MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Zimmerman's night in left field washed out

Zimmerman's night in left field washed out

WASHINGTON -- Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman was scheduled to start Wednesday's game against the Mets in left field, but the game was called because of rain. Zimmerman, who suffered a Grade 3 strain in his right hamstring, said he is still sore, but that is to be expected.

The Nationals still don't know what Zimmerman's role will be during the postseason. He has yet to be tested at third base or first base. If he doesn't play any games at those positions during the regular season, Zimmerman could play those two positions in a simulated game before the postseason starts. The Nationals have four days off between the last regular-season game and the first game of the National League Division Series.

Playing third could be the toughest to play for Zimmerman because of the reaction time and quick movements around the bag. It will be interesting to see what happens when an opposing hitter attempts to bunt down the third-base line and Zimmerman will need to react to the play. 

"We are going to bubble wrap him as much as possible. I would like to see him get five at-bats, hit a couple of doubles, score from second, do all the things that he needs to do to feel good about it, but we'll see how it goes," manager Matt Williams said.

The Nationals have doubleheaders on Thursday and Friday against the Mets and Marlins, respectively. It's not known what Williams has planned for Zimmerman during the two days.

"We'll get Zim in there both days, but we have to stay mindful that, right now, it's about making sure we don't push guys too far, either," Williams said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.