Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
The Nationals considered skipping Jordan Zimmermann's final start of the first half of the season but after manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty discussed it, Zimmermann will pitch Sunday. After the break, though, the Nationals will begin using Zimmermann more as a fifth starter.
Tom Gorzelanny will face the team that traded him to Washington this offseason with the Nationals first all-regular lineup since last Friday as Nationals manager Davey Johnson has worked to put together lineups while dealing with several players with nagging injuries. Michael Morse, who missed the last three games after taking a fastball off his left forearm Saturday night, was back in the lineup hitting fifth and playing first base. Jayson Werth was dropped to sixth.
Tuesday night, Ross Detwiler made his first start in the major leagues since September 29, 2010. He pitched five innings of scoreless baseball, surrendered a leadoff double to Reed Johnson and a one-out, two-run home run to Aramis Ramirez. He also won, something he found has been happening a lot with his major league team when he joined them for the first time this season.
When the Nationals began the year, the plan was to phase Wilson Ramos in as the team's every day catcher and transition Ivan Rodriguez to a more traditional backup role. The two first began splitting time, then Ramos was playing three and four days in a row. But on his second day as Nationals manager, Davey Johnson informed Rodriguez that he'd be playing him a bit more than the veteran had been previously. Every third day, Rodriguez will catch and Ramos will continue to get two games in a row between Rodriguez's starts.
The Nationals have been planning all season to keep right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on an innings limit. Now just reaching the two-year anniversary of his Tommy John surgery, the Nationals would like to keep Zimmermann to about 160 innings this season. Because of that limit, there's a good chance he will not make another start before next week's All-Star break.
The Nationals made official the move to bring up their starting pitcher, Ross Detwiler, for Tuesday's start and in clearing room for Detwiler on the 25-man roster, they designated reliever Collin Balester for assignment.
Michael Morse is having the best season of his career. Put it together with the end of his 2010 season and he's already had the best season of a lot of people's careers. But if Morse is going to be recognized as an All-Star at an extremely difficult position -- Prince Fielder and Joey Votto are the National League's other two first basemen -- he's going to need a fan Final Vote to get him there
In need of a spot starter for Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs, the Nationals are expected to recall left-hander Ross Detwiler from Triple-A Syracuse and reliever Collin Balester is expected to be optioned.
Injury updates on Jayson Werth, Michael morse and a note on tomorrow's pitcher.
Taking a long-awaited next step in his progression from former No. 1 overall pick to major league baseball player, Bryce Harper was promoted from Low Single-A Hagerstown to Double-A Harrisburg Monday. “I think it's perfect,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson, who has known Harper since he was 15 years old. “I think right about now he needs another challenge and Double-A's the perfect spot."
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will begin today's series opener against the Cubs on the bench.
The Nationals and Cubs will open a four-game set this Fourth of July morning at Nationals Park and the Nationals will do so with Jayson Werth in the lineup in right field but Ryan Zimmerman out of it.
After 72 games with Single-A Hagerstown, Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper has made the next step in his progression to the major leagues with a promotion this morning to Double-A Harrisburg.
Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard was named the team's representative to the upcoming all-star game in Arizona.
Some leftover notes as the Nationals doubleheader Saturday comes to a close and they look for their sixth series victory in their last seven tries on Sunday afternoon...
By Elaine Donnelly
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