Bill Ladson

Nats have plan for Zim in instructional league games

Nats have plan for Zim in instructional league games

ATLANTA -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is currently in Viera, Fla., to start playing in simulated games with instructional league players starting Tuesday.

Zimmerman spent Monday having a full workout at the team's Spring Training facility. In the first game, Zimmerman will play three innings at first base.

"It's a shorter distance for him to turn and run and get in game situations," manager Matt Williams said.

Zimmerman will then play five innings the next day, then become a designated hitter on Thursday. By Friday, the team is hoping that he could play nine innings.

"If he goes down there and plays three [innings], five [innings] and DH's and says he is good, then we'll think about making another adjustment," Williams said.

Zimmerman, who has been on the disabled list since July 23 because of a Grade 3 hamstring strain, is expected to play third and first base, along with left field, when he returns to the Nats.

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