The Nationals welcomed their best player, Ryan Zimmerman, back to the lineup Tuesday. The all-star third baseman was activated off the disabled list and will start for the first time since April 9.
Zimmerman last played two months ago, when he slid into second base and felt a sharp pain in his stomach. He underwent surgery May 3 to repair a torn abdominal muscle. Over the past week, he made three different stops at minor league teams to rehab.
Zimmerman, who has missed all but eight games this season, will bat in his regular third spot in the lineup.
“It feels good,” Zimmerman said of his injury. “I think it’s been a long, frustrating two months. I’ve had to be patient. I think we went about it the right way, to make sure to kind of give myself some time to make sure I’m as close to 100 percent as I can be when I get back and still be effective and help these guys win without having to come up here and play a couple games and take the day off, do things like that. ... So I got ready to the point that I can play everyday like I usually do and its time to get out there and play.”
The Nationals optioned right-handed pitcher Craig Stammen, who had a 4.50 ERA in two innings this season, to Class AAA Syracuse. Stammen, who began last season as starter in the Nationals’ rotation before heading to the bullpen, was recalled from Syracuse in early June.