WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals watches the game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on April 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
• Ryan Zimmerman Gets Second Opinion: The biggest news out of this morning's pregame press conference with Washington Nationals' Skipper Jim Riggleman had to do with the Face of the Nats Franchise, Ryan Zimmerman and his recovery from an ab strain which has had him on the DL for several weeks now. "Zim is getting another opinion about what's the holdup in terms of progress. Hopefully here in the next couple of hours we'll have some more information about how far along he is and so forth." The Nats' Skipper didn't have detailed information, promising that the Nats' head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz would have an update later this afternoon. "He's gone out and thrown," Riggleman explained, "and from one day to the next didn't feel any better than the previous day, and that's after two or three weeks off, so that's concerning." Zimmerman, 26, went on the DL with an abdominal strain that he reaggravated sliding into second in a game in New York after initially sustaining the injury during Spring Training.
• 5.0 IP In 25 of 25: The Washington Nationals have gotten 5.0 innings (at least) out of every starter they sent to the mound this season, and though it's only April, the early improvment on the mound isn't insignificant according to the Nats' Skipper. "The significance of it is that we came into the season thinking our rotation has got to pitch better than it did last year and we're still at a small sampling, we're one month into this, but one month is a lot of games played in that month and our guys have toed the rubber and given us a chance to win every night."
• Ankiel Batting Second: "On base percentage is key," Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman said when asked how comfortable he was batting Nats' center fieldler Rick Ankiel (and his 215/.291/.571 slash line through 25 games and 105 plate appearances) second behind leadoff man Danny Espinosa. "First and second is an area last year that we wanted to improve in this year in terms of on base and right now we're not getting on base a lot, but I really like the second spot for Ankiel. You kind of like to have somebody there that can really juice the ball there a little bit and he certainly can, but we have quite a few candidates for that. I know there's talk about Ian [Desmond] hitting second and you can make a case for a lot of guys hitting second. Werth, I think, fits that hole very well, but without Zim we need to hit him a little lower. So, it's kind of a product of who we're putting on the field right now. I think it's a good spot for [Ankiel], but I think it's a good spot for a lot of people, but our on base percentage is something that will improve."
"I like Ankiel there," the Nats' Skipper continued, "and we want him to get it done there."
• Lightning Rod: 24-year-old right-hander Henry Rodriguez, acquired from the A's this winter in the deal that sent outfielder Josh Willingham to Oakland, has yet to get into a game since returning from the DL, but according to the Nats' Skipper, it's just because he's looking for the right spot to put him in for the first time. "I'm so anxious to get [Henry Rodriguez] in there," Riggleman said when asked about the flame-throwing reliever, "I want Henry in there and really because I hate that [it's] going to be too many days before he gets in there, but I try to pay respect to the guys who've done a great job for us," and with all the close games the Nats have played, the Nats' Skipper says the right situation hasn't presented itself so far.