Washington Nationals Release Elijah Dukes

Elijah Dukes would not be starting for the Washington Nationals after all. In fact, Dukes now needs to shop for a new team after the Nationals released him two weeks before spring training ends.

The Nationals management has yet to issue an explanation for the sudden move. Dukes was highly expected to be Washington’s starting outfielder in the coming MLB season after a generally good showing in the last 29 games of the 2009-2010 season.

Injuries have kept the 25-year-old Dukes from developing his potential. He played only 188 games for the Nationals over the past two seasons. His off-field troubles had also been a concern for the Nationals, although he appeared to have begun to fix his personal life.

Dukes has been arrested several times over the past years for charges that ranged from assault to marijuana possession. He has also faced paternity claims, with court records showing that he fathered no less than five children with  four different women from 2003 to 2006.