Nationals hoping to get Ryan Zimmerman back on Friday

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Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is scheduled to play in minor league rehab games at High-A Potomac on Tuesday and Wednesday and is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list for Friday’s series-opener against the Pirates.

This according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.

Zimmerman has been sidelined since April 17 with a left hamstring strain. He was batting .226/.311/.358 with one home run, two doubles and 11 RBI in 61 plate appearances before suffering the injury.

The Nationals will likely send Anthony Rendon back to Double-A Harrisburg when Zimmerman is officially added to the active 25-man roster. Rendon is hitting .167/.211/.222 in his first five major league games.

Anthony Rendon is open to an extension with the Nationals

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Third baseman Anthony Rendon is reportedly open to a contract extension with the Nationals, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post said Sunday. Rendon told reporters that he didn’t know if agent Scott Boras would discuss an extension with the club, contrary to previous reports confirming the two had already started that conversation.

Rendon, 27, is coming off of his best career year to date. He finished the 2017 season batting .301/.403/.533 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI through 605 plate appearances, good enough to earn him sixth place in NL MVP voting. He made his third postseason appearance after helping Nationals through the National League Division Series, and contributed a pair of extra-base hits before the team was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 5.

Rendon is still arbitration-eligible through 2019, but stands to receive a hefty payday once he enters free agency in 2020. While it stands to reason that the Nats would want to lock up a player who contributed a whopping 6.9 fWAR last year, making him the most valuable player on their roster, an extension appeals to Rendon as well. “Why not stay with one organization?” he said Sunday. The 2018 season will be his sixth with the team.