Doug Fister improving; Ryan Zimmerman takes more grounders at first

Doug Fister.  (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Doug Fister. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Starter Doug Fister’s inflamed right elbow is improving, Nationals Manager Matt Williams said. Fister is continuing to receive treatment on his right elbow, which began to feel tight after his first start last week. On Thursday, he underwent an MRI exam, which showed inflammation but no structural damage.

“The inflammation is starting to get out of there,” Williams said Sunday morning. “And we’re just going to monitor him and see how it goes. A timetable for him we just don’t know yet either. He’s been pushed back. We just don’t know when that is yet.”

Fister, 30, was slated to start Friday but was skipped because of the discomfort. The pitcher told reporters the follow day that he was unconcerned about his elbow. The Nationals have publicly insisted they feel the same about Fister’s arm, too, because there was no structural damage on the test results.

>>> Ryan Zimmerman had a day off Sunday from the game so, after he was slated to take batting practice, he was going to take grounder at first base under the watchful eye of Williams and defensive coordinator/advance scout Mark Weidemaier.

Zimmerman has played in six games so far this spring, all at third base. He has done some work in camp at first base in anticipation of him playing some games there this spring and regular season. Williams said he wasn’t sure yet when Zimmerman would play first for the first time this spring.

“We’re taking those steps every time that he works over there,” Williams said. “Again, he’ll start playing more and more, too. So on his days off, we try and get him at first to make sure that he’s getting comfortable as well.”

>>> Adam LaRoche is expected to get some at-bats in minor league games on an off day in the middle of the month, Williams said. LaRoche is coming off a down 2013 season and is usually a slow starter in the season. So far, he has played in six games and is 5 for 15 (.333) with two home runs.

Williams is happy with how LaRoche looks at the plate, even against left-handed pitchers, but he wants to make sure LaRoche has enough time at the plate this spring before the season begins. “He’s right on track,” William said. “I like what I see.”

>>> Catcher Brian Jeroloman, a non-roster player was invited to major league camp, has been participating in physical activity but is not yet ready to appear in a game. He is still recovering from post-concussion symptoms related to a collision at home plate during a Class AA Harrisburg playoff game in September. Jeroloman was hospitalized.

Williams said Jeroloman, 28, has been cleared for physical activity, but is still not fully recovered.

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