Ryan Zimmerman is currently making what should be his final minor league rehab appearance, having gone for 0 for 2 with Class AAA Syracuse. If all goes well today, Zimmerman will return to the Nationals on Tuesday and play his first game since April 9. Today is the Nationals’ 58th – and likely last – game without their best player.
The Nationals have a few other players dealing with various injury. Here are the updates:
>>> Ian Desmond will rest his sore left thigh today, allowing him to give the nagging injury two consecutive days to heal, including Monday’s off day. Desmond has felt the pain since early May, but has been able to play through.
“He’s played like this for a month now,” Manager Jim Riggleman said. “Desi can manage his [injury]. He can run at less than 100 percent when he has to.”
Desmond expects to return to the lineup Tuesday. The injury does not affect his hitting or fielding, Desmond said, only his running. Last night, he jogged home slowly on one ball, knowing he would score. Desmond is still one of most hustling players on the Nationals and has stolen 18 bases in 20 attempts this season, but when the situation calls for it he has forced himself to run easily down the first base line.
>>> Roger Bernadina, who turns 27 today, is out for the second straight day with tightness in left hamstring. He could pinch-hit today, but if he does Riggleman has instructed him to jog to first base. When Bernadina runs even close to full speed, his leg cramps up. It first struck him yesterday while shagging fly balls.
Bernadina will continue to receive treatment, and the Nationals will re-evaluate before Tuesday’s game in Washington. Bernadina does not appear to be a candidate to go on the disabled list, or else Riggleman wouldn’t be considering using him as a pinch-hitter and wasting one of the 15 days Bernadina would be out for.
>>> The Nationals received relatively good news when the results of Cole Kimball’s MRI exam returned. They showed only inflammation, and no structural damage to Kimball’s rotator cuff. Kimball had pitched through significant pain since early April before he finally spoke up Friday night, having lost almost all the strength in his shoulder. The Nationals placed Kimball on the disabled list the next day.