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Nationals to monitor Young, Johnson

Nationals to monitor Young, Johnson

PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Manny Acta said of all the injured players on the roster, the Nationals will keep a close eye on first basemen Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young.

Acta said that Young has to be monitored the most. The skipper wouldn't go into specifics except to say that Young has to keep his diabetes under control. Young missed most of the second half of this season because of problems with diabetes.

The team also wants Young to lose weight. When Young returned to the team Sept. 9 at Shea Stadium, a baseball source said that day that Young tipped the scales at 310.

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Johnson has a history of getting injured dating back to his Minor League days with the Yankees. Johnson missed most of this season because of a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist.

Because Johnson and Young are fragile, general manager Jim Bowden hinted that the Nationals may need to go out and get a first baseman in case Johnson and Young go down again next season.

"We have to go into Spring Training prepared and have options," Acta said.

This year, excluding Johnson and Young, Washington used five first basemen. Aaron Boone played the most games at first, but he is not considered a long-term solution.

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

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