02/22/08 9:30 PM ET
Notes: Zimmerman not upset
Lack of multi-year deal not bothering former first-round pick
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Agent Brodie Van Wagenen expects Zimmerman's contract to be automatically renewed. Zimmerman has less than three years of service time, and the Nationals can automatically renew his contract for 2008 before the March 11 deadline.
"I really don't have any feelings. Like I told you guys before, it's a good relationship that I have here," Zimmerman said. "I'm just happy to be here and I look forward to playing here for a long time.
"It's not like I've been ignored. We have been talking. It has to work out for both ends that make sense. It's so early in my career. There is plenty of time."
In 2007, Zimmerman hit .266 with 24 home runs and 91 RBIs. It marked the second consecutive season in which he drove in 90 or more runs.
Last March, the Nationals renewed Zimmerman's contract for $400,000. Zimmerman is eligible for salary arbitration following the 2008 season and can file for free agency three years after that.
Colome's in the house: Reliever Jesus Colome reported to camp Friday, but he said that he has to go back to the Dominican Republic in a week to get a working visa. He said he arrived in Florida on a tourist visa.
"I don't know what's going on, man. This surprised me," Colome said. "I'm only here for a couple of days."
Colome said that he worked out on the Dominican and is ready to play baseball. In fact, he threw a bullpen session Friday without any problems.
On the mound: The Nationals pitchers will start throwing batting practice Saturday. Right-hander John Paterson, who will have a session Sunday, worked in the bullpen and didn't have any problems.
Power bats: Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge and Wily Mo Pena put on a power display that left general manager Jim Bowden in awe.
However, Bowden was pleased to see that all three players were going with the pitch. They were hitting line drives to right field.
"Elijah, Lastings and Wily Mo came in with the idea of hitting line drives and going the other way instead of trying to show off," Bowden said. "They can't help the power. They just have it. They were taking what was given to them."
By acquiring Dukes, Milledge and Pena -- plus catchers Paul Lo Duca and Johnny Estrada -- the Nationals are expected to score more runs than they did last year, when they were last in the league in runs scored.
"Baseball is more fun when you score more runs than the other team, so it's nice to have more hitters," Bowden said. "We have more speed and more power. We needed to be more athletic. We had some weak spots in the lineup last year -- particularly center field and catcher -- and that, along with the pitcher [hitting] in our league, makes it very difficult to score runs unless you have Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard in the middle of your lineup."
High expectations: Manager Manny Acta had his first meeting with his full squad Friday, and, according to Dmitri Young, the skipper reiterated he expects the team to win. The meeting lasted 50 minutes.
"He said, 'Instead of going out there to compete, we are going out there to win.'" Young said. "[He told us] the necessary steps we have to take to do it. We follow those instructions and that is the recipe to winning."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.