The Washington Nationals‘ third baseman performed his first throwing session last week since going on the disabled list due to a Grade-3 hamstring injury.
3B Ryan Zimmerman isn’t expected to return to the team until at least early September. Matt Williams did say that a September return is being optimistic. The Nationals have to ease Zimmerman into his recovery, as the hamstring muscle comes into play for all aspects of his game. While the Nationals do miss his bat in the lineup, there is no need to rush Zimmerman’s recovery. The team is well position atop the NL East division, and is even coming off a recent 10-game winning streak.
Zimmerman is hitting .282 in the 53 games that he has played with the team this season.
In his absence, the Nationals added infielder Asdrubal Cabrera as a regular addition to the lineup, and flexed minor league prospect Michael Taylor in for a brief outfield stint. Anthony Rendon has taken over the main duties at third base and has been a standout player for the Nationals all year long.
The Nationals are looking like a lock to win their division and the team should not risk a premature return for Zimmerman. They have added depth in terms of hitting, and Zimmerman will only be a bonus come playoff time. While his hamstring recovers, the team also has to be concerned about his ongoing shoulder problems. The 3B has had lingering problems over the years, leading to a reduced ability to throw the ball with solid velocity. The infield’s defensive lineup is strong despite Zimmerman’s absence, and the Nationals should look to get him as healthy as possible until he is solid option at the plate.