Just as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he’d be, Ryan Zimmerman was back in the lineup on Wednesday after taking Tuesday off to rest his right shoulder.
Zimmerman, who underwent offseason surgery to clean up his acromioclavicular joint and other fraying in the shoulder, had spoken with Johnson and the team’s trainers about a week ago regarding a possible day off for some discomfort but he said it’s nothing more than maintenance.
“‘Precautionary’ is the best word,” Zimmerman said of the day off, which came after a scheduled team off day. “Talking with the doctor and the trainers and things like that, they thought it would be a good idea. They know better than me, so any time they think something’s a good idea and it works out that we can do something about it, it’s usually a good idea to do it.”
Zimmerman spent much of the 2012 season dealing with pain or numbness in his shoulder. The pain coming from the inflammation in his AC joint, the numbness from the cortisone shots used to treat it.
After the operation, Zimmerman began a slow throwing progression to rebuild the strength in his arm and help him return to a more natural throwing motion. While that work has continued into the season, Zimmerman said he has no worry about suffering a setback at this point.
“I’m past the point to where I can do really whatever I want,” he said. “The workload’s not a big deal… I had to progress to get the point where I’m at now, which is (being able to do) what I’ve always done.”
Zimmerman’s throwing motion has come under scrutiny on several occasions this season as he’s committed throwing errors on seemingly routine plays. But his throws have improved significantly of late, and he’s committed just three errors in his last 32 games.
Johnson said he’ll continue to monitor Zimmerman, but he sees progress.
“He’s getting closer to getting to (making an overhand throw naturally) without thinking about it,” Johnson said. “There’s still a little improvement about where he just fields it and loads and fires. He’s still kind of feeling his way through that.
“But I think he’s about to the point where he just forgets thinking about it. He’s done an awful lot through this whole time, extra throwing, etc. Hopefully we’re at that point to where it’s built up and he’s comfortable throwing and that nothing’s going to happen.”
Here are the full lineups as the Nationals look to take the series from the Diamondbacks with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound vs. left-hander Wade Miley:
Denard Span CF
Anthony Rendon 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Jayson Werth RF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Tyler Moore LF
Kurt Suzuki C
Jordan Zimmermann P
Gerardo Parra RF
Aaron Hill 2B
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Miguel Montero C
Martin Prado 3B
Jason Kubel LF
A.J. Pollock CF
Didi Gregorius SS
Wade Miley P