Injury updates on Solis, Pleffner, Estevez and Ward

Double-A Harrisburg left-hander Sammy Solis is dealing with a back injury.

"He is doing well," assistant general manager and vice president player development Doug Harris said. "He is feeling well and he is beginning to progress. We will put together a return to the mound progression. Hopefully we can go forward with that."

They hope to have a better picture of when Solis will return to a throwing regimen in the next week or so. But nothing is set because it is a day-to-day situation.

High Single-A Potomac first baseman Shawn Pleffner has a quad injury. The Nationals say they will be very cautious with this injury early on. With cold weather and soft fields and the possibility of bad weather, they will take their time with his recovery.

Low Single-A Hagerstown third baseman Drew Ward is on the seven-day disabled list with an upper respiratory infection.

Suns right-hander Wirkin Estevez is on the disabled list to begin the season. Estevez threw the ball "really well" in spring training as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, now a year out. He is on the mound but is also beginning his progression to return. When he does return, it will be on a pitch count and usually will max out at three innings and build up from there.

"We anticipate him getting out of (Florida) at some point," Harris said. "There are parameters on TJ guys obviously when they return."

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A very impressive start for Triple-A Syracuse left-hander Danny Rosenbaum Wednesday in a 7-0 Chiefs win over Pawtucket. Rosenbaum tossed 6 and 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, not allowing the PawSox a hit until the fifth inning. He finished surrendering only two hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Steven Souza Jr. crushed a three-run shot, the first Chiefs homer of the season, and finished with five RBIs.

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The Nationals regular season schedule is top heavy again this year with more home games early on. The Nats will have 31 home games in first two months, with only 24 games on the road in March, April and May.

In June and July, the Nationals will have to be road warriors. Only 22 games at home in the middle of summer with 31 games away.

Then they have 16 of 28 games at home in August and 12 of 26 games at home in September.

The Nationals play the Braves 19 times, with seven of those games at home out of the first 10. Of course, the Braves already have taken two out of three at Nats Park this season and have won nine of the last 12 games in D.C.

In August and September, Braves will host six of the nine games against the Nationals. Of course, the Nats will have to play well in the other 142 games for the Braves games to be critical.

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