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Friday, September 19, 2014

Nationals Injury Update: Ryan Zimmerman expected back Saturday


By on 9/19/2014 04:45:00 PM

Ryan Zimmerman is expected join Washington Nationals in Miami on Saturday if all goes well in his final rehab game, reports Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. It's an open question what position the veteran third baseman will play for the NL East champions.

Zimmerman played five innings Wednesday afternoon (at first and third), and seven innings as designated hitter on Thursday in intrasquad games with Nats minor-leaguers and prospects in Viera, Florida. On Friday Zimmerman is scheduled for seven innings in left field. Zimmerman has been on the DL since July 23 with a severely strained right hamstring.
Presently, Anthony Rendon occupies third base full-time. Now in his second major league season, Rendon has accumulated 6.0 fWAR (third in the NL). In addition to offense, Rendon is outstanding defensively. At first base, lefty Adam LaRoche has been bothered with a back issue that had him sitting out on Thursday. Another left-side batter, Bryce Harper, is in left field. It's possible Zimmerman may spell LaRoche or Harper against a tough left-handed starter, or he may return to third base full-time, with Rendon sliding over to second.  Manager Matt Williams will have eight or nine games to experiment before the playoffs.

Ryan Zimmerman
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.


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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