• Today should mark the return of 3B Ryan Zimmerman to the Nats lineup.  The team went 27-31 without him and the hitting is beyond terrible, so the 26-year old Face of the Franchise can do nothing but help this club.  But abdominal injuries, even after being surgically repaired, are notorious for being slow to completely heal and players get back to normal.  If you think about it, everything comes from your core, and if core core isn't strong and healthy, it makes everything that much more difficult.  Rejoice that the best player on the team is back, but it might still be a while before he's the "real" Ryan Zimmerman.
  • LHP Tom Gorzelanny pitched on a rehab assignment for AAA-Syracuse Monday and didn't fare very well.  He lasted four innings (73 pitches, 44 strikes) and allowed four earned runs on five hits -- including a three-run homer -- walking one and striking out three.  The Chiefs went on to lose 8-3 when J.D. Martin struggled just as bad, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings.  Yunesky Maya has a big start ahead of him tonight after pitching well his previous time out against San Francisco.  Maya's been able to get through the order once (.222 BA against) but the second time through the lineup teams are hitting .364/.440/.545 off him.
  • Steve Lombardozzi won AA-Eastern League Player of the Week for the period June 5 to June 12.  The switch-hitting second baseman for the Harrisburg Senators went 14-for-26 (.538) with a home run and eight runs scored.  He's the third position player for the Sens to win the POW award, joining Tyler Moore and Archie Gilbert.  For the season, Lombo is hitting .316/.371/.460 with four homers, 22 RBIs and 14 steals, and leads the Senators in runs scored with 35.
  • The Nats play 23 of their next 29 games at home.  If they truly have designs on challenging .500, they need to start making hay.  St. Louis is a tough customer to start this nine-game stretch, but the Orioles and Mariners are cellar-dwellers and the first week of July they get Pittsburgh and the Cubs for eight games.  The Nationals will have to take advantage of that part of the schedule.  The team is 14-12 at home this season -- not sparkling, but better than their overall winning percentage.  They are pitching and fielding well, and if Zimmerman's bat can jump-start the offense they could make inroads to evening their record, as they sit six games back of .500 at 30-36.