[UPDATE AT 7:15 P.M. -- Obama is indeed here. He's sitting in the owner's suite behind Section 208 on the club level, third-base line. Got here in the bottom of the first.]
Two people already sighted at Nationals Park so far today: Jordan Zimmermann and Jason Marquis.
One more person who could be here before the night's over: Barack Obama.
Rumors are flying around the ballpark that the President of the United States will be attending this game. Obama, of course, is a big White Sox fan. We'll have to see whether he gets to his feet every time Stephen Strasburg gets two strikes on a batter. Shoot, everyone else will. He can't be the only one sitting, can he?
As for Zimmermann and Marquis, they were both here to get some afternoon work done in front of the big-league coaching staff.
Zimmermann pitched two "innings" of a simulated game this afternoon, throwing a total of 35 pitches. They didn't have a radar gun on him today, but he was recently clocked at 94 mph in Viera, and pitching coach Steve McCatty said he "was throwing good."
Jim Riggleman said once Zimmermann is healthy and has completed his minor-league rehab, he'll be placed in the big-league rotation. No relief duties. Though the right-hander is ahead of schedule in his rehab, the Nats continue to insist they won't rush him back. He's still pegged to return to the big leagues at the earliest in August.
"You've got to just let the plan continue," McCatty said. "The guy had major Tommy John surgery. There's a certain amount of time you have to take. Yeah, it's exciting to see where he's at. But you've also got to stay within the plan. If you bring him back too quick, you're asking for trouble."
Zimmermann was just happy to get out of Viera at last.
"It's tough to be down there for so long, just going through the same thing every day," he said. "It's nice to be here, see the guys and be back in the ballpark."
Marquis, meanwhile, played catch in the outfield, nothing off a mound. There's still no timetable for his return from surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. He's expected to head down to Viera himself in a few days to begin a full rehab program.