Via USA TodayWASHINGTON (AP) — Nationals center fielder Lastings Milledge has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Milledge is batting .167 with no extra-base hits, one RBI, one walk and 10 strikeouts this season. He has been hitting in the leadoff spot.
Washington is 0-7, the only team in the major leagues without a victory.
The Nationals did not immediately announce who will replace Milledge on the active roster. They were off Tuesday and scheduled to host Philadelphia on Wednesday.Milledge, 24, is off to a slow start, batting .167 (4-for-24) with one RBI. Milledge was the leadoff hitter, and the front office didn't like the fact that he didn't take enough pitches to draw walks.
UPDATE: Some of the reasoning according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com
It was an adventure for Milledge in center field so far this season. On Opening Day against the Marlins on April 6, Emilio Bonifacio hit a ball that went over Milledge's head for an inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning. The next day, Bonifacio hit a triple that went over Milledge's glove. In both cases, some people in the organization believe Milledge should have caught the ball. Not Milledge. He followed the scouting report, which said to play shallow.
The team had warned Milledge about a possible demotion since Opening Day. Members of the organization were upset that Milledge was late for a meeting held by manager Manny Acta the day before, and they wanted Milledge to sit out for Opening Day. Acta refused, however, so the team fined Milledge instead.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This is ridiculous. Less than ten games into the season you send your starting center fielder to the minors? Obviously he was not off to the greatest of starts but again, less than ten days into the season. This will not do good things for Lasting Milledge's supposedly questionable attitude.
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