LOS ANGELES -- Nationals bench coach Pat Corrales has been impressed with second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi -- and for good reason.
Entering Sunday's action, Lombardozzi was hitting .348 with three home runs and 17 RBIs for Triple A Syracuse. Corrales predicts Lombardozzi will play in the big leagues.
"He is a very smart young man," Corrales said. "If you watch him for two days, you see other guys you want on your team over him. But then you watch him for two weeks, and he is the one you want.
"He does things to help the team win. He bunts, plays great defense, hits behind the runners. His dad was a big league baseball player, so he has been schooled playing baseball, and taught how the game should be played. He is bound to make his move."
There has been speculation that Lombardozzi will be in the big leagues soon, and become Washington's leadoff hitter and play second base -- while Danny Espinosa would switch to shortstop. But a baseball source said the Nationals like what they have now with Espinosa and shortstop Ian Desmond as their double-play combination.
Wang nears return to Majors
LOS ANGELES -- Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang more than likely made his last rehab start on Sunday afternoon. He lasted five innings for Triple-A Syracuse and allowed four runs on eight hits against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Wang threw 96 pitches, with 63 for strikes.
If his arm feels OK on Monday, Wang more than likely will be taken off the disabled list and is tentatively scheduled to pitch against the Mets on Friday at Nationals Park. It would be Wang's first big league appearance since 2009, when he was with the Yankees.
Wang has missed two seasons because of shoulder problems. He has been with the Nationals since last season, and has yet to pitch in a big league game.
If Wang is back in the rotation as scheduled, it would mean someone must be taken off.
When asked if left-hander Tom Gorzelanny was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation, after he lasted three innings and allowed five runs against the Dodgers on Saturday night, manager Davey Johnson said, "I'm not really thinking about that right now. I just have a few bad memories, but we'll be fine. It was just a bad outing for a couple of guys."
Nix still having problems with Achilles
LOS ANGELES -- With right-hander Chad Billingsley starting for the Dodgers on Sunday, it would usually mean outfielder Laynce Nix would be in the starting lineup for the Nationals.
However, Nix was given the day off because he aggravated his right Achilles on Saturday night against Los Angeles.
In the ninth inning, with runners on first and second with one out, Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal swung at a 2-0 pitch from right-hander Ryan Mattheus and hit the ball over the head of Nix, who dove for the ball before it dropped in for a game-winning double.
The video showed Nix limping toward the dugout after the game ended. The injury is not considered serious. Manager Davey Johnson is hoping that Nix can play on Tuesday against the Marlins.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.