SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals have noticed that center fielder Nyjer Morgan is having problems going back on balls.
In the fourth inning on Saturday against the Padres, for example, Nick Hundley led off and hit a fly ball to center field. Morgan jumped unnecessarily, thinking he was close to the wall. He wasn't. But the ball went over his glove for a triple. Hundley scored on a groundout by Chris Denorfia.
Bench and outfield coach John McLaren said the game plan is for Morgan to now to play deeper in the outfield.
"I was telling [manager] Jim [Riggleman] that I thought we try playing him deeper because he comes in on the ball better than going back," McLaren said. "I don't know if it's a confidence thing or whatever. He is such an energetic, full-of-life type of guy.
"I just think we need to help him find the swagger -- get him where he feels good about himself. He hasn't been bad out there. Last year, people said he was really, really good. He could be taking his at-bats with him out there."
Strasburg set for likely final Triple-A start
SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make perhaps his last start for Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday against Buffalo.
Strasburg will throw six innings or 95 pitches, according to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. After that start in Syracuse, Strasburg is tentatively scheduled to make his Major League debut against the Pirates at Nationals Park.
No date has been set, but the Nationals are scheduled to play the Pirates from June 8-10. The news was first reported by MLB.com
There still are any number of variables that could cause a change in the Nationals' plans, which is why the team has been cautious about committing to a date. In the fall, for example, Strasburg had two TV starts scratched in the Arizona Fall League because of minor neck and knee injuries.
Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, has been dominant in the Minors thus far, going a combined 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse.
Zimmerman reaches 100-homer plateau
SAN DIEGO -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman reached a personal milestone by hitting career home run No. 100 in a 3-2 loss against the Padres at PETCO Park on Sunday afternoon.
The milestone was reached in the first inning, when Zimmerman took Jon Garland's 1-2 pitch and hit the ball over the right-center-field wall to give Washington a 1-0 lead. It was Zimmerman's first long ball since May 13 against the Rockies in Colorado.
"Obviously, it's an accomplishment," said Zimmerman who made his debut in late 2005. "But it's not something I've been waiting to happen. If it happens, it happens. I'm proud of what I've done. I keep working hard. Hopefully, I'll hit some more."
Zimmerman later hit his 101st career homer, another solo shot that tied the score at 2 in the top of the sixth inning. It was Zimmerman's seventh multi-homer game of his career.
Olsen plays catch without problems
SAN DIEGO -- Nationals left-hander Scott Olsen, on the disabled list because of left shoulder tightness, played catch for the second consecutive day without any problems.
He is expected to play catch in Houston on Monday. It's not known when Olsen will throw on the mound. He is expected to miss two more starts.
At-bats few and far between for Harris
SAN DIEGO -- Since he started against the Rockies on May 16, Nationals outfielder Willie Harris has received just 16 at-bats.
The reason he has played so little of late is because Josh Willingham is swinging a hot bat and manager Jim Riggleman and general manager Mike Rizzo want to see if Roger Bernadina is the answer in right field.
Harris declined comment as to why is playing so little.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.