The Washington Nationals got another one of their DL'd players back today with 29-year-old 3B/1B/LF Ryan Zimmerman returning from the 15-Day DL after a four-game rehab stint with the Potomac Nationals.
Zimmerman suffered a fractured right thumb while diving headfirst back into second on a pickoff play against the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field back on April 12th.
Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked this afternoon if Zimmerman, who is playing left field for the first time in his first game off the Disabled List, would remain out there once the Nationals' Opening Day left fielder, Bryce Harper, is able to come back from the torn ligament in his thumb he suffered in an April 25th game in the nation's capital.
"The thoughts about when Bryce comes back is that he'll go back into left field and Zim will come back in the infield," Williams said. "That's the initial thought. But we have to see how everything goes, we just can't say at this point."
The internet speculation, has centered on whether Harper might move back to center field, where he played for the majority of the 2012 campaign, once he's back, with Denard Span potentially becoming a fourth outfielder. Williams didn't discuss anything of that nature, but he did provide an update on Harper's recovery.
"[Harper] is still in the process of strengthening and stretching," he said.
"He's in that process now. No baseball activity yet. He's with the OT doing that. He's lifting, he's running, he's doing all the things that he needs to do, but with regard to thumb it's still early in the strengthening process."
Williams also provided an update on Gio Gonzalez, the Nats' 28-year-old left-hander, who landed on the DL with left shoulder inflammation after two rough starts in which he struggled with his command. Gonzalez threw a simulated game earlier this week and got through another bullpen session as he prepares for his first rehab start, which will likely take place this Friday with the Nationals' High-A affiliate in Potomac.
"Gio is going to go to Potomac and pitch down there," Williams said. "He was 50-ish in the bullpen, so we'll look to increase him by about 15 there and see where he's at after that. But he feels good and he's ready to go."
The Nats' skipper said they would take a cautious approach with the lefty.
"Even at 65 we're still pushing him -- it's fairly quick," he explained. "And then he hasn't gone to 100 yet, so we'll have to see. How does he feel after coming out of that? We'll make that decision then."
There was also some bad news today from the Nationals' system. 2010 2nd Round pick Sammy Solis has apparently been shut down with elbow discomfort. Solis, 25, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 and returned to the field last season. This winter he was talked about as a potential bullpen option, but a back issue pushed back the start of his 2014 campaign and now he's apparently suffered another setback:
@HbgSenators LHP Sammy Solis has been placed on the DL with elbow discomfort, team source confirms— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) June 3, 2014
Senators' skipper Brian Daubach provided an update this afternoon as well, via PennLive.com/Patriot-News beat writer Mick Reinhard:
Word from #HbgSens manager Brian Daubach is that Sammy Solis will be shut down for a couple of weeks and re-evaluated in DC for arm issues— Mayflies & Big Flies (@Mayflies) June 3, 2014
More info when it's available...