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Updates on Wang, Flores, Detwiler, Willems, more

Updates and bits of news came tumbling out of Mike Rizzo's press conference today. Here is a quick rundown of what to know. Before the game, I'll have a longer post on Jason Marquis and his belief that he could return very soon. For now:

*--Jesus Flores, Ross Detwiler and Chien-Mien Wang are all progressing pretty well and a few weeks away from heading out on rehab assignments, General Manager Mike Rizzo said, with Detwiler the furthest along because his injury (hip surgery) did not involve his arm. Wang is throwing off a mound and in a few days will throw against live hitters in batting practice.

*--Jordan Zimmermann is "well ahead of schedule" in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Rizzo said. Zimmermann is now throwing to live batting at 75 to 80 percent of his capacity. "Jordan is doing extremely well," Rizzo said. "Another guy you have to really pull back so he doesn't overdo it, overwork himself."

*--Colton Willems, the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 draft, informed the Nationals he is retiring. Willems had stalled this year at Class A Hagerstown, where he compiled a 9.49 ERA in five games as a reliever.

"He came into the office and said he wanted to retire," Rizzo said. "We had a long conversation with him, [Director of Player Development] Doug Harris did. Just frustrated with his development and developmental process and the stuff he was featuring."

*--With Ryan Zimmerman healthy, there is no longer an open third base spot to give at-bats to Adam Kennedy and keep Kennedy, Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond on the field at once. Given Desmond's impressive start, he will rarely be the odd man out. "There's going to be sometimes when Kennedy or Guzman gets the short end every now and then," Manager Jim Riggleman said.

Desmond is "a player we believe is going to be a long-term, everyday answer for us at shortstop," Rizzo said. "Believe me, his best days are ahead of him."

*--Asked for any minor leaguers making a particular impression, Rizzo named only Potomac outfielder Michael Burgess. This weekend, Harris was in Potomac watching the P-Nats. "I think he is on the forefront of having a breakout year," Rizzo said. "He's got all the tools and the ability level to be an impact, everyday player for us in the near future."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 4, 2010; 6:19 PM ET
Categories:  Chien-Ming Wang , Cristian Guzman , Ian Desmond , Ryan Zimmerman  
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Next: Jason Marquis is in a rush to return

Comments

New news breaking from the radio broadcast - John Lannan is being shut down for his next scheduled start, due to elbow inflammation.

Posted by: BinM | May 4, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

D'oh! Should look at prior posts before pulling the trigger late. My bad.

Posted by: BinM | May 4, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I wish the best to Colton Willems, and would even like the chance to wish him well through Hagerstown. He was one of the first prospects I paid attention to, and it is disappointing that he was not able to meet his expectations. I hope he has ideas about what he would like to do after baseball, and success in whatever that is.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | May 4, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Beyond that, too- I am psyched that Wang is going to pitch against live batters. The last we heard was less optimistic.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | May 4, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Another great draft pick pick from Bowden. 22nd overall and he never even gets close to the bigs?

Posted by: dlombardo1 | May 5, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Out of curiosity, how did Doug Harris see Burgess in Potomac when the PNats were in Myrtle Beach this past weekend?

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | May 5, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

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