Ryan Zimmerman to play left field in Potomac tonight; plus Nationals-Rangers lineups

Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman runs after a fly ball during warm ups before a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park Monday, May 19, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Ryan Zimmerman Left Field Experiment will move from theoretical to real Saturday night in Potomac, where the Nationals plan for the one-time Gold Glove, face-of-the-franchise third baseman to play outfield for the first time in his 10-year professional career.

Zimmerman, Manager Matt Williams said, will play five innings in his second minor league rehab game. Friday night, Zimmerman went 0 for 4 as Potomac’s designated hitter. Afterward, he said he felt good and that he expected to play left field. Saturday night, for the first time, he will.

Zimmerman has been practicing in left field prior to and during batting practice for more than two weeks. Already, he has impressed the Nationals with his instincts and natural movements. They believe he possesses the athleticism and the skill to learn the position on the fly. Saturday will be his first test in a game.

“The ball comes off the bat with more authority,” Williams said. “Quicker movements. But he’s ready for that.”

Williams has said the Nationals plan to use Zimmerman in left field, first base and third base once he comes off the disabled list. Zimmerman said Tuesday would be a “realistic” day for his return.

As for the game in Washington, Wilson Ramos gets a day off in a day game following a night game. Nate McLouth, who’s heating up, is batting sixth.

Nationals

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Anthony Rendon, 3B

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Ian Desmond, SS

6. Nate McLouth, LF

7. Danny Espinosa, 2B

8. Jose Lobaton, C

9. Doug Fister, SP

Rangers

1. Shin-Soo Choo, LF

2. Elvis Andrus, SS

3. Mitch Moreland, 1B

4. Adrian Beltre, 3B

5. Alex Rios, RF

6. Robinson Chirinos, C

7. Leonys Martin, CF

8. Rougned Odor, 2B

9. Nick Tepesch, SP

Also on Nationals Journal

Remember Biogenesis? It seems MLB and fans voting for All-Star Game don't.