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Ryan Zimmerman cleared to throw and swing, is working on outfield

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Ryan Zimmerman is working his way back from injury, possibly as an outfielder.
Ryan Zimmerman is working his way back from injury, possibly as an outfielder. (USATSI)

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Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is progressing from a fractured right thumb and he has been cleared to start swinging a bat and throwing (CSN Washington). And from here, the intrigue picks up:

With Zimmerman out, the Nationals have been using Anthony Rendon at third base and he's likely to eventually be the full-time third baseman even with Zimmerman back. Considering Zimmerman's degenerative shoulder will land him at first base soon -- likely when Adam LaRoche's contract is up -- Rendon may as well stay put, for the most part.

With the presence of LaRoche this season, though, the Nationals will probably try to plug in Zimmerman anywhere they can. Third base with Rendon going back to second is, of course, a possibility, but until Bryce Harper returns, left field could be another option. It all will depend on whether or not they get comfortable with his defense in the outfield.

Zimmerman, 29, is hitting .364/.405/.636 with three doubles, two homers and six RBI in 10 games this season. His bat will definitely help the offense, no matter where he plays on defense.

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