PHOENIX -- Nationals reliever Drew Storen hasn't seen much action lately. In fact, he has made three appearances in the team's last 13 games. There is nothing wrong with Storen, according to manager Matt Williams.
After Danny Espinosa tied the game Monday with a solo homer in the ninth inning, Storen was warming up to enter the game until Kevin Frandsen hit what would prove to be the game-winning home run a few minutes later. Then Williams decided to bring in his closer Rafael Soriano.
"I imagine there will be times during the season where Drew will be in eight out of 13 games a la [Tyler] Clippard," Williams said. "It's kind of the way we played early on. We had a lot of leads. We had an opportunity for Clipp to get in the eighth inning a lot early on. It's ebb and flow into the season. There is nothing wrong [with Storen]. There is no reason that he has been in three out of the last 13 games. It's a function of where we are at and how the games have gone. He is good with it. He is throwing a lot."
Storen is off to a good start, allowing two runs in 11 1/3 innings.
Zimmerman's fractured thumb not yet healed
PHOENIX -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman recently had X-rays done on his fractured right thumb, and they revealed that he is not close to doing any thumb exercises. The problem is that the thumb hasn't healed. There is no timetable as to when it will be 100 percent.
"The doctor is not comfortable with him doing any strengthening stuff -- yet," manager Matt Williams said. "I imagine we go back to that within a week and see where he is at. .. It's been four weeks and he is not quite there yet."
Zimmerman fractured his thumb against the Braves on April 12 while going back to second base on a pickoff attempt. With the Braves leading, 4-1, in the fifth inning, Zimmerman hit a one-out double before being picked off by left-hander Alex Wood. Zimmerman then looked at his right hand and was slow to get up. He then walked into the dugout and was taken out of the game.
Anthony Rendon will continue to be the everyday third baseman until Zimmerman returns to the lineup.
Barrett OK after minor knee injury
PHOENIX -- Reliever Aaron Barrett is OK to pitch for the Nationals if needed Tuesday against the D-backs. On Monday, he entered the game in the seventh inning and stretched his patella tendon in his right knee while throwing a pitch to Paul Goldschmidt.
Manager Matt Williams and athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came to Barrett's aid, but Barrett stayed in the game and pitched one shutout inning. After the inning ended, Barrett was seen limping into the dugout.
Barrett did not get an MRI on the knee. All he did was put ice on it. The injury is nothing new to Barrett. It happened while he was pitching for Double-A Harrisburg last year.
"[The trainers] say when I pushed off the mound, my knee hyperextended," Barrett said. "… I felt sharp pain. After two more pitches, I really didn't feel it. I just tweaked it a little bit. It should be fine."
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.