- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2014

In a sea of cameras and microphones Thursday afternoon, Ryan Zimmerman said his previously strained right hamstring feels better every day. But it does not feel significantly better than it did five days ago, and he still does not know what role he will play in the postseason.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said Zimmerman got several at-bats, ran the bases and played left field with no setbacks Wednesday in the team’s intrasquad scrimmage. Though he did not reveal exactly where or how frequently Zimmerman will play in the NLDS, Williams did say it could depend on matchups.

“I think there’s possibility for matchup within the series for Zim,” Wiliams said. “I think he’s fully ready to go, and we’ll look for opportunity to get him at-bats, for sure. And then look at matchup opportunities, too, within the series. Without having a foolproof plan at this point, he’s going to get in there and he’s going to be available for us.”

Zimmerman did not play third base during the intrasquad scrimmage, in part because there was a surplus of infielders, according to Williams. Later, Zimmerman was asked bluntly if he will ever play third for the team again.

“Ever’s a long time. Maybe my last game when I retire, they’ll put me on third,” Zimmerman said jokingly. “But I don’t know. It’s a tough question to answer. I think we have a pretty good young third baseman [in Anthony Rendon], and he’s had a hell of a year. For us to have the best chance to win, that’s where he needs to play. And I understand that. It’s not a big deal to me. Like I said at the beginning, we’ve got 24 other guys in this room that would do the same thing and I think that’s why this team has gotten to where it’s at.”

Zimmerman missed 55 games with the hamstring injury and 44 games earlier in the season because of a fractured right thumb. Though he will almost certainly not start Friday’s Game 1, he has accepted his amorphous role on the team.

“When [the hamstring injury] happened, we didn’t really know if I was going to be able to come back,” Zimmerman said. “So being able to contribute and do whatever it is, I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

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