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Zimmerman swings but still feeling oblique pain


Zimmerman swings but still feeling oblique pain

Ryan Zimmerman's attempt to return before season's end continues, but the Nationals first baseman continues to feel a pull in his strained left oblique muscle when he tries to swing, reducing his chances of making that return.

Zimmerman, out since September 8 with this injury, has begun taking light swings in the batting tunnel at Nationals Park the last couple of days but hasn't been able to take full cuts because of continued soreness in his left side.

"Still feels it, unfortunately," manager Matt Williams said. "So, it's light in the cage. It's fungo and tee work, a little bit of soft-toss. He's trying to work through that part of it and get ready to go. But he's day-to-day still. That's the best way we can put it."

The Nationals aren't going to shut Zimmerman down, believing there's still enough time left to attempt to get him back in their lineup. But they also aren't going to push him to do something he's not ready to do, given the club's current state (they enter play Wednesday 6 1/2 games behind the Mets with 12 to play) and the risk of more serious injury.

If he suffered a major oblique tear, Zimmerman probably would lose a large chunk of the offseason to rehab, jeopardizing his preparation for 2016.

"It's an injury that's something you don't want to mess with," Williams said. "We've all seen guys come back too soon from that type of injury and be set back months. We don't want that to happen. We'd love to have him as quickly as he can get back. But for now, he's not ready to do that yet. So he'll progress and keep doing what he's doing. And hopefully that pull in there goes away and he can be free of mind when he steps on the field to play."

This winter will be an important one for Zimmerman, who still has four years and $62 million guaranteed on his contract. The Nationals desperately need their first baseman (who turns 31 next week) on the field as much as possible next season and beyond, which would be a reversal of trends.

Assuming he doesn't return in 2015, Zimmerman will fail to play in at least 102 games for the third time in five seasons. He has totaled only 156 games played the last two years, with combined offensive numbers (21 homers, 111 RBI, 44 doubles, .780 OPS) that would be solid had they merely been compiled over one season.

MORE NATIONALS: Stock Watch: Harper's magical season nearing its end

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.