Bill Ladson

With loss of Zimmerman comes infield moves

With loss of Zimmerman comes infield moves

CINCINNATI -- Nationals manager Matt Williams had nothing new to report on Ryan Zimmerman's right hamstring strain other than to say that Zimmerman will rest this weekend before seeing the team doctor on Monday.

Williams declined to classify the grade of Zimmerman's strain, which would indicate how many games Zimmerman would miss.

"There are ways to look at it," Williams said. "They will put a grade on it, but it doesn't matter at this point. He's two weeks [away], and we'll re-evaluate after that. He pulled his hammy pretty good. We have to see how he reacts to it, so I don't have a grade on it right now other than it's pretty sore."

Zimmerman, who is back home in Washington D.C., was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday after straining the hamstring while running to first base against the Rockies the previous day.

With Zimmerman gone, Anthony Rendon will be the everyday third baseman, while the Nationals could start a platoon at second base between Danny Espinosa and Zach Walters, who was in the starting lineup Friday against the Reds and went 1-for-4 with an RBI double during Washington's 4-1 victory.

"It was freakin' awesome out there," Walters said. "It was a cool atmosphere. I figured Roche [first baseman Adam LaRoche] would help me out when it came to positioning, so was Desi [shortstop Ian Desmond]. [Outfielder Jayson] Werth was yelling at me about everything else. It was fun. It was a good time."

A shortstop by trade, Walters was playing second base and third at Triple-A Syracuse. Williams said Walters was feeling comfortable playing second base during his last month there.

"The majority of the games that he played at Syracuse were at second base, so he has gotten accustomed to it," Williams said. "With Zim's loss, we are looking for a little bit of offense. He has been swinging well. In a small ballpark [like Great American Ball Park], you never know with him. He could drive the ball out of here. He was going to get a start over there eventually."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for 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.