Start off your Friday with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:
Zimmerman close to rehab stint
WASHINGTON — Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is close to a rehab assignment. He could start as early as this weekend, according to a baseball source. It’s not known which Minor League affiliate he would play for.
Once he starts, Zimmerman most likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of games. After that, he could play third base, first base or left field. Zimmerman is going to play all three positions once he returns to the big league level, the source confirmed.
During the off-day Thursday, Zimmerman worked out at third base without any problems. Two days before that he was working out at first base. Two weeks ago, Zimmerman was working out in left field. Read full article here.
Gio nearing rehab stint after latest session
WASHINGTON — Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez threw a bullpen session at Nationals Park during Thursday’s off-day, according to a baseball source, and it went off without a hitch.
Gonzalez’s next move will be to have a simulated game Sunday and then start a rehab assignment five days later. It’s not known which Minor League affiliate he’ll start for. Read full article here.
Thomas Boswell: Zimmerman says he’s ready to move to left field
In batting practice Wednesday, Ryan Zimmerman hit a ball 410 feet into the last row of the red seats in deep left-center field. He has been lifting weights for six weeks as his broken right thumb heals. In drills, he threw 120 feet, working his way to 150 feet. He will return to the lineup soon. But where? For how long? And ultimately, in two weeks or next year, where does the player most identified with the Nats franchise end up playing — third base,first base or (pause) left field?
“I’ve come to some self-realizations. I’ll be the first to say it. I’ve never shied away from the truth. The last two years have been rough for me [at third base]. I’ve had to do an excess of work to be able to do what I used to do naturally,” said Zimmerman, alone at his locker. “People keep asking me if six weeks off will help my [surgically repaired] shoulder. Six weeks off? Go six years back, maybe. It’s tough. It’s bone and joint.
“I’m comfortable playing wherever it helps the team. That’s why we’re all here. Down the road,” he said, not specifying whether that was in days or years, “left field is probably better than first base for me.” Read full article here.