The Nationals will have two of their key injured veterans back in the lineup Tuesday night in Miami, with both left fielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman activated off the disabled list in time for the club's series opener with the Marlins.
To clear roster space for the returning regulars, the Nationals optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Class AAA Syracuse and outrighted Emmanuel Burriss to Syracuse after the infielder cleared waivers.
With Werth and Zimmerman now off the DL, and with Anthony Rendon having returned from his own injury over the weekend in Pittsburgh, the Nationals will take the field Tuesday with seven healthy regulars for the first time since May 15, when Werth was hit by a pitch in San Diego and fractured two small bones in his left wrist.
The Nationals have not yet fielded a complete lineup with eight healthy regulars this season, and that still won't happen until Denard Span returns from a lingering back injury. The center fielder and leadoff man has spent the last 2 1/2 weeks on the DL and has yet to be cleared for full baseball activities.
Werth returns nearly 2 1/2 months since suffering his fractures, the third time he has missed significant time with a left wrist injury in his career. The 36-year-old played nine rehab games between Class A Potomac and Class AAA Syracuse, going 11-for-30 with two doubles, seven RBI, two walks and two strikeouts.
Werth, who missed the season’s first week while recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, was hitting only .208 with two homers, 12 RBI and a .294 on-base percentage in 27 games when he suffered the wrist injury. But he had just begun to find his stroke prior to that, hitting .313 with two homers and a .910 OPS over his final nine games.
Zimmerman had been on the DL since June 9, when lingering plantar fasciitis in his left foot became too painful to continue to play. The 30-year-old had been trying to play through the ailment since late April and saw his batting average plummet to .209 with a .265 on-base percentage and .611 OPS that left him the majors' least-productive first baseman.
Zimmerman appeared in five games with Class AA Harrisburg while on rehab last week, going 1-for-15 with three strikeouts.