MIAMI - First baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has been out since May 10 with a right oblique strain, was out on the field for batting practice taking grounders at first base and throwing to second base at about a 3/4 pace.
“He’s coming along,” said manager Davey Martinez. “When you deal with that kind of injury you want to make sure you are totally right because it’s about swinging and all this other stuff. We want to make sure he’s right when he comes off.”
Zimmerman has been swinging the bat off of light tosses in the batting cage underneath the stadium.
“Getting better. Swinging a little bit,” Zimmerman said. “Regular swings. Just kind of trying to build that up and get some strength and kind of go from there.”
Zimmerman has some experience with oblique injuries in the past and knows what he must do to rehab it: go slowly and build strength in core.
“Pretty much dealt with everything by now,” Zimmerman said of injuries. “You just have to make sure it’s better before you try and come back. If not, then you are going to go right back to where you were before. But things have been going good. We’re happy with how I’m feeling.”
Mark Reynolds, who is starting at first base today, worked taking grounders and throwing from third base during batting practice. Reynolds has played 773 games in nine seasons at third base, so he has a lot of experience on the hot corner. It’s a good asset for Martinez to have if he needs to make a late inning double switch or needs to give Anthony Rendon a day off. Reynolds has played 701 games at first base.
More good news for the Nationals as they look to put the band back together.
Left-handed reliever Matt Grace will head on a rehab assignment according to manager Davey Martinez. Grace is expected to fly out to Harrisburg tomorrow and join the Senators for their game on Monday as they wrap up a series with the Altoona Curve at home. Grace has been out since April 21 nursing a left groin strain.
“We’ll see how he does,” Martinez said. “He threw 25 pitches the other day and he looked good in a sim game.”
Could there be more than one game for Grace with Harrisburg?
“Don’t know yet. We’ll see how he feels Monday,” Martinez said. “We’ll reevaluate when he gets through.”
Right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson is recovering nicely from a blister that ended his last start on May 22 against the Padres in the sixth inning.
“Yeah, he’s doing fine,” Martinez reported. He’ll be ready for his next start.”