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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nats Updates: Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Doug Fister, Scott Hairston

By on 4/06/2014 08:15:00 PM

Bryce Harper (OF) was not in today's lineup for the Washington Nationals' game against the Atlanta Braves. According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, manager Matt Williams explained that Harper's "day off"  was due to the young slugger's frustration with his slow start (3 for 21, 10 strikeouts, no RBI) and not due to any lingering symptoms from the collision at second base on Opening Day. He is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.

Ryan Zimmerman (3B) was informed that the MRI performed on his shoulder showed no structural damage, just inflammation. Although Zimmerman was replaced in today's lineup by Anthony Rendon, he was not placed on the DL and appeared as a pinch hitter in the game. For the short term, the Nationals plan to adjust Zimmerman's throwing workouts to minimize wear-and-tear on the shoulder. A permanent move to first base (or even a platoon with lefty Adam LaRoche) is "not imminent," said Williams, again according to Zuckerman. The longer term implications of Zimmerman's injury were examined in this post by Sports Injury Alert.

Doug Fister (SP) threw from 60 feet today. Pitching coach Steve McCatty reported that he did not feel pain in either his back or his elbow. The next step is to throw from 90 feet on flat ground, and then progess to a mound. Considering that Fister, who missed almost all of spring training,  will have to build up arm strength and then make a minor-league rehab start or two, it will probably be three weeks to a month before he returns. When he does, the Nationals may have a tough decision to make, because Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark performed excellently in their starts, and there won't be room for both. 

Scott Hairston (OF) was acquired late last season specifically for his skill off the bench hitting left-handed pitchers. So it was a surprise not to see his name in the lineup with a lefty (Alex Wood) starting for Atlanta and Bryce Harper out.  The mystery was solved when the team announced that Hairston had been placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain. The team recalled  Tyler Moore (1B/OF) from Triple-A Syracuse. 

Follow Rose Ingberman on Twitter @NatsLady and read her blog Lady and the Nats


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