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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman homers in return; Juan Soto sits with sore foot + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we all see if we can make it through a day without baseball...

Houston Astros v Washington Nationals
“Are we still doing the raise the roof thing?” - Totally not a real Ryan Zimmerman quote
Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t love Spring Training. We’re purposefully understating how much he doesn’t like it based on what he’s said in the past. His manager joked after inserting Zim in the lineup for Tuesday’s home opener in West Palm Beach that he waited until the month of February was over before putting Zimmerman in.

“We didn’t play him in February. It was March 1st, so we’re into March, so he gets to go out there and play,” Davey Martinez said before yesterday’s game.

Zimmerman, 36, opted out of playing in 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign out of concern for the health of his family, but decided to return for a 16th season in the nation’s capital.

Martinez is happy to have the first baseman back for a third season together in D.C.

“Having him around every day, it’s good to have him back,” he told reporters on Monday.

“I tell him all the time that I don’t think by any means that this can be your last go-around. If you keep yourself in shape, and he’s swinging the bat well right now. He can probably play for another — a few more years, but it’s good to have him back.”

Zimmerman homered in his second trip to the plate this spring, after walking in his initial plate appearance. Like he was never gone.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

TKCHZ!!:

Zim hits 1 of Nats' 3 straight HRs in return - (MLB.com)
"'We missed you last year!' a fan yelled out from the stands as Ryan Zimmerman walked to the plate."

Zimmerman homers, feels good in first game in a year - (MASN)
"If anyone knows the routine at this point, it’s Zimmerman. And his 2021 debut this afternoon felt perfectly routine."

Ageless Ryan Zimmerman begins 16th Spring Training with a home run - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Death, taxes…and Ryan Zimmerman giving us the same soft smile for his annual roster picture."

Soto’s Foot:

Nationals slugger Juan Soto sits after fouling ball off foot - (Washington Times)
Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto sat out the team’s exhibition home opener on Monday because he fouled a ball off his right foot a day earlier.”

Soto fouls ball off foot in BP, needs 'day or 2' - (MLB.com)
"Juan Soto’s Spring Training debut got pushed back after he fouled a ball of his right foot during live batting practice on Sunday."

Soto’s spring debut delayed by foul ball off the foot - (MASN)
“Though the Nationals aren’t considering this a serious injury, they didn’t want to risk putting their young star on the field today, a full month before the season opener.”

Fedde’s Cutter:

In spring debut, Fedde rides 28-pitch roller coaster - (MASN)
“Unable to locate his bread-and-butter sinker with any consistency early on, Fedde decided instead to try his cutter. And the difference was significant.”

Erick Fedde uses cutter in Nationals spring training debut - (WaPost)
“Without his desired fastball command, Fedde had his pitch count spiking before he recorded three outs.”

KieBOOM!:

Ignoring 'Twitter World': Kieboom still at 3B for Nationals - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez remembers all too well his exact batting average from 53 games in his rookie season in the big leagues as an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs: .139."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies likely done spending (at least until July) - (PhillyVoice)
“With the Phillies now playing spring training games, it appears that the roster drama will be surrounding who makes the team — at the conclusion of a bevy of position battles — rather than if they will add another impact player like Jake Odorizzi or even a marginal piece.”

Sandy Alderson speaks out about Mets’ risky pursuit of Trevor Bauer - (NY Post)
“Sandy Alderson doesn’t regret his team’s aggressive – and ultimately unsuccessful – pursuit of the polarizing Trevor Bauer.”

MLB Season Preview: Jesús Aguilar still fits Marlins roster without DH - (Fish Stripes)
“The 30-year-old will enter 2021 as the primary first baseman for the Marlins. His improved stats are a reason to be excited about him going forward.”

Freddie Freeman officially arrives at Braves camp - (AJC.com)
“The National League MVP is back. First baseman Freddie Freeman passed the screening process and worked out with the Braves on Monday morning.”