Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman are nursing injuries
Nationals manager Davey Johnson gave injury updates on several key players before Wednesday’s game, including the fact catcher Wilson Ramos and pitcher Christian Garcia are nearing their returns.
Ramos is aiming to be back on July 4 as the Nats take on the Brewers. He has been out since May 15 after aggravating his strained left hamstring in a game against the Dodgers.
Garcia is pitching at Triple-A Syracuse now, but is four or five outings away from being ready for his call-up. Garcia has yet to pitch for the Nats this season after tearing a tendon in his forearm back in spring training.
With an offense among the worst in the majors, Johnson is looking forward to Ramos’ bat being back in the lineup.
“No question,” Johnson said. “He’s a tremendous catcher and he’s got tremendous bat potential too. [He and Kurt Suzuki] both handle the pitching staff real good too. He’s got a little more thump in the bat and I’m looking for anything at this moment.”
Before going on the disabled list, Ramos was hitting .250 with two home runs and six RBI in 14 games.
Garcia is working his way back after being shut down for two weeks earlier this month with shoulder fatigue. Johnson said his velocity is not quite where it was last season when Garcia was consistently in the mid-90s on his fastball.
Johnson is hoping to use Garcia as a long reliever when he comes up to the majors. With several strong pitches, Johnson hopes Garcia can work towards pitching multiple innings in games at Syracuse before his promotion.
Zimmerman, Werth in lineup
Ryan Zimmerman is back in the starting lineup against Arizona on Wednesday, after taking most of Tuesday off to rest his shoulder. Zimmerman had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in October and has been recovering slowly from it all season.
Taking the day off was something the Nats decided a week in advance, eying an opportunity with a day off before to give Zimmerman two days of rest.
“It’s just one of those times where I was a little sore so I took some medicine. We looked at that day for a week or so to give me some time to help it,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman is not in pain and said the shoulder does not affect his swing whatsoever.
“Any time you have surgery, the next year whether it’s major surgery or minor surgery, you’re going to have times that you get sore,” he said.
“It’s gotten better. The more and more I’ve played, the more I’ve gotten comfortable with it.”
Zimmerman said the shoulder will likely not be completely normal until the offseason. The Nats may give him more days off periodically later in the year, but only if he really needs it.
“I hope not. If we need to, we need to,” he said. “But I try and play every day. You only take days off when you need to or it’s necessary.”
“That’s what I get paid to do is play every day and that’s what I like to do.“
Werth is also in the starting lineup again after playing Tuesday with a visible limp from his strained left groin. He reached base safely four times in the Nats' win, but moved gingerly in the outfield on several plays.