Elijah Dukes told me before the game it's been punishment for him watching the Nats and not being able to play. He is out with a hamstring injury but he's making progress.
He told me he's hitting in the cages and would love to participate in a couple rounds of batting practice on Thursday. However, head trainer Lee Kuntz said he appreciates Dukes' desire to get back on the field so fast but he must stay on his program - which does not include live bp on the field.
A Nice Time for some Ice-Time!
Do you ever wonder how ballplayers spend their free time? Well, on Saturday night in St. Louis, Nats catcher Jesus Flores joined some members of the Nationals staff and took in his first hockey game. Flores, who hails from Venezuela where there is no professional hockey, said he really enjoyed all the action. He even made sure to snap some photos. "I took pictures of everything," he said. "...the people, the game and even the fights!" Flores also said he's looking forward to checking up on the Caps as they head to the post-season and perhaps if the schedule permits he'll get to see his second hockey game in person, in D.C.
Simontacchi Bound for Independent League...
Former Nats pitcher Jason Simontacchi stopped by in St. Louis to say hello to some of his former teammates. The 34-year-old said he feels healthy and he's looking forward to reviving his pitching career by playing the Atlantic League this summer. You may recall he had a stint with Bridgeport of the Atlantic League before joining the Nationals last season. He's one of the good guys in baseball so here's rooting for his healthy return to baseball.
Lanky Lefty is Alright!
23-year-old John Lannon proved on Sunday he knows how to adjust at the big league level and he does a good job of staying composed. "He's not scared to pitch," said veteran catcher Paul LoDuca. Lannan said LoDuca took him under his wing in spring training and he's learned a lot from his batterymate already.
Seeing Stars in the District...
Commissioner Bud Selig was so impressed with the Nationals new ballpark on Opening Night that he said there will be an All-Star game played here. While he did not give a definitive commitment or date it's something to look forward to down the road!