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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Nationals Injury Update: Ryan Zimmerman unable to play 3B in sim game

By on 10/02/2014 04:00:00 PM

Ryan Zimmerman's contribution in the first couple of NLDS games will probably come from the bench, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. Zimmerman, who is still recovering from a severe hamstring strain, was unable to execute the quick bursts of speed and turns that third base requires, and with Bryce Harper in left field and Adam LaRoche at first, there is no position for the veteran slugger in the starting lineup for Friday's opener against the San Francisco Giants at Nats Park.

Manager Matt Williams said Thursday, “He played left [in a simulated game] and got his at-bats and ran the bases and did all the things that were the tests for him. We had to split it up. We only have a certain number of guys… and as it worked out, we had a multitude of infielders and we had to fill every spot, so he played left.” Williams expects Zimmerman to be available and will look for matchup opportunities in the series.

Zimmerman was on the DL twice in 2014, missing 44 games (April 13-June 3) with a fractured right thumb and then 55 games (July 23 - Sept 20) with the right hamstring strain. In 61 games, he batted .280/.342/.449 (OPS+ 117) with five homers and 38 RBI. For September, he went 5 for 19 (.263) with one triple. Due to on-going shoulder problems, Zimmerman played 30 games in left field and several innings at first base this season.

Ryan Zimmerman

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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