Doolittle, 32, has been laid up since mid-August with a bout of tendonitis in his left knee. Given his tentative status, he’s not expected to resume closer duties right off the bat, but will get eased back into his role with some lower-leverage relief duties this month. Prior to his IL assignment, the former All-Star closer logged 28 saves with a 4.33 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and 10.2 SO/9 through 52 innings pitched.
Zimmerman, 34, hasn’t appeared in a game for the Nationals since late July, when he landed on the IL with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Like Doolittle, he’ll return to a modified role; per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier, he won’t slot into an everyday position at first base, but will be used in pinch-hitting situations or as a defensive replacement instead. He’ll enter September with a .246/.311/.390 batting line, three home runs, 15 RBI, and a .700 OPS across 132 plate appearances.
Of course, Doolittle and Zimmerman aren’t the only players returning to the Nationals’ roster today. The team will also welcome back right-handers Austin Voth and Jeremy Hellickson, catcher Raudy Read, infielder Adrián Sanchez, and outfielder Andrew Stevenson.