COL@WSH: Zimmerman homers to center in the ninth

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman did not start Tuesday's game against the D-backs because of a sore right shoulder. He will be available to pinch-hit if needed, according to manager Davey Johnson. Chad Tracy received the start at third and batted sixth.

Zimmerman started having discomfort in the shoulder dating back to last week and was looking for a couple of days off.

"He is taking some medication to calm it down," Johnson said. "It's just normal. Nothing Earth-shattering."

Zimmerman has had shoulder problems dating back to last year and had surgery to fix the AC joint inside the shoulder after the season ended.

Zimmerman said recently he expects the shoulder to be in rehab mode for the rest of the season, but it will not keep him out of the lineup. Zimmerman's surgery on the joint was much more serious than anyone expected. That's why he is having problems throwing the baseball.

Zimmerman was not available for comment before the game against Arizona.

Worth noting

• Two days after sustaining a left groin strain against the Rockies on Sunday, Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth was in the starting lineup against the D-backs on Tuesday. He did not undergo an MRI on the groin and said that he is fine.

"I feel OK. Obviously, I'm probably going to deal with this groin for a while, but it's definitely playable and something I can manage. No problem," Werth said.

In the game, Werth went 2-for-2 with two walks and had trouble catching up to some fly balls in the outfield, which indicated to Johnson that Werth is not 100 percent.

"I don't think he is 100 percent," Johnson said. "He probably catches that ball in the ninth. He is a little ginger, but he'll be all right."

• Johnson said he doubts that outfielder Bryce Harper will rejoin the Nationals when they play the Mets starting Friday. He is currently on a rehab assignment for Class A Potomac and the Nationals want to make sure that Harper's left knee is 100 percent before he returns to the big leagues. Johnson is hoping that Harper can play with the big league team when it hosts the Brewers next week.

Harper will take four, five, six days maybe to get [ready]. Hopefully, he doesn't have any problems playing on [the knee]," Johnson said. "That's the big thing. I'm not so much worried about his timing . It's how he reacts after he plays on it."

• While he has not retired as a player, former Nationals infielder/outfielder Willie Harris said he is looking to land a coaching job this offseason. Harris played 12 years in the big leagues and helped the White Sox win a World Series title in 2005.