May 31, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) is congratulated by teammates after the final out against the Texas Rangers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Zimmerman Feels Good in Left, Nats Get Ready for Darvish

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

Zimmerman feels good in left, eyes Tuesday return

(Andrew Simon,

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — For his first 1,228 professional baseball games, Ryan Zimmerman never played anywhere except on the left side of the infield.

Saturday night was different. The Nationals’ veteran third baseman, playing his second Minor League rehab game at Class A Advanced Potomac, jogged across the infield dirt, past his usual domain, and into the grassy environs of left field at Pfitzner Stadium.

Zimmerman spent five mostly-uneventful innings in left, misplaying his only real opportunity. Still, it was another step toward manning the position he’ll play at least on a part-time basis when he returns to the Nats from a fractured right thumb that has kept him out since April 12.

“It’s baseball. It’s the same,” said Zimmerman, who couldn’t remember ever having played the outfield at any level. “Obviously a different position, but the game still looks and feels the same. So nothing too crazy.” Read full article here.

Nats get ready for first matchup with Darvish

(Ben Standig,

WASHINGTON — Rangers starter Yu Darvish is a true staff ace, one of the baseball’s best pitchers. The Nationals will get their first look at the sterling right-hander in Sunday’s series finale. That makes for a challenging matchup, one that could psych out a batter or nine. From Nationals manager Matt Williams‘ perspective, the matchup for Washington’s lineup isn’t really against Darvish.

“Once the pitcher releases the ball, it’s not about you and the pitcher anymore,” the former slugging third baseman said. “It’s about you and the ball. Always have to remember that. [Batters] have true authority as soon as it’s released. We can choose to whether swing or not and what to do with that pitch.” Read full article here.

Matt Williams praises Jayson Werth’s post-pop-up sprint

(Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)

The play amounted to nothing in regard to the final result Friday. Nationals Manager Matt Williams took note, though, of what Jayson Werth did after he popped up to the catcher in the fifth inning.

With one out, Werth skied a first-pitch curveball straight into the air. Werth chucked his bat in frustration, then bolted to first base. He never bothered to check if the ball would land fair or foul. By the time the ball thudded into Chris Gimenez’s mitt behind the plate, in foul territory, Werth had sprinted to within about 20 feet of second base.

It meant nothing to the score. It meant a lot to Williams. Read full article here.

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