The Washington Times - March 21, 2011, 08:51AM

JUPITER, Fla. — The big news this morning is obviously Bryce Harper being carted off the field during a minor league intrasquad game at the Nationals’ training complex.

Right now, Harper is listed as day-to-day with a left ankle sprain but it’s more than likely that the Nationals will be running more tests and taking an X-ray. I’ll certainly update you with any information as it becomes available.


As for the rest of the news this morning…

— Manager Jim Riggleman said this morning that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman could realistically get into a game on Thursday, following the team’s scheduled off day on Wednesday. Zimmerman hasn’t played since Monday while he nurses a sore groin.

— The Nationals are going to try and work Chad Gaudin into a major league game sometime in the next few days and when they do, it will most likely be in a relief role. Gaudin hasn’t pitched in a big league game since March 10, getting most of his work in during minor league games, but has pitched well in those games.

“We’ve got to get him back over (to the major league complex),” Riggleman said. “He’s the one who’s gotten shorted in the major league competition more often than anyone else… It’s time to get Gaudin back on the major league side of the complex.”

With Tom Gorzelanny the leading contender for the Nationals fifth rotation spot, Gaudin would most likely be transitioned to long relief. As such, his next appearance would probably be in that role, but Riggleman said today that long relief isn’t the only way he could be helpful.

“If Gorzelanny is in that spot, Gaudin is pitching well enough that we’d certainly consider him for the bullpen,” Riggleman said. “I think he’d be a good addition there as well as a starter but I think he could help us there.

“If long relief was needed I’d feel real comfortable but I’d also feel comfortable that in late innings he’s going to have composure and, kind of like (Todd) Coffey, add some experience down there.”

— Nyjer Morgan is getting the start again today in center field but Rick Ankiel and Roger Bernadina were both on the list to travel to Jupiter with the team.

Here are the lineups:

Nationals lineup
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ian Desmond SS
Laynce Nix RF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Michael Morse LF
Ivan Rodriguez C
Danny Espinosa 2B
Alex Cora 3B
Livan Hernandez P

Cardinals lineup
Ryan Theriot SS
Colby Rasmus CF
Albert Pujols 1B
Matt Holliday LF
Lance Berkman RF
David Freese 3B
Skip Schumaker 2B
Gerald Laird C
Chris Carpenter P