For the first time since he fractured his right thumb diving back into second base on a pickoff play against the Braves in Atlanta, Georgia's Turner Field on April 12th, 29-year-old Washington Nationals' '05 1st Round pick Ryan Zimmerman will be on a baseball field in competitive action tonight with the High Class-A Potomac Nationals in his first rehab appearance.
The Nationals made the announcement this afternoon:
Zimmerman was cleared to resume baseball activities earlier this week.
"He can throw, he can start swinging," Williams told reporters on Monday.
"We're going to take it a little bit slow with the bat, because the vibration can certainly cause pain let alone any further damage, but he's been cleared to do that, which is good."
Before Wednesday night's loss to the Miami Marlins, Zimmerman went through an extensive workout which included his first full batting practice since he was cleared to resume baseball activities.
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters including The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, that Zimmerman "looked good":
"He had strength. The balls he didn’t center up [with the bat], by the vibration of the bat he didn’t have any pain. It looks like he’s got good strength to it. He’s always quick to return, getting his timing and his eye back. I like the way he looked today."
In an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday afternoon, Rizzo said he was looking forward to getting Zimmerman back in the lineup as soon as possible, regardless of where plays.
"He looks in great shape," Rizzo said. "I don't worry about him getting his eye back at the plate and that type of thing. This a guy that falls out of bed and hits .285 to .300 and drives in runs. So he's sorely missed in the lineup. It will make our lineup longer and more dangerous and give us another middle-of-the-lineup bat and he's a guy that we're looking forward to getting him here as soon as possible."
Zimmerman is batting third and serving as the DH for the P-Nats tonight:
The P-Nats are back at home! And guess who's hitting 3rd... pic.twitter.com/28Kcrg3Jqf— Potomac Nationals (@PNats42) May 30, 2014