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Ryan Zimmerman cleared to begin rehab assignment

May 30, 2014, 2:22 PM EST

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It remains to be seen what position(s) he’ll play once he returns from a fractured right thumb, but the Nationals have cleared Ryan Zimmerman to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A.

Zimmerman has been out since April 12 with an injury that was initially supposed to carry a 4-6 week recovery timetable.

He’s been taking pregame fly balls in left field for a while now and after denying that it had anything to do with a potential position switch right away the Nationals have loosened up that stance considerably this week. In fact, now it sounds like Zimmerman might play some outfield and some first base in addition to his usual third base.

Even before fracturing his thumb Zimmerman struggled to make throws from third base because of chronic shoulder problems, so this latest injury may have simply hastened a change.

  1. goskinsvt - May 30, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Neat.

  2. wilmyers09 - May 30, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    week later gets hurt again so injury prone

    • robmar924 - May 30, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Ryan Zimmerman has played at least 142 games in for of the last 5 seasons so thats about 1 DL stint per year which is not ideal but it is far from injury prone when you look at truly injury prone players. So your comment does not really make sense.

      • robmar924 - May 30, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        **four not for….tgif

  3. natstowngreg - May 30, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Good news. Ryan’s bat is needed. Desperately.

    As for playing LF, it wasn’t even a rumor, before he started shagging flies in batting practice. He was ticketed for a future at 1B, where he could continue to use his ability to catch ground balls (which is pretty good). Ryan needed to ease into the idea of playing LF, and management needed to see him out there.

    This does raise the longer-term question, who will be the odd man out? The most sensible scenario is the one we’ve been anticipating. Adam LaRoche is not re-signed, Zimmerman moves to 1B.

    • emdash01 - May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      I’m partial of the Werth to first, Harper to right, Zim to left alignment, but I imagine that depends on whether they plan to keep Span past this year.

      • natstowngreg - May 30, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        Span has been mentioned as another alternative to be odd man out. It’s possible, but I’m not sure Rizzo would want to do that, as Span gives the team very good CF defense.

        If it were between Zimmerman and Werth at 1B, I’d say Zimmerman, because he’s been an infielder a long time. The main differences from 3B are not having to throw nearly as much (good, given the shoulder problems) and handling throws from others (seems to me that shouldn’t be much of a problem).

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