From Ken Rosenthal’s column yesterday:
For some time now, the Nationals have been poking for a right-handed hitting corner infielder – someone who could fill the role intended for Mark DeRosa, who has struggled with declining performance and injury.
The Nats’ problem during their search has been two-fold – a lack of available hitters, plus a fear that the team would be unable to create enough at-bats for the player they acquired.
It will be interesting to see whether third baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s troublesome right shoulder forces the Nats to intensify their pursuit. Zimmerman received a cortisone shot Sunday and plans to play through his injury. But at the very least, he might need occasional rest.
Something else to watch with the Nats: The continued improvement of left-hander John Lannan, who has allowed one earned run in four of his last five starts at Triple A.
Lannan gives the Nats protection if any of their starters is injured, or if they want to back off right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who is on a limit of 160 to 165 innings, according to club officials.
Lannan also is increasing his value as a trade candidate, and the Nats continue to push him in conversations with other clubs. By July 31, his remaining salary will be about $1.7 million.