Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman told Craig Heist of 106.7 The Fan that he has been able to do light walking on an underwater treadmill has he recovers from a Grade 3 right hamstring strain. Zimmerman has been on the disabled list since July 23.
“It’s one of those where if you try to rush it too much, your chance of re-injury are through the roof,” Zimmerman told Heist. “I don’t think it’s a ‘see you in spring training kind of thing’, but that’s me.”
The Nationals hope they can get Zimmerman back by the end of the regular season or the possible postseason.
Nationals manager Matt Williams said Jayson Werth’s play last night and his confidence that his right shoulder AC joint is feeling better are two reasons why the veteran slugger returns to the lineup for the Monday opener against Arizona.
“As far as I know he’s pretty good today,” Williams said. “From evidence last night he can swing the bat OK. He may go out in BP and not feel great. I don’t think there will be any issues with him. So glad to have him back for sure.
“He’s throwing fine. It’s kind of the follow through on his swing, which impinges the joint a little bit. But I think the medication did him good. Last night he hit a couple of bullets to left. He’s good.”
Werth said he had shortened his swing last night and it worked. He did this to protect his shoulder. Williams said it’s all a part of a process to ease the him back into the rigors of five at-bats a game.
“He hasn’t swung the bat very much over the last week or so,” Williams said. “He may make those adjustments just because he can’t follow through all the way. It was pretty short last night, that’s for sure. Good swings to his pull side. If it gets elevated it’s certainly a homer.”
The Nationals added depth by signing veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league deal today. The 30-year-old Schierholtz, most recently with the Chicago Cubs, will report to Triple-A Syracuse to get a good amount of at-bats and get back into rhythm.
This season he had 19 extra base hits in 99 games with the Cubs. In 2013 with the Cubs, Schierholtz set career highs in home runs (21), doubles (32), extra-base hits (56), RBI (68) and runs scored (56).
“If we look back at last year, Nate had a fantastic season,” Williams said. “He’s got a lot of experience pinch-hitting, really good outfielder, has got some speed. He was an important part of that team last year. I know he hasn’t played that much lately, so we have to make sure he gets some at-bats.
“Not knowing exactly what Nate (McLouth’s) situation’s going to be, he could potentially help us. We don’t know what that time frame will be. He’s got a lot of experience and he’s a good player so it was a good pickup for us.”
Williams said McLouth is shut down and is having another MRI, a dye-MRI called an arthrogram “to get back in there and have another look”. McLouth has been on the disabled list since August 2 with right shoulder inflammation.
“He’s not improving as much as he’d like to, I know that,” Williams said. “That’s why we are doing the secondary test. Once we get those results we’ll have a better sense of where we’re at.”