Zimmerman on shoulder: More sore than usual
Nationals pitcher Doug Fister threw on flat ground from 60 feet on Sunday as he works his way back from a right lat strain. Nats pitching coach Steve McCatty said the right-hander looked normal and did not complain of discomfort during or afterwards.
"He played catch at 60 feet today and he threw the ball fine. No pain, he didn't feel anything in the back or in the elbow, so that's good."
Fister is currently on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 23. The injury is a lat strain, but he also missed time in spring training due to right elbow inflammation.
Fister was shut down for five days before throwing on Sunday, and will now be evaluated to determine the next step in his recovery. McCatty was unsure of the program moving forward, saying it will likely be revealed by Matt Williams later in the day.
"He doesn't like sitting here and doing this," McCatty said of Fister. "He understands and knows there's a process to doing it."
The Nationals have already had to adjust to injuries to their pitching staff with Fister on the disabled list. Both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan made the team's Opening Day roster because of the injury, and Jordan Zimmermann had his first start pushed back due to flu-like symptoms.
The Nationals have also lost Wilson Ramos to the disabled list after he had surgery on his left hand, and Ryan Zimmerman is now awaiting results of an MRI on his right shoulder. Backup outfielder Scott Hairston was also placed on the DL earlier Sunday morning.
McCatty took stock of the team's injuries on Sunday.
"You never get used to it, but you're happy with the depth. We have guys. We have pitching. Obviously the guys that are in the big leagues are the ones that you want to stay healthy, but that's part of the reason Rizzo has done such a great job is the depth that is here. Doug will be back, according to how long it takes him, however long that program is. But injuries are a part of the game, it happens."
McCatty noted the team's opponent on Sunday, the Atlanta Braves, who lost two members of their starting rotation to Tommy John surgery in spring (Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy).
"When it happens, you can't quit and say people should feel sorry for us. Are those guys in Atlanta going to feel sorry for us after what they've been through? Or anybody. Nobody feels sorry for you."