Bill Ladson reported on twitter that Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will be back in the lineup tonight as the club embarks on a three game series in Miami. Ladson also indicated that the weather has played a factor in the decision:
"Being in warm Miami has helped #Nats 3B Ryan Zimmerman. The team did not want him to play in cold Chicago."
Zimmerman, who is batting .326/.370/.628 with two homers and 10 RBI in 14 games, has missed seven starts as a result of hamstring woes. Despite the absence of their Gold Glove hot-corner and overall best player, the Nationals have gone 4-3 since he has left the lineup on a full-time basis, and have improved their record to 12-10. Zimmerman hasn't been fully healthy since Apr. 10 when he initially injured his hamstring after going 0-3 against the Mets. Following his injury he was out of the lineup for five days before earning a game winning pinch-hit home run a la Kirk Gibson Apr. 15 at Philadelphia. Zimmerman returned to the line-up full time Apr. 17 before re-injuring himself Apr. 21.
Zimmerman was far-and-away the teams most valuable player in 2009 after batting .292/.364/.525 and registering 6.6 wins above replacement value. The hot corner also posted a 13.1 UZR last season.