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Fall Leagues And Fall News...Washington Nationals Edition.

The Peoria Saguaros had to score 13 runs to beat the Mesa Solar Sox, and in doing so, by a score of 13-12 today, the Sags, (as their "affectionately?" known), now 17-7, take a 1.0 game lead in the Arizona Fall League's American Division (over the Solar Sox, who are 16-8 after the loss). Nationals' prospects Leonard Davis, Bill Rhinehart and Ian Desmond started at right, first and short, respectively, and hit sixth through eighth in the Peoria lineup, going a combined 5 for 16 with 2 doubles, 3 runs, an RBI and a stolen base collectively in the win. 

Leonard Davis, playing in his first game since October 25th, (not sure why?), was 2 for 4 with a walk and a run scored to lift his AFL AVG to .340 (16 for 47) in 12 games in which he has 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR's, 11 RBI's, 1 steal and a .404 OBP. 

Bill Rhinehart was 3 for 4 with a walk, 2 runs, 2 doubles and an RBI. Rhinehart's now got 6 doubles with the Saguaros, 13 RBI's and a .246 AVG. His performance earned the Nationals' first base prospect a mention in the write-up of the game at MLB.com by Josh Jackson entitled, "Murphy, Sags top Sox in slugfest", (ed. note - "I would've gone with, '...Sags sack Sox in slugfest...') in which Mr. Jackson notes:

"Bill Rhinehart (Nationals) added three hits and scored twice." 

Rhinehart gets the quick nod, but it's NY Mets' prospect Daniel Murphy, the titular "Murphy" of Mr. Jackson's article, (who has been playing second with the Saguaros all Fall), who is really impressing, hitting .388 after going 3 for 5 today with a double, a home run and 3 RBI's, for Fall totals of 5 doubles, 2 HR's and 14 RBI's in 12 games. 

Ian Desmond, starting to Murphy's right at short for the Saguaros, was somehow 0 for 4 amidst all the scoring, though he walked, scored a run and helped Peoria pitcher (and Cards' prospect) Justin Fiske turn a double play in the sixth to cut a Solar Sox' rally short. Desmond's now hitting .254 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 9 RBI's and 2 steals. 

Tomorrow night the Saguaros travel to Scottsdale to take on the Scorpions at 7:05 pm EST. 

Bonifacio vs Hernandez...Prelude To A Spring Battle...

The Tigres del Licey dropped a 10-5 decision to Aguilas Cibaenas tonight, but for a moment Emilio Bonifacio grabbed the upperhand over Anderson Hernandez in the battle for DC's second base job. Bonifacio, starting in center again, was 3 for 4 with a triple and an RBI to raise his AVG to .290 in the DWL with 2 doubles, 3 triples and 5 RBI's. Hernandez was 0 for 3 with a walk, but he's still hitting .414 for the Tigres, with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 1 HR, 12 RBI's and 2 stolen bases. 

Join The DY Discussion...Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball had a FANPOST yesterday entitled, "Breaking News: Nats outright Young to Triple-A", that started a discussion about what the move means to the DC roster in 2009. Will the next move involve Nick Johnson? The Yankees just set Jason Giambi free, maybe if NY doesn't land Teixeira, they'll take Nick Johnson back? Oh that's right, they have no prospects left...

According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in another article entitled, "Nats outright Young to Triple-A", the move was made, "...In an effort to protect some of their Minor Leaguers from the Rule 5 Draft," and Mr. Ladson quotes DC GM Jim Bowden, who explains, "'This is just an administrative move to open a roster spot for protecting prospects and trades.'"

Finally, Some Hot Stove News...

FOX Sports' writer Ken Rosenthal gives the Nationals' needs a mention (and gets in a shot) in his Hot Stove article entitled, "Brewers not likely to part with Fielder", where he mentions at the end of a section on free agent arm A.J. Burnett, Mr. Rosenthal writes:

"The Nationals, like many clubs, view Burnett as a physical risk, and their greater priority is a slugger who also is strong defensively — ideally, a Mark Teixeira type, as opposed to an Adam Dunn. Of course, it's doubtful the Nats could land either."

So you got that, Fielder not likely to move, Teixeira and Dunn are out of the Nationals' league, DY's got a long way to go to get back...looks like it's Nick Johnson and Larry Broadway battling it out...Surprise me, Mr. Bowden...

• -Today at 2:00 pm EST, it's the results of the SB Nation's voting for the NL Cy Young...Check back and see who we picked and who won...