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Taylor plays well in return to lineup; Zim rests foot

Sep 6, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT

USA Today

The Nationals lineup on Sunday – once it was corrected with a late adjustment – featured the return of Michael Taylor to center field and the exclusion of Ryan Zimmerman at first base. Taylor was not 100 percent, but was ready to rejoin the lineup. Zimmerman was originally in there batting cleanup before becoming a late scratch.

Zimmerman, it turns out, is still nursing a sore left foot. He returned from the disabled list on July 28 and, though he has played very well lately, the Nationals knew there would be some complications involving his plantar fasciitis. That was the case on Sunday, but he should be good to go for Monday’s series opener against the New York Mets.

“Foot’s a little sore,” manager Matt Williams explained. “It’s one of those things. We can’t get him over that threshold to where it just won’t go away. So, little sore after yesterday. We gave him today. We stayed off him as much as we possibly could today and it worked out. He’ll be good to go tomorrow.”

Taylor lifted the Nationals to victory with a pinch-hit, walkoff homer on Friday night, but was then out of the lineup for Saturday’s game. He made a full return to start on Sunday and ended up notching a two-RBI double in his first at-bat.

“Big double. Early double for us that got us on the board,” Williams said after Sunday’s 8-4 win. “He just continues to play well. He’s not 100, but he’s getting closer and closer. He didn’t have any problems today banging it around, diving back into base and going into a base. He’s progressing well.”

Bryce Harper was impressed with Taylor’s performance on Sunday given the rookie’s injury. Taylor also recorded a single and reached base two other times on errors by Braves infielders.

“I think going through, my bursa [injury] also. Mine erupted so it wasn’t the same, but he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s a great center fielder. He’s fun to watch at the plate, and when they hang that slider he’s launching; hopefully they hang the slider for the rest of the month and he keeps launching doing the things he can. He has good at-bats. He’s an electric player for us, so when he’s on base he’s going to score because he can run. He’s fun to watch. I’m excited to have him back and hopefully he can stay in there for a long time to come.”

  1. donniebenth - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    I just may be starting to feel it.

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:35 PM

      Nothing like a good old fashioned pennant race. Bring it on!

  2. Section 222 - Sep 6, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    It’s cool to hear the “veteran” Bryce talking up the young kid MAT.

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 7, 2015 at 7:07 AM

      Yeah, except Bryce is about 3 years younger than Michael.

      • Section 222 - Sep 7, 2015 at 10:07 AM

        That’s why it’s cool, and why I put “veteran” in quotes.

  3. Joe Seamhead - Sep 7, 2015 at 5:32 AM

    I have enjoyed watching the transformation of Michael Taylor as he has gone from a nervous rookie akin to a deer caught in the headlights to a much more confident, solid contributor that now seems like he expects to succeed.

    • rmoore446 - Sep 7, 2015 at 7:01 AM


    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 7, 2015 at 11:32 AM






As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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