Nationals Chatter: Injury plague strikes, Williams on replay, more on Harper and Robinson

Much of the past week was dominated by the Nationals’ injury woes.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and center fielder Denard Span are the latest Nats to hit the disabled list.

Zimmerman is expected to be out four to six weeks after fracturing his right thumb on Saturday, while Span was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after a collision with the Braves’ Dan Uggla last Friday.

In between injuries, the Nats were swept by Atlanta, but got back on the winning side of things after landing in Miami.

Here are some stories you may have missed about the Nats from other media outlets.

* Heading into the 2014 season, many experts predicted the National League East race would come down to the Braves and the Nats. After a disappointing 2013 season, the Nats were still predicted to be World Series favorites by a few others. With all of the talent on the team, the only thing that could derail the team would be their health. Well, 14 games into the season the Nats have already placed several key players like Zimmerman, Span, Doug Fister and Wilson Ramos on the disabled list. ESPN’s Jason Wojciechowski explores how the Nats can hang onto the division with their current injuries.

* As everybody knows, expanded instant replay is new to baseball this season. Not everyone is happy with the system Major League Baseball has in place, including Nats manager Matt Williams. ESPN’s Buster Olney details the disputed call involving Nate McLouth from Saturday against the Braves. McLouth appeared to be safe on a groundout to first base, but was called out. Williams challenged the call, but it was not overturned. It also took the umpires four minutes to review the call. Williams has yet to win a challenge this season.

* Outfielder Bryce Harper has batted in a variety of spots in the lineup so far this season. He has hit anywhere from second to fifth to seventh. Former baseball player and current FOX Sports contributor Gabe Kapler believes Harper would be best suited in the No. 2 hole. Meanwhile, future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas believes Harper should bat third in the lineup. To read more on their explanations, click here.

* This will hopefully be the first full season for Nats’ 2012 first-round draft pick Lucas Giolitio. The young right-hander underwent Tommy John surgrey and returned toward the end of last season. Because of Giolito’s potential, he has earned the No. 15 overall prospect ranking in baseball from Bleacher Report. For more on Giolito, click here.

* Are you getting tired of “Take on Me” during the seventh inning stretch? If you are, you’re not the only one. Some believe the song should be retired by the Nats. For more on the a-ha controversy, click here.

* Thanks to the sweep by the Braves, the Nats dropped four spots in’s power rankings. The club now sits at the No. 9 spot.

* Finally, Tuesday was Jackie Robinson Day throughout the major leagues. To see why the Nationals believe the day is important, watch this video. It features Ian Desmond and Span among others.

That’s a wrap of this week’s Nationals Chatter. Don’t forget to come back to for complete Nationals coverage.

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