State of the Nats-4/29

State of the Nats-4/29
April 29, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Team Record: 13-12 (6-6)

N.L. East Standings

Offensive Game of the Week: Bryce Harper 4/27 vs. Reds – 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
Pitching Line of the Week: Jordan Zimmerman 4/26 vs. Reds – 9 IP, 0 ER, H, BB, 4 SO, 91 pitches (59 strikes)
Top Storylines
Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos injuries - The Nats have two key guys rehabbing from hamstring injuries and both are set to return this week. Ramos will be with the Nats Monday night in Atlanta while Zimmerman is headed to Single-A Potomac for a rehab assignment on Tuesday and Wednesday with a Friday return in sight. Both players will help Washington's offense tremendously when they return, despite admirable efforts by their backups in recent games.
Adam LaRoche struggling - The Nats' first baseman is amid a 0-for-26 stretch with 13 strikeouts. He is currently a major hole in the team's lineup and Atlanta is a tough matchup coming up. His progress through the next four-game series will be interesting, especially as the calendar turns to May. At some point he needs to come around or Davey Johnson will be forced to make even more changes to the lineup.
Jordan Zimmermann’s first month - Where would the Nats' starting rotation be without Zimmermann this season? He leads the staff with four wins with just eight earned runs in 36 innings pitched. He is their most consistent pitcher lasting at least six innings in four of his five starts and has allowed three earned runs or less in each outing.
Anthony Rendon’s first MLB stint - Rendon has flashed his potential both at the plate and in the field, but there is no question the Nats are looking forward to Zimmerman's return. Once he gets back, Rendon is expected to head right back to the minor leagues and could be there for a while as the team wants him to get more seasoned. What will prompt the Nats to bring him up again? It would seem that unless the Nats see another injury to Zimmerman, or maybe another infielder, we may not see Rendon until much later this season. 
Quote of the Week

Denard Span on Bryce Harper:

“Special. No question he’s an unbelievable talent. I compare it to 2009 when I was teammates with Joe Mauer, watching him win the MVP. Every day he was doing something to help us win, whether it was calling a good game or coming through with a big hit. For the first month, that’s what I’ve seen out of Bryce.”
Tweet of the Week
Gio Gonzalez went to the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night and saw a bunch of celebrities. Pictured in his photo collage are Ed Helms, Stanley from The Office, the guy who sang 'Gangnam Style,' the dude from Duck Dynasty plus some blonde woman, the President of the United States, and Gerard Butler. Butler looks very interested as you can see.

Road Ahead
Mon. – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Strasburg)
Tue. - 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Gonzalez)
Wed. – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Zimmermann)
Thu. – 7:10 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Haren)
Fri. – 7:05 p.m. at Pittsburgh Pirates (Detwiler)
Sat. – 4:05 p.m. at Pittsburgh Pirates (Strasburg)
Sun. – 1:35 p.m. at Pittsburgh Pirates (Gonzalez)