WASHINGTON -- Nationals third-base coach Pat Listach said he would like to manage the Cubs. According to published reports, Listach became a candidate for the job after Lou Piniella stepped down following Sunday's game against the Braves. Mike Quade is currently the interim manager.

Listach managed in the Cubs' Minor League system for four seasons, going 253-221. His best season was in 2008, when he guided Triple-A Iowa to an 83-59 record, and he is still respected by the organization.

"I would definitely like the job," Listach said. "But I have a job to do here in Washington. If that job is available, it would be a dream come true. When you bring a championship to that city and that team, it's a big deal.

"It's one of the elite jobs in baseball. When you start talking about the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers, that's the elite of the elite. Just to be considered is an honor. It makes me feel good as a person that I've done the right things in this game that people would consider me."

While in the Cubs' Minor League system, Listach managed players such as Geovany Soto, Tyler Colvin and Carlos Marmol, who are currently in the big leagues.

"They had success in the Minor League level, and they have been promoted and they have stuck," Listach said.

Piniella is the reason Listach is with the Nationals. Piniella spoke to then-general manager Jim Bowden, who hired Listach as the team's third-base coach because of that recommendation.

Listach understands there will be a lot of competition for the Cubs' managerial job.

"I respect all the other managers who are in contention -- Ryne Sandberg, Mike Quade, Fredi Gonzalez and Bob Brenly," he said. "We have all heard the same names. I respect all those guys. They are good people. They want the job as well. I hope they keep Quade as manager."

Strasburg to undergo further forearm tests

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who is on the disabled list because of a flexor strain on his right forearm, will have an arthrogram Thursday to determine if something is seriously wrong.

Strasburg hurt his forearm on Saturday in an 8-1 Nationals victory over the Phillies. With the Nats leading, 5-1, and one out in the fifth, Strasburg was facing Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown when -- on a 1-1 pitch -- he grimaced in pain and shook his right arm.

Strasburg then motioned for the Nationals' trainer to come to the mound. Manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came out to see what was wrong with Strasburg, who wanted to stay in the game but left a few moments later.

In that outing, Strasburg pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits, striking out six batters and walking none. He threw 56 pitches, including 38 strikes.

On Sunday, Strasburg had an MRI on the forearm, and the team doctor didn't like what he saw, so Strasburg will have an arthrogram to get a better look at the arm.

Nationals to introduce Harper on Thursday

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are expected to hold a news conference to introduce outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. ET, before their game against the Cardinals.

Fans will be able to see the news conference on the stadium scoreboard.

Harper agreed to a five-year contract worth $9.9 million, which includes a $6.25 signing bonus. The deal is a new record for a position player signed out of the Draft. The previous record was held by Mark Teixeira, who received a four-year, $9.5 million Major League deal in 2001.

Harper is expected to wear uniform number 34.

Nats option Balester, recall Zimmermann

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals optioned reliever Collin Balester to Triple-A Syracuse after Wednesday's 4-0 loss to the Cubsand are recalled right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on Thursday. Zimmermann is scheduled to start against the Cardinals on Thursday night.

The news came a day after Balester was recalled from Syracuse. Balester appeared in one game and pitched one shutout inning against the Cubs on Tuesday.

As for Zimmermann, he will make his first Major League appearance since July 18, 2009, after recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Zimmermann pitched in 16 games last year and went 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA in four starts at Syracuse.

Zimmermann will replace Stephen Strasburg in the rotation.

Morgan receives seven-game suspension

WASHINGTON -- Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan received a seven-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his inappropriate actions, which included intentionally throwing a baseball into the stands, during the Nationals' 8-1 victory over the Phillies on Saturday. The thrown ball struck a fan in the crowd.

Morgan is appealing the suspension and was in the Nats' lineup in Wednesday's 4-0 loss to the Cubs. He went 0-for-3 but made a nice running grab.

"I have to just wait for my appeal process and, as far as I know, I'll just take it from there," Morgan said. "I can't really say too much there. This is ... news to me."

Dibble takes time off after radio comments

WASHINGTON -- Through their representatives, the Nationals and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network said TV analyst Rob Dibble was not suspended. He asked for a few days off, and it was granted.

The news comes after Dibble, on his XM radio show, criticized right-hander Stephen Strasburg for not playing with injuries. Strasburg is currently on the disabled list because of a flexor strain in his right forearm.

A baseball source said that members of the Nationals organization were not happy with Dibble's comments, but they did not take action to suspend him.

With Dibble taking a break, Ray Knight will be the color commentator, while Phil Wood does the pre- and postgame show. Dibble, who was not available for comment, is expected to return on Saturday, when the Nationals play the Cardinals at Nationals Park.

Willingham has successful knee surgery

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham had surgery on his left knee, to clean up his left meniscus, on Wednesday and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Willingham played in 114 games and hit .268 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs.