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06/21/08 7:57 PM ET

Bowden discusses state of the Nationals

GM pleased with success of Dukes, Milledge and Flores

WASHINGTON -- Prior to Saturday's game against the Rangers, Nationals general manager Jim Bowden met with reporters to discuss different affairs regarding the state of the team.

The Nationals outrighted outfielder Ryan Langerhans to Triple-A Columbus on Friday to make way for pitcher Garrett Mock. Bowden said Langerhans accepted his assignment and will report to Columbus.

Bowden also spoke highly of the recent offensive success of young players Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge and Jesus Flores. All three are among the team leaders in several categories, including batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

What impressed Bowden about the performance of the trio wasn't just their success, but the fact that their success has come with so many other players injured and thus less protection in the lineup.

"For Flores and Milledge and Elijah, for them at 23 [years old] to be able to sit in the lineup without protection and [succeed], I give them a lot of credit for how much they grind every day," Bowden said. "I think all of them are developing at this level, so we've been very pleased on the development of all three of them."

The only regret Bowden said he has is that he'd like to see what those three could do in a lineup with other currently-injured starters like Ryan Zimmerman and Austin Kearns.

Zach Osterman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.