WASHINGTON -- The Nationals continue to look for a center fielder, and they have interest in the Angels' Peter Bourjos, according to a baseball source.
Bourjos is one of five outfielders -- Denard Span, Colby Rasmus, B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn -- the Nationals are scouting these days leading up to Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Bourjos, currently the Angels' regular center fielder, is hitting .265 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. He is considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder.
His best success is when he is hitting near the bottom of the batting order. He is a combined 71-for-250 (.284) while hitting seventh, eighth or ninth in the order, but is 5-for-36 (.139) when hitting in the leadoff spot.
The Nationals are not comfortable with Roger Bernadina in center field, and feel he is a corner outfielder.
The team is also looking for a leadoff hitter. Whether it feels Bourjos can fill that position remains to be seen. The Nationals have tried Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Bernadina and Rick Ankiel at the leadoff spot, and none have worked out. They are hitting a combined .197 with a .267 on-base percentage.
Washington has a leadoff hitter waiting in the wings in second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi, but two baseball sources insist that Desmond is going nowhere. If Desmond is traded, it would mean that Espinosa would switch to shortstop.
Marquis pushed back for Wang's arrival
WASHINGTON -- With Chien-Ming Wang starting against the Mets on Friday, the Nationals have decided that Jason Marquis will be pushed back to Saturday, while Tom Gorzelanny will be used out of the bullpen.
However, the Nationals are using Gorzelanny as insurance in case something happens to Wang or a trade is made. There is a strong possibility that Marquis could be traded before Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
In fact, the Nats are thinking about having Gorzelanny start against the Braves next week. An announcement regarding Gorzelanny will not be made until later this week.
Wang's arrival also means the Nationals must make a roster move. It is not known who it will be, but it most likely will be someone out of the bullpen.
Desmond earns Nats Heart and Hustle Award
WASHINGTON -- Shortstop Ian Desmond was the winner of the Nationals Heart and Hustle Award. It was presented to him by former Senators pitcher Jim Hannan, who is the current chairman of the MLBPAA Board of Directors.
This award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game.
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of alumni players with established relationships to each team. One player from each Major League team is chosen by the committees based on the passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field.
These players will be recognized prior to an upcoming home game. As the season draws to a close, all alumni and active players will vote to select the winner from the 30 team winners. The previous overall winners are David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, '07), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009) and Roy Halladay (2010).
The final winner will be announced Nov. 3, 2011, at the 12th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 6,000 children each year, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.
Kimball expects to be sidelined until next May
WASHINGTON -- Nationals reliever Cole Kimball, who had right shoulder surgery before the All-Star break, said he doesn't expect to participate in baseball activities until sometime next May. If all goes well, Kimball will play in the big leagues sometime after the All-Star break next season.
Kimball pitched in 12 games for Washington this season and allowed three runs in 14 innings. He also struck out 11 hitters, while walking 11.
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.