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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."

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC