When the Washington Nationals handed a six year, $100 Million contract extension to Ryan Zimmerman in late February one of the biggest concerns expressed by the mass media regarded the third baseman’s ability to stay healthy. The concerns were certainly understandable considering he missed a fair amount of time last season with an abdominal strain, but for the most part he’s been healthy throughout his career.
Naturally, just two weeks into the 2012 season Zimmerman landed on the DL with some inflammation in his right shoulder. The move left a gaping hole in the Nationals lineup, though it did result in the call up of Bryce Harper earlier than any of us had expected. Through 15 games Zimmerman had received 68 plate appearances, batting .224/.324/.345 with a home run and seven RBI, before the injury. Fortunately for the Nationals, Zimmerman appears to be close to a return to the lineup.
According to Mark Zuckerman, Zimmerman was successfully able to hit off a tee before Friday’s game without any pain. He’s scheduled to face live batting practice Saturday afternoon and if all goes well, he’ll likely be activated and in the lineup for the team’s game on Tuesday at Pittsburgh. Zimmerman has spent the past two weeks with the team on a daily basis, maintaining regular workouts, so he reportedly will not need to go on a rehab assignment before being activated from the DL. It remains unclear who the odd man out may be in order to make room for Zimmerman on the active roster.