Ryan Zimmerman said his right shoulder felt "a lot better" this morning than it did yesterday and expressed complete confidence he'll be able to return to the Nationals' lineup Tuesday night in San Diego.
"Not that it was terrible the other day, but these next two days will be nice," he said shortly after today's game was postponed. "I really don't see any reason right now why I won't play on Tuesday."
Zimmerman was a late scratch yesterday with what the Nationals called "mild inflammation" in his right shoulder, an injury he believes was exacerbated by several diving plays he's made in the field in the last week.
There also was a headfirst leap into the plate during the eighth inning of Monday night's game against the Astros, a play Zimmerman jokingly referred to as a "fourth-and-goal pylon dive." While acknowledging that move "probably didn't help," he insisted he can't make a concerted effort not to go all-out on close plays like that.
"You can't tell any of these guys in here not to play," he said. "It's just the way we've always been taught to play, and no matter how many times I get hurt, that's the way I'm going to play. It's just one of those things. It's not bad. It's fine."
Even without the shoulder issue, manager Davey Johnson planned to rest Zimmerman for today's series finale against the Marlins. Now, combined with tomorrow's off-day in advance of the Nationals' West Coast trip, Zimmerman will get three consecutive days off.
"It's definitely nice," he said. "I was going to take today off anyway. So essentially, instead of having today off, I just had yesterday and I won't miss any games besides that one. It's very convenient, I guess you could say."
Had today's game been played, Chad Tracy would have started at third base and batted third.