ST. LOUIS -- The Nationals have been scouting Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, according to a baseball source, but the club doesn't have interest in acquiring him right now. The source pointed out that it was routine scouting that is normally done during the season. The Nationals have not had any talks with the Rays about Upton.
The Nationals are happy with Rick Ankiel, their current center fielder, according to the source, who pointed out that general manager Mike Rizzo brought Ankiel to Washington and played a major role in Ankiel playing every day.
Although Ankiel is 17-for-57 (.211) with a home run and four RBIs entering Tuesday's action, the Nationals love his work in center field. Ankiel is considered the team's best defensive center fielder since Brad Wilkerson in 2005.
Coffey reports no problems after throwing
ST. LOUIS -- Nationals right-hander Todd Coffey, who is on the 15-day disabled list because of a left calf strain, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday without any problems. He is expected to do some running drills Wednesday.
Coffey said his calf feels much better and is scheduled to be taken off the disabled list on Sunday when the Nationals play the Pirates.
"I'm doing good. It's a small strain. It felt like a cramp," Coffey said. "I had it looked at. I got an MRI. ... I probably could have pushed it and pitched fine or I could have pushed and be out three months. I threw a bullpen today and everything felt fine."
Before the injury, Coffey appeared in five games and allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Manager Jim Riggleman said that once Coffey is taken off the DL, the Nationals will take a pitcher -- likely a reliever -- off the active roster. The Nationals are not thinking about taking a position player off the roster, Riggleman said.
MLB issues statement in wake of Guillen's death
ST. LOUIS -- Jorge Pérez-Diaz, director of Latin American Operations for Major League Baseball, issued the following statement on Tuesday regarding Nationals Minor Leaguer Yewri Guillen, who died on Thursday because of bacterial meningitis:
"First and foremost, all of our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of Yewri Guillen.
"Yewri's passing has led to deep sorrow not only for the Washington Nationals franchise, but throughout Major League Baseball in the Dominican Republic and beyond.
"Major League Baseball has commenced an examination into all the facts pertaining to this tragedy with the full cooperation of the Nationals. Our Medical Director is satisfied that no other players are at risk and proper protocols had been followed to prevent others from being infected. Because the matter is under thorough review, we cannot comment on further details at this time."
According to Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the team's medical director, it's not known how Guillen contracted the illness. Guillen started showing symptoms of the disease around April 10, which include severe headaches.
"There are bacterial particles that float around, and sometimes somebody is susceptible, and you don't know," Douoguih said. "When they contract, it's very rapid. We all carry bacteria in our noses and mouths. It's possible he got it from somebody who sneezed. He was susceptible, and it was an unfortunate thing.
"I would like to really applaud the effort of our medical and training staff in the south, who identified it and got him treatment as soon as possible. Unfortunately, even with the best treatment, the mortality rate is about 20 to 30 percent. So it's a very terrible thing. It's very unfortunate, but going forward, it's a very rare thing. As unfortunate as it is, I know everything was done to the letter by our medical and training staff to prevent any further catastrophe."
Nationals renew agreement with therapist
ST LOUIS -- The Nationals have renewed their working agreement with Angela T. Gordon, MPT, ATC, retaining her as the team's physical therapist.
Gordon provides comprehensive outpatient physical therapy services for the Nationals' players, covering the team's preseason evaluations in Florida and 40 home games during the regular season.
Among the job requirements, Gordon identifies players at risk for chronic injury and develops programs for them, making program modifications needed to maintain a level of physical excellence for the Nationals' players.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.