Ryan Zimmerman cleared to begin rehab assignment

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It remains to be seen what position(s) he’ll play once he returns from a fractured right thumb, but the Nationals have cleared Ryan Zimmerman to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A.

Zimmerman has been out since April 12 with an injury that was initially supposed to carry a 4-6 week recovery timetable.

He’s been taking pregame fly balls in left field for a while now and after denying that it had anything to do with a potential position switch right away the Nationals have loosened up that stance considerably this week. In fact, now it sounds like Zimmerman might play some outfield and some first base in addition to his usual third base.

Even before fracturing his thumb Zimmerman struggled to make throws from third base because of chronic shoulder problems, so this latest injury may have simply hastened a change.

Freddie Freeman exits game after being hit on wrist by pitch

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had to exit Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies after he was hit on the left wrist by a Hoby Milner fastball in the bottom of the eighth inning. Charlie Culberson pinch-ran for him and stayed in the game to play first base.

You may recall that Freeman’s left wrist is the one that was fractured by an Aaron Loup pitch last year. Understandably, there’s some concern here. The Braves should provide an update later tonight or on Thursday.

Freeman went 1-for-3 in Wednesday’s game before exiting. On the season, he’s batting .288/.468/.492 with two home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored in 79 plate appearances.