Milledge's fielding not in question

Milledge's fielding not in question

HOUSTON -- Lastings Milledge received an unofficial vote of confidence for his defense from manager Manny Acta before Wednesday's game.

There were questions before the season whether Milledge could survive permanently in center field.

"I think he's gotten a lot better since Spring Training," Acta said. "He's working hard, and he's going to continue to work."

Acta made a point that Milledge playing center field is not temporary.

"He's going to play center field here," Acta said. "I'm not concerned about it. We're not looking at anybody else to play center field right now. I'm not moving him. He's going to play, he's going to have to get better and make adjustments. We'll make a decision at the end of the season, or maybe sooner, whether he's the center fielder of the future here, or have to move to the sides."

Milledge, who turned 23 last month, has made only one error this season. He did commit six errors in the outfield in 59 games last year with the Mets.

"He's an aggressive guy who likes to challenge people and play very shallow," Acta said. "We've got to get him to play deeper. Balls that fall in front of you are usually singles."

The Nats acquired Milledge from the Mets in an offseason trade, giving up outfielder Ryan Church and catcher Brian Schneider.

Gene Duffey is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.