Nats News and Notes -- July 28th

I'm a bit short on time today, but figured that it may be a good time to put together a brief summary of whats been going on with the Nationals over the past few days, including some news, a bit of history triva, and some thoughts as we approach the trade deadline. Here goes:

- Dimitri Young, affectionately known around NatsTown as "Meat Hook" is (surprise, surprise) out for the season with a torn quad he suffered legging out (if you can call it that) an infield single during a rehab stint at AA-Harrisburg. If I had to bet, I'd venture to say that this is the end of the line for the Hook, who was never the same after posting an All-Star season in 2007 that garnered him Comeback Player of the Year honors. Young missed much of the 2008 campaign (including his own bobblehead night) with a variety of injuries, so it looks like it may be time for him to throw in the towl.

- OF Josh Willingham (still a National for the time being, but that could change prior to Thursday's trade deadline) hit two (yes two) grand slams in a 14-6 rout of the Brewers in Milwaukee last night. Willingham became the 13th player with two slams in the same game, and became the first Expo/National to drive in 8 men since Tim Wallach did it back in 1990. Willingham has been solid for the Nats all season, and would be a solid pickup at the deadline (rumor has it that the Angels and Giants have both inquired about Willingham).

- The Indians traded infielder Ryan Garko to the Giants, who had previously been interested in both Willingham and 1B Nick Johnson. Johnson has cooled off a bit since a hit start, but would be prime trade territory if Willingham is not moved. Should the Nats trade either, expect Adam Dunn to get more starts at 1B for the remainder of the season, with a call up of IF utility-man Kory Kasto to platoon at first and give some of the other every-day infielders a day off here and there.

- Scott Olsen, acquired from the Marlins along with Willingham in the offseason, is apparently done for the year.

- Buster Olney of ESPN had a few interesting blog posts recently, one where he explains why former MLB manager Bobby Valentine, who is coming off an incredible run with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan, should be a perfect candidate to serve as the Nats manager in 2010. Another Olney appearance (in a video blog) can be found under this interesting SportsNation poll, which asks readers about two currently dismal NL East franchises, the Nats and Mets. The results are interesting.

- We are now T-minus 21 days until the Steven Strasburg trading deadline. More to come as information develops (or doesn't develop, both are very real possibilities).

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