Ryan Zimmerman working on his throwing motion


Zimmerman, who has been nursing a surgically-repaired torn abdominal muscle, later admitted he was using the rehab as an opportunity to work on his throwing and fielding mechanics.

While his bat (a double and triple) and baserunning (two runs) looked sharp on Sunday, the third baseman, a stellar defender with great range who won a Gold Glove award in 2009, said that throwing was the most painful during the injury and has been the slowest return to normal during rehab. So Zimmerman said has been working to strengthen his torso and make his throwing and fielding motions “more efficient.”

“It’s a good time to work on that with this happening and now having to strengthen the core a little bit more and using my legs a little bit more,” Zimmerman said. “It’s just something we’re trying to parlay into being more efficient and just things like that. Its coming along good and it’s a learning process, it’s something new. And just like anything that’s new, it takes a while to learn. It’s a good first step today and we’ll go from there.”

FROM THE POST

Though they won’t have the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in two years, the Nationals will have plenty of talent to choose from in the sixth spot, especially among top-tier amateur pitchers.

Michael Morse slams a grand slam to key a 9-4 11th inning Nationals win over the Diamondbacks in a game in which both managers and two pitchers were ejected.

Ryan Zimmerman makes his first rehab assignment start in Class A Hagerstown and his bat hasn’t missed a step although he admits he is still a little “sore” and isn’t ready for a major league return yet.

Bryce Harper leaves the game with a bruised left knee during first at-bat after being hit by a pitch.

Jay Franklin was picked second in 1971, and he hasn’t been the same since, Josh Barr writes. A great read.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 6, Indianapolis 4 : Chris Marrero went 2 for 4 with a home run and 5 RBI. Matt Antonelli went 2 for 4. Ross Detwiler allowed one earned run in six innings on five hits and two walks, striking out seven.

Indianapolis 7, Syracuse 2: Chris Marrero went 2 for 4. Brad Meyers allowed three runs in six innings on five and a walk, striking out six.

Harrisburg 7, Erie 4: Stephen Lombardozzi went 2 for 4 with a walk. Chris Rahl went 3 for 4 with a double. Derek Norris went 0 for 1 with three walks.

Potomac 5, Wilmington 4: Eury Perez went 1 for 5 with a triple and four strikeouts. Justino Cuevas went 3 for 4.

Hagerstown 6, Greensboro 5: A.J. Cole allowed two runs in five innings on four hits and no walks, striking out eight. Blake Kelso went 2 for 5. He’s batting .350. David Freitas went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.

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