May 7, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a two-RBI single in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: LaRoche Set For Return, Gio Throws On Flat Ground

Start off your day with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:

After pain-free BP, LaRoche set for return

(Bill Ladson,

PITTSBURGH — After playing two rehab games with Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, Adam LaRoche rejoined the Nationals on Saturday and took batting practice with the team without any problems.

LaRoche is currently on the 15-day disabled list because of a right quad strain, but he will be activated to play on Sunday, according to manager Matt Williams.

“I got to test it in a game the last two days between Potomac and Harrisburg,” LaRoche said. “I can’t really feel it. I can’t even say that it’s just tight or even sore. I didn’t feel it at all. I’m really surprised that it was gone. As bad as it hurt and from what we could see from the MRI, I didn’t think with a week off it would make it go away.” Read full article here. 

Gio throws on flat ground without discomfort

(Bill Ladson,

WASHINGTON — Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez threw on flat ground for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list this past Sunday because of left shoulder inflammation. He threw for only a few minutes, but didn’t complain about discomfort in the shoulder.

Gonzalez will throw on flat ground again Sunday at PNC Park. Manager Matt Williams didn’t give any timetable as to when Gonzalez will be activated from the disabled list. Read full article here.

Washington Nationals: Three prospects that can make an impact this season

(Connor Jones, isportsweb)

Thanks to an array of injuries, the Washington Nationals have needed to call up many more minor leaguers than expected this season. Some of these players will make an impact throughout the year, while others were only short term fill-ins. Let’s look at three prospects who could continue to make an immediate impact in Washington.

1. Zach Walters – Walters is a utility infield who can hit for power. He differs from the usual utility infielder, as they are often hit for contact but have little power. As the season continues Walters could fill the role previously occupied by Steve Lombardozzi while providing a different skill set. Walters can play all around in the infield and has even spent time in left field this year. Because he does not hit for average, he could find himself in AAA Syracuse after the returns of Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche if Greg Dobbs begins to swing a hot bat. However, his power has been a much needed asset for the Nats as he has already hit three pinch hit homers. Read full article here.

Strasburg discusses rash of arm injuries in league

(Bill Ladson,

PITTSBURGH — Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is not a doctor, but he was asked why so many pitchers were having Tommy John surgery lately. Strasburg didn’t mention any particular player, but he is concerned about how future pitchers are being used at a young age, especially during travel ball season, which is played year round.

“Even during the offseason, I go watch my buddy’s travel team and the team they are facing, they bring this kid in,” Strasburg said. “It’s December and he throws 120 pitches in four innings. [There is this other kid] who threw 190 pitches in 14 innings in high school. That whole mindset of travel ball and high school, it’s becoming such a year-round sport. Pitchers at 9 years old are exclusively pitchers, not playing any other positions. For me, at that age, I played other positions, too.

“I think that whole change of it has become more of a job at a younger age and kids not understanding or having the resources of learning how to take care of their bodies. You see these kids, they feel great and never get sore, so they keep throwing. It’s like taking money out of the bank and not putting anything back in.” Read full article here.

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