Wire Taps: On Nationals' 3B Ryan Zimmerman's Shoulder, Series With Marlins

Jonathan Ernst

The Washington Nationals were 14-5 against the Miami Marlins in 2013. They play the first game of three with the Fish tonight in the Nationals Park. Gio Gonzalez is on the mound in the series opener. Will Ryan Zimmermann will be back? Will Bryce Harper get hot?

After Sunday afternoon's win over the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams updated reporters on the results of the MRI on Ryan Zimmerman's sore right shoulder.

"The MRI showed no structural issues but there's some inflammation there...." - Matt Williams on Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder

"He's got some inflammation in his shoulder," Williams said, "so we gave him today and tomorrow. We're going to reevaluate on Tuesday. The MRI showed no structural issues but there's some inflammation there, so we're going to look at that certainly on Tuesday and see how he feels. But as of right now he's got today and tomorrow off."

At an appearance on Monday at 106.7 The Fan’s Q&A-style "Chalk Talk" event in the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse Williams talked about the difficult options that Zimmerman's shoulder is forcing the Nationals to consider. "'Would I like Ryan to play third?’ Williams said. 'Yea, I would. For a long time? Yes. But the fact of the matter is, Ryan’s got an arthritic shoulder.'" While it may not have been discussed much recently, the comments were not exactly new news.

Zimmerman took four cortisone shots to get through the Nationals' 2012 run at the NL East division title, then underwent surgery on his right shoulder that October to, "... clean out an arthritic section of bone in the acromioclavicular joint in his right shoulder," as Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told the Washington Times that fall.

Why the shoulder is acting up now is unclear.

Williams told reporters this week that he thought it was a case of "overload," the result of all the throwing Zimmerman and all major league infielders do behind the scenes.

Zimmerman has no issues swinging, and since a flare up of discomfort this spring, no problems came up before Saturday's game. "So is it a question of that throw?," the Nats' skipper asked rhetorically. "Or is it a question of him doing a lot and then showing up at this point? I don't know if there's an answer to that one. But it's there and it's sore and we'll have to adjust."

There should be more news on Zimmerman today when the Nationals decide how to proceed. Until then, links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "There doesn’t appear to be a right answer to this dilemma. And make no mistake, it’s a real dilemma, with both short-term and long-term implications." - "Can the Nationals put Ryan Zimmerman back at third base?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• NATS BEAT:

• "How many of you cringe, cower, duck, close your eyes, turn away or otherwise not watch whenever a groundball is hit to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman?" - "Throwing it all away: What to do with Ryan Zimmerman?" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "'Would I like Ryan to play third?’ Williams said. 'Yea, I would. For a long time? Yes. But the fact of the matter is, Ryan’s got an arthritic shoulder.'" - "Matt Williams: Ryan Zimmerman’s ‘Got an Arthritic Shoulder’" - Chris Lingebach, CBS DC

• "Through the first week of the season, the Nationals’ best hitter is Anthony Rendon." - "Anthony Rendon off to a hot start" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Nationals closer Rafael Soriano earned his first save of the 2014 season on Sunday after closing out the team’s 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves." - "Soriano earns first save of 2014 season, though it wasn’t easy" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Last year, the Nationals took 14 of their 19 games against Miami, outscoring the Marlins 86-52 in those contests." - "Nationals Pastime: On a seemingly different Marlins ballclub and rotation possibilities" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'You are there to give guys breaks,' Frandsen said. 'Hopefully, there is not a big dropoff. Obviously, my pop is not as big as Bryce's, but that OK. I use to back up Barry Bonds, so I'm used to that.'" - "Versatile Kevin Frandsen fills valuable role for Nationals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Nationals closer Rafael Soriano made it interesting in the ninth inning, especially in a one-run game on Sunday against the Braves." - "No panic in Nats right before the untuck" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Last September, a Nationals coach lauded the Marlins young arms, estimating they would be much improved in a year or two." - "The Marlins are good? They’re off to a strong start" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams spoke in front of Nationals fans — in the intimate confines of Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse — for 106.7 The Fan’s 'Chalk Talk' on Monday." - "Chalk Talk Notes: Matt Williams Speaks Candidly to Nats Fans" - Chris Lingebach, CBS DC

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Alvarez lasted just three innings against Colorado in his first start, giving up six runs (three earned) on seven hits." - "Capsule preview of Marlins’ three-game series at Nationals" - Tom D'Angelo, www.palmbeachpost.com

• "Even though many in around baseball have pegged the Nationals as favorites to win the division, several Marlin players refuse to let the Washington series define the club's success." - "Miami Marlins on even keel heading into Washington series" - Paul Washington, Fish Stripes

• "After failing to add to their best start in five seasons, the Miami Marlins will try to bounce back by ending their recent woes against the Washington Nationals." - "Marlins-Nationals Preview" - Alan Ferguson, Yahoo Sports

• "According to ESPN the Magazine’s poll of 143 major league ballplayers, Las Vegas’ Bryce Harper is the most overrated player in the game." - "ESPN poll: Harper is baseball’s most overrated player" - Ron Kantowski, Las Vegas Review-Journal

• "A better measure of how much they may have improved an epically bad offense will come on the upcoming road trip against National League East opponents Washington and Philadelphia." - "Miami Marlins: Veterans provide a lift for young team" - Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel

• NATS MINORS:

High-A Potomac: "For the second straight season, McCauley will serve in multiple roles as coach with the Potomac Nationals." - "Sean McCauley returns to Potomac Nationals" - David Fawcett, INSIDENOVA.COM: Prince William

• "Scouting the Hagerstown Suns and Rome Braves" - Ryan Sullivan, NatsGM

• "Tuesday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped a 10-inning game to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-2, on Monday night." - "Red Sox walk off against Chiefs in 10" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• NATSTOWN:

• "While playing for the San Fransisco Giants, the new Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams would do impersonations of Babe Ruth, including waddling around the bases and stuffing a pillow underneath his jersey." - "Nats Manager Channels Babe Ruth" - The Washington Post

• "Washington Nationals Walk-Up Music 2014" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Throughout the Nats’ first home series vs. the Atlanta Braves, a question was posed repeatedly on social media by fans at Nationals Park: Where’s Terrance?" - "Nationals fans ask 'Where’s Terrance?'" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Nats Manager Matt Williams once did impressions of everyone from Babe Ruth to his manager." - "Matt Williams’s less intense side used to include impressions of players and managers" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 80" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "After Barrett made the team, Cisneros worked to make it happen. He said he’s mailing about 60 of the T-shirts pictured above to the Nationals clubhouse as a gift." - "Nationals getting T-shirts in honor of Aaron Barrett" - Scott Allen, DC Sports Bog

• "In the infancy of the 2014 season, the Nationals have already had a pair of at-bats that sans a hit or run scored have resonated with the team and fans alike." - "The good and bad of an aggressive approach at the plate" - Nationals Buzz: Stuart Wallace, MASNSports.com

• "A map of the Nats’ fan base" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "Throughout the spring, we were subjected to the competition between David Buchanan and Jeff Manship for the fifth spot in the Phillies’ rotation..." - "Phillies Could Call on Jonathan Pettibone to Start Saturday" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links." - "Mets Morning News: An off-day means a rest from the BULLPAIN!" - Chris Strohmaier, Amazin' Avenue

Braves: "Baseball fans have long viewed footage of the historic home run Aaron hit on April 8, 1974, and recognized it as the moment Babe Ruth's 'unbreakable' record was broken." - "Hank Aaron reflects on 40 years since breaking Babe Ruth's career home run mark" - Mark Bowman, braves.com: News

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