Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman took live batting practice in the Nationals’ indoor cage Sunday afternoon and then took a full round of BP on the field with his teammates.
Without any pain in his right AC joint, Zimmerman expects to hit again on the team’s off day on Monday and be activated when the Nationals open a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
“If everything continues to feel like it did today, then I’ll play Tuesday,” Zimmerman said.
If all goes according to plan, Zimmerman will have missed 13 games. The Nationals have gone 7-5 in his absence and Zimmerman joked that he’d only come back if the team wanted him, with Steve Lombardozzi hitting so well as his replacement at third base and Chad Tracy, filling in at first, also swinging the bat well.
Asked if he was going to kick the also-hot-hitting Bryce Harper back to the No. 7 spot in the lineup, Zimmerman just smiled.
“That’s not my call,” he said. “I’ll hit wherever the put me, I guess.”
How Nationals manager Davey Johnson configures the lineup upon Zimmerman, and what they hope will also be Adam LaRoche’s returns, on Tuesday will be interesting as they’d previously been the team’s No. 3 and No. 4 hitters and would figure to return somewhere in the middle of the lineup.
Right now, Tyler Moore looks like the most likely candidate to be sent down when Zimmerman is activated, but the Nationals have not indicated heavily what the move will be to clear space for Zimmerman on the 25-man roster.