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Washington Nationals' Prospects Finish AFL Regular Season.

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Washington Nationals' prospect Chris Marrero (1B) waits in the on-deck circle at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.
Washington Nationals' prospect Chris Marrero (1B) waits in the on-deck circle at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.

The box score for Thursday's Phoenix Desert Dogs/Surprise Rafters game doesn't mention the most important development out of Arizona, Stephen Strasburg's knee injury and subsequent removal from the starter's role in Saturday's nationally-televised AFL Championship, but it does wrap up the regular season for all of the Nationals' prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League, with SS Danny Espinosafirst baseman Chris Marrero and relief pitcher Josh Wilkie all appearing in the D-Dogs' 7-4 loss. Espinosa was 0 for 2, leaving the 22-year-old infielder with a .345 AVG, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR and 14 RBI's in 24 games, over which he posted a .434 OBP, with a .460 SLG and an .894 OPS. Marrero, 21, goes 2 for 4 with his 10th double and 21st RBI in 20 games and 83 AB's in which he's collected 29 hits, (7 doubles and 3 HR's), for a .349 AVG with 8 walks, 16 K's, a .402 OBP, .542 SLG and a .944 OPS. Wilkie, 25, a right-hander out of George Washington University who signed with DC as an undrafted free agent, gave up a hit in a scoreless inning of work in the fifth, and shortly thereafter received news that could (potentially) change the course of his career...(cont. after the JUMP)...

Final Score - Rafters 7, Desert Dogs 4 - MLB.com Gameday.

Desert Dogs finish AFL Reg. Season: 19-13.

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Washington Nationals Set 40-Man Roster...

Elijah Dukes Goes Yard...Again...

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• Washington Nationals Set 40-Man Roster...("but not Wilkie")...

Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin wrote a Nationals Journal post this afternoon entitled, "Nats add three to 40-man roster, but not Wilkie", in which he reported that the Nationals had added Juan Jaime, a 22-year-old right-hander out of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic, Atahualpa Severino, a 25-year-old left-hander out of Cotui in the DR, and LHP Aaron Thompson, who'll turn 23 in February, and who is also known as The Nick Johnson Return, the Florida Marlins' '05 1st Round pick out of Houston, Texas, who was acquired by DC GM Mike Rizzo in return for old "Two-Spot" himself, Nick Johnson in a deadline deal that broke some Nats' fans' hearts...But after sending Josh Wilkie out to the Arizona Fall League, the Nationals have left the 25-year-old right-hander off the 40-Man Roster, leaving him unprotected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

Wilkie, who pitched for Double-A Harrisburg and the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in 2009, (compiling a (7-5) record with a 2.64 ERA, 67 hits, 22 R, 21 ER and 17 walks allowed with 65 K's collected, a 1.17 WHIP, 10.1 K/9 and a 6.25 K/BB in 51 G and 71.2 IP), went out to Arizona and pitched 12.2 innings more over 10 AFL games in which he surrendered 17 H, 12 R, 6 ER, and 4 walks while striking out 12 and suffering just one loss, (0-1, 4.26 ERA)), will now, Mr. Sheinin notes, "...be subject to the Rule 5 Draft, where another team can claim him for $50,000."  Will Wilkie slip through? Will some jokers up in Toronto take a chance on the righty? Maybe a certain manager out in Cleveland? The Rule 5 Draft is December 10th...Will Josh Wilkie be a National on December 11th?

• Elijah Dukes Goes Yard...Again...

Elijah Dukes was the Tigres del Licey DH in Thursday's Dominican Winter League game against Aguilas Cibaenas. After lining out to left in his first AB, Dukes homered (for the second time in 3 games) sending a two-run blast out to left in his second at bat after Dodgers' and Tigres' infielder Blake Dewitt was hit by a pitch to leadoff the fourth. Dukes collected his 3rd RBI in the 5th with a sac fly, and ended the game with a swinging K in the eighth. Dukes goes 1 for 3 with a walk, HR and 3 RBI's as the Tigres cruise to a 12-4 win