Lehman Hopes To Return To D.C.





WASHINGTON — As a George Washington alumnus, Double-A Harrisburg righthander Pat Lehman makes frequent visits to D.C. Someday he hopes to join several of his friends by landing a job there.

Lehman's not yet concerned with putting his criminal justice major and psychology minor to good use because he's working his way up the Nationals system. In his first year as a full-time reliever, the 24-year-old has reached Double-A for the first time.

Between high Class A Potomac and the Eastern League, he was 2-2, 3.53 with 38 strikeouts and four walks in 43 innings. He had six saves with the Senators after recording seven saves for the P-Nats.

"I've been attacking hitters, going right after them," Lehman said. "It's simply a different mentality. I've been listening to a bunch of guys in the bullpen. They've been giving me a lot of advice on how to go out there and handle everything."

The 6-foot-3 New Jersey native has a sinker, changeup and slurve to go with his four-seamer. He said he has relied more heavily on his change than in the past.

Though George Washington has produced just two major leaguers since infielder Sam Perlozzo played 10 games for the 1977 Twins and two games for the 1979 Padres, Lehman has had role models in the organization. Lefthander Mike O'Connor pitched for the Nationals in 2006 and 2008 before resurfacing with the Mets this season. Righthander Josh Wilkie, a Colonials teammate of Lehman's for a year, had 11 saves at Triple-A Syracuse.

"Wilkie's always a great guy to get advice from, because he's been around here," Lehman said outside the Senators' dugout after a home win. "He's basically a back-end-of-the-bullpen guy, too."

CAPITAL GAINS

• The organization beat the deadline to sign its top four picks in third baseman Anthony Rendon, righthander Alex Meyer, center fielder Brian Goodwin and lefthander Matt Purke. The group received $13.75 million in bonuses.

• Potomac righthander Hector Nelo, owner of the best fastball in the Carolina League according to the league's managers, was up to 16 saves in his first season after being released. "I think a lot of his availability is how good the Rangers system is," said farm director Doug Harris, who was a crosschecker with Texas when Nelo was drafted in the 15th round in 2007.