Ryan Zimmerman hoping for Friday return from groin injury

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Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Ryan Zimmerman fielded ground balls this morning and is hoping to return from a groin injury Friday.

If he can get back into the lineup by then that would leave five games remaining on the spring training schedule and manager Jim Riggleman told Zuckerman that the goal would be for Zimmerman to play in four of them.

Zimmerman was initially expected to miss just a few days when he suffered the groin injury on March 14, but a Friday return would come after 10 days on the sidelines.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.