Prince not on Nationals' winter shopping list
Center fielder, leadoff hitter Washington's priorities this offseason
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals don't intend to go after Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder once he becomes a free agent, according to a baseball source within the Nationals organization.
The source pointed out that it doesn't make sense for Washington to go after Fielder because it will have two first basemen -- Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche -- under contract next year.
Morse is having the best season of his career and will be moved back to the outfield once LaRoche is healthy. LaRoche has missed most of the season with shoulder problems, but he is expected to be 100-percent healthy for Spring Training.
"I can't play this year, obviously, so they may push it back to November or something -- I don't know," LaRoche said recently on when he expects to start throwing. "There's no reason to push it, but I feel ready to start throwing and swinging. It feels really good. I haven't had any setbacks, so hopefully that continues."
Another source pointed out that the Nationals' biggest needs are a center fielder and a leadoff hitter. The Nationals were going after Denard Span of the Twins, B.J. Upton of the Rays and Michael Bourn, who was then with the Astros, at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but general manager Mike Rizzo was unwilling to trade many talented players. This offseason may be a different story.
Lombardozzi, Peacock, Milone likely callups
WASHINGTON -- According to a baseball source, the Nationals have already decided who they are going call up when rosters expand in September.
Second baseman Steve Lombardozzi and pitchers Brad Peacock and Tom Milone will get the promotion. The Nationals have to put them on the 40-man roster, and they haven't decided who they will take off.
Lombardozzi, who is expected to be the leadoff hitter of the future, is hitting a combined .312 with eight home runs, 50 RBIs and 80 runs scored for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season. The Nationals are planning to use Lombardozzi at second base, shortstop and third base.
Peacock is expected to be in the rotation behind right-handers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann in the future. He is a combined 13-3 with a 2.44 ERA for Harrisburg and Syracuse.
Milone has a 3.43 ERA and has allowed a mere 13 walks in 136 1/3 innings.
The Nationals also plan to call up players already on the 40-man roster. However, the source declined to name who will get a chance to play in the Major Leagues.
Strasburg's next start Saturday in Syracuse
WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Stephen Strasburg is expected to make his next rehab start on Saturday for Triple A Syracuse, according to manager Davey Johnson.
While pitching for Class A Hagerstown on Monday, Strasburg threw 60 pitches in three innings and allowed two runs, but only one was earned because of defensive miscues in the third inning. He also struck out six batters.
"I heard he threw the ball well," Johnson said. "He was a little agitated. It probably goes with the territory, when you are out there rehabbing and it doesn't go exactly the way you want it. Maybe the umpire doesn't give him a pitch or two he didn't feel was exactly right. That's the competitive nature of it."
It's not known when Strasburg will make his season debut with the Nationals. He has missed most of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
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.