Ryan Zimmerman feeling little progress in right oblique

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Things are looking grim for Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

He was diagnosed with a strained right oblique muscle earlier this week and has not played in a game since Wednesday. According to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore, Zimmerman has yet to report any kind of improvement as of Sunday afternoon. 

“No change,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. “As long as there’s no change, he won’t
play. It’s got to get a lot better for him to play. It feels the same.
It might be a little better, but not enough to change his status.”

Riggleman suggested Saturday that Zimmerman could be shut down for the rest of the season for precautionary reasons.  Unless something changes within the next day or two, that will almost certainly be the course of action.

Zimmerman, 25, has turned in a stellar 307/.388/.510 batting line, 25 home runs and 85 RBI over 525 at-bats this year while playing excellent defense at the hot corner.  He should get a couple of MVP votes and would be near the top of the pack for that award if he were on a better team.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.