DeRosa could return in next couple days

How does a player who's on a rehab assignment get in touch with his manager to find out when he'll be back in the majors?

In Mark DeRosa's case, he shoots his skipper an email.

DeRosa, who is currently rehabbing from a strained left oblique at Single-A Potomac, punched up a few lines that told his manager he's feeling great after two games. He then asked Davey Johnson what the plan was regarding his eventual promotion to the bigs.

"I said,'Well, the plan was for you to get some at-bats, start feeling real good and let me know when you're feeling real good,' " Johnson said. "And his answer was: 'I'm feeling great.' So I know he's going to be playing tonight (at Potomac). He hasn't yet played nine innings. He's going to play nine innings tonight and see how he comes out of that. And we'll take it one day at a time. He could be here tomorrow or another 2-3 days. We'll see."

What will DeRosa's role be once he returns? Sounds like he'll be mainly used at third base backing up Ryan Zimmerman and getting a start from time to time to keep Zimmerman fresh.

"Right now, I was more concerned in having somebody who can pick up Zim if his shoulder starts bothering him or something," Johnson said. "So I wanted him to play third his first time down there, and he's hopefully going to play third (at Potomac) tonight. Really the only other replacement I've got for Zim if he gets hurt is (Steve Lombardozzi). And if I have him in left field, I really don't want to make that change, putting him in a new position."

Back in spring training, Johnson had suggested using a platoon of Adam LaRoche and DeRosa at first base, with LaRoche playing against righties and DeRosa lefties.

That's not something Johnson is considering anymore.

"Well, (Xavier) Nady can do that," Johnson said, when asked if DeRosa would play behind LaRoche. "And (Tyler) Moore is swinging that bat the best of anybody over here that can play that position. So from what we've got there, more than likely I'd put Moore over there."

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