Zimmerman given a day off, Werth back in lineup, Moore returns to D.C.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will not start the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Manager Davey Johnson wanted to give him two days off.

Johnson said Zimmerman is fine, but he was feeling a little bit of soreness in his shoulder.

"He is going to be available to pinch hit if I need him," Johnson said. "It is nothing different than I was doing with the other guys, give them a day off or a couple of days off like I did for (Denard) Span and (Adam) LaRoche."

Johnson said this couple of days off for his veteran at third is not cause for alarm. Instead, it is an opportunity to rest.

"He does a whole lot of throwing, even during a ballgame," Johnson said. "When you do that much work, sometimes you can get I don't want to call it dead arm, but something like that. This is a good opportunity to get some guys who swinging the bat a little bit better into the game.

"He is taking some medication to calm it down. That is normal, nothing earth shattering. It works out with the day off to give him a couple of days off."

Johnson said he remembered saying in spring training that it would take Zimmerman some time to get his shoulder up to speed after offseason surgery.

"I thought with as hard as he had been working with it, it would take him at least till the middle of June to where he would get over the hump with his shoulder. And we are pretty close," Johnson said.

Johnson did place right fielder Jayson Werth back in the lineup after speaking with him during pregame. Werth left Sunday's game with a sore left groin.

"I was talking to him before the game and I planned on giving him off another day," Johnson explained. "He said he has had this before and this is not as bad as it was before and he has played through it. So he is in there."

Johnson also confirmed this injury for Werth was not related to a lack of fluids. Werth had said that was part of the issue when he had the nagging hamstring injury earlier this season.

"We got all over our clubhouse that Pedialyte," Johnson said. "These guys pump it down. I don't know if it was so much that he was dehydrated. It was that he went after a ball in the corner and slipped a little bit and kind of stretched it. I don't think it was because he was dehydrated."

Johnson explained the decision on bringing outfielder Tyler Moore back to the big club. It centered around one of the team's weaknesses with Bryce Harper on the disabled list - power in the outfield.

"I wanted to get another bat in the outfield, little more pop," Johnson said. "Similar to last year, he kind of struggled a little bit early on last year until I brought him back. Then he really had quality at-bats from the get go. Where we are situated right now, the more bodies I can get the better. With a couple of pretty good left-handers coming up, he will get some at-bats."

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