me and the second baseman and take them away. There is a lot I want to learn. It's not like I'm a Gold Glover."
Dunn will be a free agent after this season, but he said Sunday that his agent, Greg Genske, and the Nationals have not engaged in discussions recently regarding a potential extension.
"I don't think anything is going on. I haven't heard. It would be hard to sign a contract when you are hitting .100, wouldn't it? How would that look?" Dunn quipped.
Dunn is making $12 million this season.
Guzman remains present in Nationals' lineup
WASHINGTON -- Cristian Guzman lost his starting job at shortstop to start the season, but entering Sunday's action, Guzman ranked second on the team in at-bats with 37.
Guzman said he is surprised that he has had that many at-bats, but the team told him there was a possibility that he could get anywhere from 400 to 500 at-bats.
"I'm surprised. I didn't think I would play so many games and get a lot of at-bats with Ian Desmond and Adam Kennedy [on the roster]," Guzman said. "I know [Jim Riggleman] said I could get 400-500 at-bats."
What advice would Guzman give to a veteran who loses his job to a youngster like Desmond?
"The Nationals are the owners," Guzman said. "We have to do whatever they say, whatever position they put you in. We can't say anything. I can think about it, but I can't say 'no.'"
Guzman, who started at shortstop against the Brewers on Sunday, is hitting .297 with four RBIs entering Sunday's action.
Riggleman continues to say there will be a rotation of Guzman, Desmond and Kennedy at second base and shortstop this season.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.