Zimmerman, Lobaton Expected to Return to Nationals Friday

 WASHINGTON — The Nationals should be getting reinforcements in time for the weekend.

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman (wrist) and catcher Jose Lobaton (elbow tendinitis) are both expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday, manager Dusty Baker said Thursday as the Nats were getting set to begin a four-game series in Atlanta.

“They’re on the way now,” Baker said. “So there’s a good chance that they’ll be activated tomorrow, barring nothing happens today.”

Zimmerman has played in three rehab games at Class-AAA affiliate Syracuse this week, where he went 6-for-12 with a home run, three RBI, a walk and three strikeouts. Zimmerman was struck on the left wrist in a July 31 game against the Giants.

The Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole, who is making his first trip to the big league roster this season. Cole is 8-8 with a 4.26 ERA as a starter at Syracuse, but Baker says he’ll most likely appear in relief for the Nationals.

“I just wanted to know how long it was going to take him to warm up, and he says he has relieved before, but not this year,” Baker said. “And so I just said, ‘Hey man, go about a routine as if you’re going to relieve,’ so that’s what he’s going to do.”

Outfielder Brian Goodwin was optioned back to Syracuse as a corresponding move. Goodwin hit .250 and walked once in 16 plate appearances during his first big league call-up. He may be a September call-up option for the Nationals when rosters expand.

“We sent Brian Goodwin out because he has options, but he did an outstanding job for us,” Baker said. “He’s come a long ways since we first saw him in spring training. And he was disappointed, but I told him, ‘Hey man, we need the spot, and there’s a good chance you’ll be back in 12 days when the roster expands.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter.

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