The Nationals could be in the market for an outfielder after learning that Jose Guillen will likely be out until June with a wrist injury. Anybody got a number for Sammy Sosa?
Guillen, who led Washington's regulars in home runs (24), RBIs (76) and slugging percentage (.479) a season ago, has an inflamed tendon in his left wrist, an ailment that likely will require surgery and keep him out for up to three months. This has not been a good spring for the Nationals, who earlier this week lost starting pitcher Brian Lawrence for the season with a shoulder injury.
Our outfield rankings are still in the works, but Guillen, 29, was pretty much a lock to be among the top 40. His numbers dropped off slightly last season, a result of playing half of his games at spacious RFK Stadium (Guillen batted .238 at home, .320 on the road).
The loss of Guillen leaves a gaping hole in the Nats outfield, which now consists of Ryan Church, rookie Brandon Watson and Marlon Byrd. And you thought the Orioles had it bad. Who knows what's up with Alfonso Soriano, though the way things are going for the Nationals, they'll be lucky if he returns from the World Baseball Classic in one piece. The rest of the outfield mix is a who's-who of one-time prospects – Michael Tucker, George Lombard, Ruben Mateo, Tyrell Godwin and Alex Escobar. I'm only half-kidding about Sosa, who was close to a contract agreement with Washington a few weeks back.
Elsewhere on the injury front, the Cubs announced yesterday that starter Kerry Wood will undergo knee surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear. It's not a major procedure, but it is a setback for the injury-prone right-hander as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Don't expect Wood back before May, and downgrade him accordingly on draft day.