Earlier, Aaron Gleeman wrote about Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman starting a rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac. What wasn’t initially clear was how long it would take for Zimmerman to return to the Nats’ lineup. CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman provides us a goal and it’s a lot sooner than we would have anticipated: Tuesday.
Zuckerman writes that the Nationals’ coaches and manager Matt Williams could use Monday’s off-day to travel to Woodbridge and watch Zimmerman in person. If all goes well, he could be activated in time for Tuesday’s series opener with the Phillies.
Zimmerman broke his thumb in mid-April and was initially expected to be out four to six weeks. In the meantime, the team has explored using him not only at third base, but at first base and in the outfield as well, mitigating some of the day-to-day grind of being a third baseman.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.