The Washington Nationals open a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight in the nation's capital, but they will do so without their regular third baseman in the lineup. When Davey Johnson released the lineup for the first game of three with the D-Backs, Ryan Zimmerman's name was noticeably absent, with Chad Tracy filling in at third base tonight in Nationals Park:
Today's lineup vs. ARI: Span 8, Rendon 4, Werth 9, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Tracy 5, Bernadina 7, Suzuki 2, Gonzalez 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 25, 2013
When Nationals' manager Davey Johnson met with reporters this afternoon he said that the Nats' 28-year-old third baseman was experiencing shoulder discomfort and taking medication to help deal with the issue, though Johnson was reportedly not too concerned and said Zimmerman was available to pinch hit if necessary:
Davey said he does not see the shoulder as worrisome for Zimmerman. Thinks soreness is prob from workload.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 25, 2013
Ryan Zimmerman has shoulder discomfort, according to Davey, but day off was planned. Available to PH, will start tomorrow.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 25, 2013
Davey says Zimmerman is fine, even though he's taking anti-inflammation for his shoulder. He wanted to stack two days off for him.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) June 25, 2013
The Nationals' skipper also apparently reinforced the suspicion that 24-year-old right-hander Taylor Jordan would be the pitcher who gets called up to fill in for the DL'd Dan Haren in what would have been Haren's next scheduled start, but from the reports on the Twitter, it seems the Nationals are still expecting Haren to eventually return to the rotation:
Davey says need for starter is Saturday. Mentioned ohlendorf Karns or a teammate (Taylor Jordan!!!).— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) June 25, 2013
Davey hints that Taylor Jordan is the likely choice to start Sat. in Haren's place.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 25, 2013
Gio Gonzalez gets the start against Arizona tonight in the nation's capital. As for Haren, reports today said that he had an MRI which revealed no damage in his right shoulder, but he received a shot in his right shoulder and will likely start to throw again in a few days.
MEANWHILE... over in Pfitzner Stadium, Bryce Harper is in the Potomac Nationals' lineup as he begins his rehab stint with the Nats' Class-A Carolina League affiliate:
According to what Johnson told reporters, Harper's unlikely to return for this weekend's series in NY:
Davey says Harper will play 3-4 innings tonight. He doubts Harper will be ready to play this weekend in New York, but hoping Monday vs. MIL.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) June 25, 2013
Davey says unlikely Harper comes off DL this weekend. More likely he returns next week.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 25, 2013
Game time 7:05 pm EDT tonight. Gio Gonzalez vs Trevor Cahill... Who's watching the Nationals?