May 3, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Nationals News 5/16

Before the Nationals return home to face the Mets tonight, get caught up on everything you need to know with some great articles from around the web:

Seasoned Niese faces young Roark in DC

(Anthony DiComo,

Jon Niese may not be the oldest member of the Mets’ rotation, but he is certainly its elder statesman.

As injuries continue to reshape New York’s starting five, Niese will take the mound Friday as by far its longest-tenured member. He has made 125 career starts for the Mets over the past seven seasons; none of the team’s other four starters have been on the roster for more than 11 months. Three of them debuted for New York this season, including rookies Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom, who both made their first big league starts this week.

Niese has also been one of the club’s most successful pitchers over that span. Off to a white-hot start this year, Niese has shrugged aside shoulder and elbow issues to post a 2.17 ERA over his first seven starts. Last time out, Niese submitted his worst — and that’s a relative term — start of the year against the Phillies: Six innings and three runs in a no-decision. Read full article here.

Zimmerman’s fractured thumb not yet healed

(Bill Ladson,

PHOENIX — Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman recently had X-rays done on his fractured right thumb, and they revealed that he is not close to doing any thumb exercises. The problem is that the thumb hasn’t healed. There is no timetable as to when it will be 100 percent.

“The doctor is not comfortable with him doing any strengthening stuff — yet,” manager Matt Williams said. “I imagine we go back to that within a week and see where he is at. .. It’s been four weeks and he is not quite there yet.” Read full article here.

Storen not seeing much action

(Bill Ladson,

PHOENIX — Nationals reliever Drew Storen hasn’t seen much action lately. In fact, he has made three appearances in the team’s last 13 games. There is nothing wrong with Storen, according to manager Matt Williams.

After Danny Espinosa tied the game Monday with a solo homer in the ninth inning, Storen was warming up to enter the game until Kevin Frandsen hit what would prove to be the game-winning home run a few minutes later. Then Williams decided to bring in his closer Rafael SorianoRead full article here.

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