Ryan Zimmerman will begin a brief minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
Barring a setback with his hamstring injury Zimmerman is expected to play two games at Single-A, take a day off, and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup Friday.
Zimmerman hit .226 with one homer and a .670 OPS in 15 games before straining his hamstring on April 17. Initially the Nationals turned to rookie call-up Anthony Rendon as his replacement at third base, but lately manager Davey Johnson has also been using Stephen Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy.
Rendon figures to head back to the minors once Zimmerman is healthy.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.