Zimmerman '100 percent' after swinging

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Zimmerman '100 percent' after swinging

Ryan Zimmerman took 30 full swings off soft-toss pitching this morning and emerged with his injured right shoulder feeling 100 percent, leaving the Nationals third baseman on track to come off the disabled list Tuesday.

There's still a minuscule chance Zimmerman could return to the lineup for tomorrow night's series finale against the Phillies if he feels great after a full pregame workout tomorrow. But the 27-year-old understands the safer course is probably to wait until Tuesday's road trip opener in Pittsburgh.

"Unless I come out tomorrow and feel just unbelievable and feel absolutely nothing, there'd be a chance," he said. "But it's kind of silly to rush and do it tomorrow. ... It would be a shame if we didn't wait one more day and messed it up. We have an extra day on Monday. That works in nice and gives me an extra day to get more swings. I would say Tuesday."

Having missed the last two weeks with inflammation of the AC joint in his right shoulder, Zimmerman resumed swinging yesterday, first hitting off a tee. He did that again today, then progressed to soft-toss. The only remaining step is to take a full round of batting practice off a live pitcher.

"Nothing hurt yesterday, but it felt way better today than it did yesterday," he said. "Whenever you come back from something, you're a little cautious at first. I was pretty much 100 percent today swinging at flips, and it felt fine."

Zimmerman, who believes he suffered this injury after multiple diving attempts in the field, said he won't take any extra precautions once he returns to ensure it doesn't happen again.

"Not unless you want me to stop diving for balls," he said. "These things are just things that happen. If you play enough games and are fortunate enough to be up here, you're going to get hurt. Unfortunately, I had to miss some time. Sometimes you can play through them, sometimes you can't. I think if it was August or September, it would be a different story. But it's better this way. It was frustrating, but it was the right thing to do."

Nationals minor league affiliate to play rare tripleheader

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Nationals minor league affiliate to play rare tripleheader

Here's something you don't see every day. The Single-A Potomac Nationals, an affilliate of the Washington Nationals, will play three games on Wednesday in a rare tripleheader.

Doubleheaders in baseball are common. The Nationals have one coming up in just over a week on Saturday May 14. Three games in one day, though? That's a lot of baseball.

Here's how it will work. The P-Nats and the Lynchburg Hillcats will play their first game at 3 p.m. in Lynchburg. It's a continuation of Monday's game that was suspended in the fifth inning due to rain. That game will go nine innings. They will then play two seven-inning games to close out their series.

So, barring extras, that means 19 innings of baseball. That's about the same as a doubleheader of two nine-inning games, but this day will have three different game results. 

A tripleheader, by the way, has not been played in the majors since 1920. It has been almost a hundred years and it may never happen again.

For more on the tripleheader, click here.

 

Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - Projecting Harper's USA super team

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Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - Projecting Harper's USA super team

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On this week's episode of 'Baseball in the District,' we examined the Nats' resurgence in the Midwest, Bryce Harper's surprising struggles and how the suspension of Dee Gordon could affect the NL East. We also projected what Harper's idea of a U.S.A. super team for the World Baseball Classic would like.

This week's episode also featured a very special guest: D.C. Washington, the national anthem extraordinnaire that has become a fan favorite around town. How did he get his name? How did he get his start singing anthems? Does he still get nervous before them? D.C. answered those questions and more in what turned out to be a very fun interview.

You can listen to the show on ESPN 980's website or download the show on iTunes.

Nats look to win fifth straight at Kansas City Royals

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Nats look to win fifth straight at Kansas City Royals

Nats (18-7) vs. Royals (13-12) at Kauffman Stadium

After yet another impressive victory on Monday for the Nationals, who have all of a sudden found their groove against baseball's best teams, Washington aims for their fifth straight win on Tuesday night at the Kansas City Royals.

Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.03) will make his sixth start of the season. He's coming off to consecutive outings of seven scoreless innings. This is the second time Roark has faced the Royals in his career. He went 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run at Kauffman Stadium back in August of 2013.

Pitching for Kansas City will be former Nats minor leaguer Chris Young (1-4, 6.12). He and Roark were teammates on the 2013 Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs.

Wilson Ramos is back in the lineup to catch Roark. He spent five days on MLB's bereavement list to grieve the death of his grandfather.

First pitch: 8:15 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Tanner Roark vs. Royals - Chris Young

NATS

CF Michael Taylor
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Daniel Murphy
DH Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
LF Chris Heisey
(RHP Tanner Roark)

ROYALS

SS Alcides Escobar
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Kendrys Morales
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
2B Omar Infante
3B Christian Colon
RF Jarrod Dyson
(RHP Chris Young)

Follow along with GameView here.