WASHINGTON -- After watching Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman make key errors against the Braves on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, an American League scout asked when Zimmerman was moving over to play first base. The scout feels Zimmerman's arm isn't strong enough to play third base any more.
In Friday's 6-4 loss to the Braves, the bases were loaded in the ninth inning for Atlanta when Justin Upton hit a grounder to Zimmerman, who went for the force at second, but threw the ball away trying to get Jason Heyward at second base. Two runs ended up scoring and the game was tied at 4.
On Saturday, Zimmerman made another key error in the third inning of Washington's 3-1 loss to Atlanta. In that frame, Upton hit a routine ground ball to Zimmerman, who threw the ball past first baseman Adam LaRoche. It should have been the third out of the inning, and it proved costly. The next hitter, Evan Gattis, hit a two-run homer.
Zimmerman made his third error of the series Sunday, when his throw drew LaRoche into Ramiro Pena at first base, the slight collision causing the ball to fall from LaRoche's glove, allowing Pena to reach safely.
"If you look at [Zimmerman's] throwing, you are going to see a few more errors over there this year," the scout said. "He is struggling over there trying to get it right. After a while, it's going to become a mental situation. Eventually, he's going to have to come off third base."
Zimmerman had right shoulder surgery last offseason, and on a scale of 1-to-10, Zimmerman rated his shoulder a 9-plus.
"The shoulder is fine. Everything is fine. Everything feels good. Everything is great," Zimmerman said before Sunday's game. "Everyone always asks me how I throw or what I throw. Nobody throws the same and nobody hits the same. It's just how I throw. It's the way it is."
When asked about the errors the last two games, Zimmerman said, "It happens. The play during the night game was a really tough play. Yesterday, it was an error. People make errors. It's going to happen again before the year is over. Everyone is going to make errors. It's part of the game. Nobody wants it to happen. Of course, you feel bad. You play baseball long enough, that kind of stuff happens. It's part of the game. If you let it consume you, that's what gets you."
Espinosa day to day with sore right wrist
WASHINGTON -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa left Sunday's game against the Braves because of a sore right wrist, the team announced.
Espinosa hurt the wrist in the second inning, when he was hit by a pitch thrown by left-hander Paul Maholm. Espinosa stayed in the game through the fourth inning and was replaced by Steve Lombardozzi to begin the fifth after the pain and swelling in the wrist became too much.
Espinosa had X-rays taken and the results were negative. Manager Davey Johnson said that Espinosa could miss a game or two.
"It's sore. It is what it is," Espinosa said. "I already had my hamate bone removed, which was their biggest concern. I think what happened was it got me square on the wrist."
Espinosa was 0-for-1 in the game and is batting .175 this season.
Ramos heads to DL, Solano recalled
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals recalled catcher Jhonatan Solano from Triple-A Syracuse and placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.
This will be Solano's second stint in the Major Leagues. Last year, Solano hit .314 with two home runs and six RBIs in 12 games for the Nationals.
Ramos injured himself running out a ground ball in the eighth inning against the Braves on Saturday. Ramos was one of Washington's most consistent hitters, batting .300 with two homers and three RBIs. He missed most of 2012 after undergoing surgery on his right knee in May.
"It's [stinks]. He was working so hard in Spring Training. He gets back. He is in great shape. Something freaky like this to happen, it unfortunate," catcher Kurt Suzuki said.
With Ramos out, it means Suzuki will catch most of the games. Suzuki and Ramos were catching every other day before Ramos' injury.
"You have to pick up the slack with Wilson on the DL. I'll try to do the best that I can. It's unfortunate. We had a pretty good thing going," Suzuki said. "Since I came over last year, if [manager Davey Johnson] says I'm in, I'm in. … Davey doesn't need to ask if I'm good, I'll be good to go."
In Minor League injury news, Double-A Harrisburg outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. was placed on the disabled list because of a sore shoulder. Souza was off to a great start, going 10-for-27 (.370) with two home runs and four RBIs.
Span gets first taste of NL-style maneuvering
WASHINGTON -- Nationals center fielder Denard Span was shocked to learn that he was part of a double-switch in the top of the sixth inning during the 9-0 loss to the Braves on Sunday afternoon.
After making the last out in the fifth inning, manager Davey Johnson decided to take Span out of the game and put left-hander Zack Duke in his spot in the lineup, while outfielder Roger Bernadina hit ninth. At first, Span thought he did something wrong. Bench coach Randy Knorr explained why he was out of the game.
"I didn't know what the heck was going on. It was the first time being double-switched. Being in the National League, I thought maybe I got benched," Span said. "They had to break it down to me to let me know what's going on. I still don't understand it. I shook my head and took a seat."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.