MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Zimmerman serves as DH in spring debut

Baker: Vet likely to DH again Monday; Revere fine after pitch hits shoulder

Zimmerman serves as DH in spring debut

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman played his first game of the spring, going 1-for-3 as a designated hitter in a 4-4 tie against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. His only hit came in the first inning when he singled to left field, scoring Bryce Harper and giving Washington a 3-0 lead.

Zimmerman missed the first 12 spring games as the Nationals exercised caution with his left foot issues. Last season, he missed more than a month because of plantar fasciitis, but he left Sunday's game without any problems.

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Zimmerman will likely be the designated hitter Monday against the Astros and will likely play first base after that.

"I'm sure it felt a little foreign to him," manager Dusty Baker said. "He is playing a little catchup. It's not going to take him too long with the way he can hit. We are keeping an eye on him on the baserunning, definitely. And then, hopefully, he'll probably DH one more time. Then we'll see how that comes out. After that, we'll put him in the field. It's good to have him back."

With Zimmerman back, Baker was able to see what his Opening Day lineup could look like. Baker was pleased with what he saw after Washington scored the three runs on five hits in the first inning.

"I like it a lot," Baker said. "I have a lot of interchangeable parts. There are a lot of guys that could hit anywhere from second to sixth. It depends on who's hot, who's healthy, who's not. We have a lot of quality options."

In other news, outfielder Ben Revere's left shoulder is OK, according to Baker, after he was hit with a pitch by Cardinals left-hander Marco Gonzales in the fourth inning. Revere was on the ground for a few seconds. He was on his way to first base before realizing that he had struck out swinging on the pitch.

Revere goes down swinging

"I was talking to Paul Lessard [the Nationals ' director of athletic training] and he said he thinks Revere will be OK, so he is in the lineup [Monday]," Baker said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.