The Nationals will have two big names heading out for rehab assignments some time later this week.
Joe Ross (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to make at least one minor league start soon, perhaps this weekend. He threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday and has to work his way up to 85-90 before returning.
Ross, 23, has been on the disabled list since July 3. He has a 3.49 ERA through 16 starts this season.
Ryan Zimmerman (left rib cage strain) is also now likely to do a stint in the minors. The Nats first baseman was set to talk with manager Dusty Baker on Wednesday about where and when he will play.
“The plan is for him to go out on a rehab assignment. I’ve got to talk to him first about how long that I think is appropriate for him to get his timing, because you can’t come back here and we don’t expect him to be sharp, but maybe he will be," Baker said.
Zimmerman has been running sprints and going around the bases before games this week at Nationals Park. On Tuesday, he went through full batting practice for the first time. He did the same on Wednesday and caught throws at first base.
“It feels pretty good," Zimmerman said of his rib cage. "I think whenever you’re coming back from anything your always a little cautious at first whether your 100 percent or not. I think that’s the point of kind of getting out there and hitting and proving to yourself you can kind of let it go and everything’s fine.”
Zimmerman has been on the DL since July 7 and is eligible to return on the 22nd. He will go on the rehab assignment if the Nats instruct him to, of course. But he feels like he could get by without one.
“Just wasting hits," he said.
The Nats have several options for rehab assignments with both the Potomac Nationals and the Hagerstown Suns - their two closest affiliates - in town through the weekend.
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