Kimball impressing Nats with work on mound

VIERA, Fla. -- It appeared that it was a long shot for reliever Cole Kimball to make the Nationals' Opening Day roster.

However, after watching Kimball pitch two shutout innings this spring, manager Davey Johnson plans to keep an open mind when it comes to the right-hander.

Kimball, who missed most of the last two years because of a shoulder injury, could make the team if Christian Garcia doesn't recover from his forearm injury.

"I'm really pleased with the progress he has made," Johnson said. "A lot of people didn't think he would even come back. He showed a lot of improvement from his first outing to his second outing. He looked freer and the ball was coming out better out of his hand. So that is good news."