Zimmermann’s rehab continues with promise

Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann told me a day after his rehab stint with Potomac that the back of his leg where he was hit by a line drive still hurt. But he’s tough--after all, he is a former Wisconsin high school football standout.

He told me with treatment he should be ready to pitch Sunday. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday and will be re-evaluated after that.

Fish Back to Earth against Nats
After winning the first nine of the season against the Nats, the Marlins have dropped two in a row to the local nine. Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez told me before Wednesday’s game that the Nationals were playing better baseball.

He said he’s always been afraid of their offense and the bullpen has really gotten better. The improved pitching by the relievers has really been a factor during this entire series.

Elijah Dukes Appreciates Foli
Nats outfielder Elijah Dukes rejoined the starting lineup this month after being demoted to Triple A Syracuse. While back in the minors he told me he appreciated the way Chiefs manager Tim Foli communicated with him in a positive way and he said Nats skipper Jim Riggleman has picked up where Foli left off.

He also shared with me the tidbit that this is nothing new. When Jim was the bench coach earlier in the season, he always walked around the clubhouse after every game and gave words of encouragement to the players.

The only difference since Riggleman has taken over the managerial duties is that now he speaks to the players as a group after games.