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Friday, August 22, 2014

Nationals Injury Update: Ryan Zimmerman, Steven Souza Jr

By on 8/22/2014 11:00:00 AM

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (strained right hamstring) took a step toward his expected September return by playing catch for about ten minutes on Thursday, reports Daniel Popper of Outfielder Steven Souza Jr (bruised left shoulder) began his rehab at Single-A Hagerstown, according to Tim Murray of

Manager Matt Williams outlined the plan for Zimmerman's activities going forward. He will likely start throwing on an every-other-day basis, as long as he feels good. With each session, Zimmerman will throw from farther distances while adding "dynamic components," such as crow hops and other drills involving more movement in his lower half.

Souza Jr injured his shoulder in a wall collision on August 9.
In the 17 games before he was injured running out a grounder on July 22,  Zimmerman slashed 387/.437/.613 with two homers and 17 RBI.  He also fractured his thumb in a pickoff play April 12 and missed 44 games. Overall, in 53 games, Zimmerman has posted a line of .282/.345/.456 (OPS+ 121) with five homers and 36 RBI. Due to on-going shoulder problems, Zimmerman played 26 games in left field and several innings at first base this season.

Souza Jr was hitting .354/.435/.601 OPS 1.036 at Triple-A Syracuse before his promotion on August 5. He was also up briefly in April, and overall is 1 for 12. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Nationals in 2007 and made his debut April 13, 2014. He is pre-arb and under team control through 2019. 

Zimmerman and the Nats managed the shoulder throughout 2012 with DL stints and cortisone shots; he underwent surgery in October 2012. Still recovering from the surgery in 2013, Zimmerman committed 21 errors, mostly wild throws to first. However, even with the shoulder injury hampering his swing, Zimmerman slugged 26 home runs in 2013, along with 79 RBI and a .275/.344/.465 batting line.

Now in his age-29 season, Zimmerman was the Nationals' first round draft pick in 2005 and made his debut in September of that year. He was runner-up Rookie of the Year in 2006 (to Hanley Ramirez, then of the Florida Marlins). He was named to the NL All-Star team in 2009 and twice won the Silver Slugger award (2009, 2010). A career Nat, Zimmerman is signed to an 11-year $135 million contract that takes him though 2019 (option for 2020).

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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