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Slumping and hurting, Zimmerman out of lineup

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Slumping and hurting, Zimmerman out of lineup

NEW YORK — Ryan Zimmerman, mired in one of the worst slumps of his career and dealing with a lingering foot injury, was out of the Nationals lineup Wednesday, the third time he hasn’t played in four days.

Zimmerman has tried to play through plantar fasciitis in his left foot most of the season, but the ailment hadn’t kept him out of the lineup until Sunday, when he sat for the Nationals’ series finale against the Cubs. The club was off Monday, but Zimmerman again didn’t look comfortable at the plate during Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Yankees, prompting another day off Wednesday.

“It’s not like it’s a pulled muscle, so it’s something that bothers him differently every day,” manager Matt Williams said of the injury, which is a stretched or inflamed ligament in the sole of the foot. “Some days it’s better than others. Some days it doesn’t go well. We’ll see.”

Whether it’s entirely a byproduct of the foot injury or something else, Zimmerman is stuck in a prolonged slump, the likes of which he has rarely endured during his decade in the major leagues. He ended play Tuesday hitting just .209 with a .265 on-base percentage, five homers and 34 RBI. He ranks last among 26 qualifying MLB first basemen with a .611 OPS and -0.5 WAR.

Zimmerman currently finds himself in a 4-for-46 slump, capped by Tuesday’s 0-for-4 performance.

“The issue is that if you’re hampered, you have to look at the source of all of the struggle, whether it’s physical or timing, whether it’s a combination of both,” Williams said. “That being said, we have to make sure that we’re monitoring him physically first. He’s a pro. He understands how to hit and he’s proven that over time.

“He’ll be fine. I fully expect him to be, at the end of the year, where he normally is. He’s gone through a little of a tough stretch lately. That being said, he knows how to get out of it, too. No. 1 concern for me is physical health and the foot and making sure that he’s able to get out there and play and do what he wants to do. We monitor that every day and make decisions on it every day as well.”

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE