Ryan Zimmerman has been brought along slowly after shoulder surgery.
"He looked great," manager Davey Johnsons said. "He said he still thinks he's got a little bit left, but they all looked good. I thought it was a very impressive batting practice."
Brought along slowly since late-October surgery to repair the sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, Zimmerman remains a few steps behind his teammates in spring drills. But most of the concern remains in the field. At the plate, the 28-year-old has managed to stay sharp.
"I've been hitting live in the cage for the last couple days," he said. "I don't obviously just jump out there and go right into it, but it feels good. No surprises. I've just got to continue getting the throwing going, and as soon as that's ready, obviously the hitting will be ready before that."
Zimmerman continues to advance in his throwing program. He threw from 90 feet yesterday. He'll do so again tomorrow, two rounds this time.
Eventually, he'll be cleared to throw across the diamond during team defensive drills.
"It's a painfully slow progression," he said. "But that's what we need to do."
Johnson plans to get Zimmerman at-bats as his designated hitter before he takes the field for a Grapefruit League game, though that increase in workload remains at least another week away.
Tough as it's been for Zimmerman to hold back and not participate in full, he understands the importance of a slow-and-steady approach at this early stage of camp.
"Of course, you don't want to have to do this stuff," he said. "You want to be out there with your teammates, and not being able to participate in infield, outfield, things like that ... that's fun for us. Doing that kind of stuff is enjoyable. It's not work. So to not be able to do that, you feel you kind of stick out, and you don't want to be that guy. But that's what we have to do. And when you think about it, this stuff isn't important. April 1, that's important, and that's what we’re working for."
Meanwhile, Christian Garcia has been diagnosed with a strain of the area between his wrist and forearm, an ailment that only seems to hamper the right-hander on some physical acts, but not all. Johnson suggested the MRI of Garcia's arm will be sent for a second opinion.
"It's kind of a strange injury," Johnson said. "I think somebody else is going to get his MRI, but they're diagnosing it as a strain, kind of ligaments or tendons in this area [pointing to his wrist]. It doesn't bother him throwing the curveball or changeup, but it bothers him opening the car door or throwing a fastball. So he's just on a day-to-day, see how he feels, get treatment and wait on the other opinion."