Ryan Zimmerman expected to return to Nationals on Tuesday

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Matt Holliday is on the way.

Joe Mauer is just around the corner.

And there’s another big star who could be arriving back in the major leagues this week.

According to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a double and played a full nine innings at the hot corner Saturday evening in a rehab game at Triple-A Syracuse.  He’s now 8-for-18 with four doubles and a triple since beginning his minor league rehab assignment last week.

The Nationals aren’t giving out a public timetable just yet, but Zimmerman is clearly seeing the ball well and feeling strong enough to handle defensive duties at third base, so the guess here is that he will be back in the major league lineup at some point during Washington’s upcoming three-game series in St. Louis. That three-game set starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. You get the point.

Zimmerman has been out since early April with abdominal issues. He was 10-for-28 (.357) before the injury.

UPDATE: Kilgore is now reporting that Zimmerman will be in the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday. He went 0-for-5 on Sunday in his final rehab game at Triple-A Syracuse and will use Monday as a day of rest.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”