Sunday, May 28, 2006

Vento a Surprise Arrival from New Orleans Zephyrs

Ordinarily, Nationals fans might not have seen minor league OF Mike Vento no sooner than the end of June, the time by which new ownership is expected to be empowered to begin pondering a shake up of the team. But with OF Jose Guillen missing time with a hamstring injury, and struggling OF Ryan Church demoted, Vento has arrived a bit sooner than expected. Vento, a '97 40th round pick of the Yankees, was hitting .375 with six homers in 144 AB for the AAA Zephyrs in New Orleans. Vento was one of several prospects being eyed by manager Frank Robinson. With the potential trade of OF Alfonso Soriano, and a cornucopia of other possibilities, the Nationals this season might yet gain the services of speedster Bernie Castro, hitting .339 with an astonishing nine bags in just 59 at-bats, and Larry Broadway, batting .316 with five homers in 171 at-bats. Though Castro and Broadway are somewhat problematic as a place must be found for them to play, a virtual lock for a callup is reliever Bill Bray, 4-1 with four saves and a 3.52 ERA in 30 innings. Bray's ticket will be punched because Robinson covets him as a lefty.