The Nationals will play the final two games of their home-and-home four-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday. The games will give Manager Matt Williams the opportunity to deploy a designated hitter in the American League park.
Although Williams declined to say Tuesday who could serve as DH, he had previously mentioned Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche as possibilities.
“We don’t know how [Tuesday] is going to turn out,” Williams said “We’ll figure it out.”
The Orioles are slated to start a left-handed pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen, on Wednesday. That could be a good chance to rest LaRoche, who has played in 39 straight games, starting all but one of them. In that case, Williams could potentially play Zimmerman at first base and use Kevin Frandsen or Scott Hairston in left field.
Zimmerman has played 33 straight games since he returned from the disabled list on June 3. He has started the past seven games at third base since Bryce Harper returned on June 30 and handled himself well at his old position, but Williams may want to ease the amount of Zimmerman’s throwing by using him at first base or even left field. (Williams could even rest Denard Span against Chen, shift Harper to center and use Zimmerman in left field, but Span wasn’t among the players Williams had mentioned as possibilities for rest.)
Werth has received three games off over the past month, but he is the oldest position player on the team and played daily while the much of the roster was injured. Williams could perhaps get Werth off his feet by using him as the DH on Friday against Ubaldo Jimenez, who he is 4 for 8 with a triple and homer against in his career.