Zimmerman will give the Nationals, who went 27-31 without Zimmerman, a boost as they come off a 6-5 West Coast road trip to face the Cardinals and Orioles this homestand.

“It’s going to be huge for us,” Desmond said. “That’s our three-hole hitter. That’s the face of the franchise. That’s pretty much the Washington Nationals. He’s that guy. He can answer a lot of our questions. Just his presence alone, I think, will kind of build everybody back up. It gives us kind of that second wind to know that help’s on the way.”

In tomorrow’s paper, and on the web tonight, we’ll have a story with more on the impact of Zimmerman’s return and some potential implications of his time away.