Notes: Escobar to displace outfielders

Notes: Escobar to displace outfielders

MIAMI -- On Friday, Nationals center fielder Nook Logan had his best game of the season, going 2-for-4 with two walks and four runs scored, while outfielder Ryan Langerhans entered the game in the seventh inning and had a triple an inning later.

The two have been platooning and are trying to redeem themselves after lackluster first halves. However, Logan and Langerhans will not get many chances to show what they can do the rest of the way.

Manager Manny Acta said on Saturday that their performances on Friday will not delay the arrival of Alex Escobar, who will be the everyday left fielder, while Ryan Church moves over to center. Escobar, who has been recovering from shoulder and ankle injuries, is expected to provide more power in the lineup.

"The only thing that can delay Escobar being on this team is an injury," Acta said. "Everybody knows that if Escobar would have been healthy from Spring Training, he was going to be in this ballclub. Regardless of what they do, if Escobar is ready he is going to be on my ballclub. Simple as that."

Logan and Langerhans were philosophical when talking about their impending benchings.

"I have no control over it. The baseball will take care of itself," Logan said. "All I can do is play when my name is in the lineup.

Said Langerhans, "My approach is, I want to do the job whenever I get a chance to be out there. I felt good at the plate last night coming off the bench. I felt good in batting practice and didn't get it done (on Saturday). You like to be out there as much as possible, but at the same time, you have to come to the ballpark ready to play.

Observing a former teammate: A day after watching Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis give up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings, Nationals hitting coach Lenny Harris said he saw a different Willis than the one who has dominated hitters in the past.

Harris noticed that Willis didn't have his usual herky-jerky motion. Harris should know. The two played together for two-plus seasons in Florida.

"I see a lot of difference in him. He looked like a totally different pitcher or something was bothering him. He had no kind of spunk going," Harris said. "It could be something that's bothering him because I've seen him throwing inside, jamming guys and breaking their bats and taking control out there. I didn't see any of that yesterday. Everything was flat. His fastball was flat. We were all guessing, 'What was that.' Usually when he pitches, he is on."

Injury report: A day after suffering a right knee contusion because of a foul tip, catcher Brian Schneider was back in the lineup against the Marlins on Saturday. He acknowledged that the knee was still sore, but was able to get most of the swelling down significantly.

Prospect sightings: Pitchers Ryan Detwiler and Patrick Arnold -- both drafted by the Nationals in the 2007 First Year Player Draft -- were spotted in the Nationals' locker room talking to Acta and some of the players. Both are currently playing for the Gulf Coast Nationals.

Detwiler, a first-round pick, will make his professional debut against the Gulf Coast Dodgers on Thursday. Detwiler has had two bullpen session and is ready to work.

"My last game was on May 23. I have been on the shelf way too long. I want to get out and throw," Detwiler said.

Arnold, a 15th-rounder, has played three games for the Gulf Coast team and has given up six runs in 7 2/3 innings.

Stat of the day: Entering Saturday's action, closer Chad Cordero as a 1.95 ERA since being taken off the Bereavement List on May 14.

Did you know: Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera has 19 career home runs against the Nationals. The Marlins are 12-4 when Cabrera homers against Washington.

Coming up: The Nationals play the final game of a three-game series against the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 ET. Washington right-hander Jason Simontacchi will face Florida left-hander Scott Olsen.

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