Notes: Vidro goes on disabled list

Notes: Vidro goes on disabled list

PHOENIX -- The Nationals on Monday placed second baseman Jose Vidro on the disabled list, retroactive to May 5, because of a high left ankle sprain and activated right-hander Tony Armas Jr.

Vidro, who has been wearing a protective boot, hurt the ankle last Wednesday after scoring a run in the seventh inning against the Dodgers. Originally, he was supposed to make a decision about being placed on the DL on Friday, but he said that the pain had not subsided. Vidro expects to be out of action anywhere from two to three weeks, and will get a second opinion from another doctor.

"It wasn't a tough decision [to be placed on the DL] because I didn't make that much improvement from Wednesday night to right now," said Vidro. "I don't help the team by being on the bench. They would be a player short. It's really sad, because the team is really playing good baseball, and I want to be part of it. Hopefully, I will come back sooner than everybody expects."

The ankle injury is even more frustrating for Vidro because he worked so hard to recover from last season's injury to his right knee. Vidro said that he felt so good starting this season, his goal was to play more than 150 games. In fact, he didn't miss any games prior to the ankle injury.

"It's frustrating because of all that work that I did. I was planning to play 162 games this year. That was my goal this year," he said. "Now it's come down to this. I'm going to look at it that it's early and I have plenty of time to come back. Hopefully, the team will continue to play the way it's playing."

As for Armas, he will pitch in against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He rejoined the team on Friday after spending the last few weeks in the Minor Leagues on a rehab assignment. He was 1-2 with a 4.38 ERA in five starts for Triple-A New Orleans.

Injury report: Shortstop Cristian Guzman strained his left hamstring running the bases on a groundout in the seventh inning of Monday's game against the Diamondbacks. He is expected to miss five to seven days.

Guzman is the fifth player on the Nationals to get hurt since May 1. Reliever Joey Eischen broke his right radius, outfielder Terrmel Sledge tore his right hamstring, Jose Vidro has a high ankle sprain and Jose Guillen has a left triceps contusion.

In Guzman's absence, Jamey Carroll will play short, and Carlos Baerga will play second base.

Carroll, one of the hottest hitters on the Nationals, went 8-for-13 in the recent series against the Giants. Overall, he is hitting .405 with three RBIs.

Baerga has been a great clubhouse presence and has come through a couple of times as a pinch-hitter.

A Claudio Vargas sighting: Right-hander Claudio Vargas was spotted in the locker room talking with Armas before Monday's game. Vargas boarded a plane with Henry Mateo on Sunday night and joined the team in Arizona. The Nationals didn't tell him why he was with the team.

"They told me they wanted me here today, and nobody told me anything," said Vargas. "I'm still waiting for somebody to talk to me."

Vargas, on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain, has been pitching very well in his rehab assignments. He was 2-2 with a 4.18 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans, striking out 35 batters in 28 innings.

Vargas is expected to be activated on Wednesday and become one of Nationals' starters. In fact, the team is seriously thinking about having him start against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon, bumping right-hander Tomo Ohka, who has been having a tough time throwing strikes.

The Nationals did not say whom they expect to send down to the Minors.

Shocking developments: Robinson and the Nationals coaching staff were stunned to learned that Endy Chavez made no improvements with the bat during his time in Triple-A New Orleans.

The left-handed-hitting Chavez usually handles himself very well against left-handed pitching. But to Robinson's dismay, he was overmatched against Giants southpaws Scott Eyre and Jason Christiansen on Sunday afternoon.

"He acted as if he had never faced left-handed pitching before," said Robinson. "I don't know why, because he was playing in New Orleans every day. Before that he was hitting lefties. I never platooned him against left-handers. He usually held his own pretty good."

Robinson feels that a change of scenery may be best for Chavez.

"It will probably be best for him, but we can't give players away unless [we] are going to get something back," he said.

Interim general manager Jim Bowden tried to trade Chavez during Spring Training but there were no takers.

The Nationals have been frustrated that Chavez has never learned how to get on base on a consistent basis.

Did you know? Entering Monday's action, the Nationals had won nine consecutive games against the Diamondbacks.

Stat of the game: Going into Monday's game, seven of Jose Guillen's home runs had come on the road.

On deck: The Nationals play the second game of a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, with Armas making his season debut. He has faced Arizona only once and has yet to give up a run in six innings.

Armas spent the first month of the season on the disabled list with a tight right groin. He spent the last two weeks in the Minor Leagues trying to get his mechanics in order.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.