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Zim may need shot, DL stint

Jun 24, 2012, 3:33 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-4 Saturday night to bring his average down to .218.

For weeks as he struggled to catch up to fastballs and seen his batting average tumble to depths not before seen during his career, Ryan Zimmerman insisted his right shoulder wasn't a significant issue.

But after Saturday night's 3-1 win over the Orioles, the Nationals third baseman acknowledged for the first time his shoulder was bothering him at the plate and admitted he may need to make another stint on the disabled list to address the problem.

"I've been hitting for a while here [in the big leagues], and I don't miss fastballs the way I've been missing fastballs," he said. "So it's frustrating, but I've just got to continue to do my treatment and stuff, and hopefully it will improve and we'll get to that. But if things keep going the way they've been going, we're going to have to do something."

The first step, according to manager Davey Johnson, could be a cortisone shot to alleviate pain in the shoulder. That would sidelineRead more »

  1. Bote Man - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    "Everyone plays until basically they break, which isn't always the smartest thing, but that's how we've been raised in this game."Ozzie Guillen thinks that when players are going through a bad stretch they should go out and get drunk, you know, like back in the day.Maybe the way things have always been aint the best idea after all, huh?

  2. fresh2death1997 - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Wow. I think this will help the team though. Lombo/DeRosa at 3rd, Moore at Left. 1. Lombo/Danny2. Bryce3. Morse4. LaRoche5. Desmond6. Moore7. Danny/Lombo8. Jesus9. P

  3. bdrube - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Boy, the Nats just can't catch a break on the injury front. That said, Ryan playing hurt is absolutely killing the offense. He needs to do what's best for the team and stay out until he's healthy.

  4. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Well if he has been hurt (and that seems very likely, as we have seen him when he wasn't hurt) he should have done this earlier, but better now than later. Get it healed completely so that he can be usefull in the later part of the season. Lombo can handle the job for 3 weeks. Will give Tyler Moore more player time. It will be fine.the above line up works though I am tempted to switch Ian and Morse.

  5. fresh2death1997 - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    He should've said this earlier, so he would be back from the DL for the Rockies series.

  6. Steady Eddie - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Bat speed. Exactly what DCWonk and I saw at the Rays game on Thursday. FBs at 94 and 95 from Mike Moore that he either fouled off weakly to the right side (late) or missed entirely.

  7. Steady Eddie - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    Manassas — before tonight I would have agreed with you about the order of Desi and Morse but the Beast's bat is definitely heating up.

  8. Doc - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Me three for Desi in #3; thought so many games ago when it appeared that Zim was having problems.Still have a hard time comprehending how with all the trainers and physicians in house, that these things appear to go unattended and untreated.In the final analysis, it seems that Ryan came back too soon. And how come the manager is the last to know???

  9. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    More bubble-wrap, please.

  10. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    "And if you don't want to be that guy, maybe you should find some other line of work."I don't blame the guy for trying to play through this. But the fact remains we've locked up a guy for better part of a decade who is, in a word, fragile.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    Eddie, I agree Morse is heating up, so the Morse third looks like it is getting close to being that time, so I had no problem with that either. I want Ryan 100% not 75%, because 75% at hitting is not good.Obviously the shoulder was not bothering his fielding, so he thought he was helping the team with the glove and he was.COme back after the all star break ready to rip it.But of course as of this minute he hasn't gone on the DL, so who knows what might happen.

  12. mick - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    That is good news, give him 15 day DL, that will be best for him and team in the long run

  13. NatsNutToo - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    With all due respect for the "Face of the Franchise," I think it was selfish for the ZMan, aka "Mr. Brittle," to keep telling us he was okay all the while playing injured and hurting the team. If it wasn't for our outstanding pitching staff keeping us in close, very low scoring games, Mr. Brittle could have cost us more games with his horrible at-bats. "Pride goeth before a fall" methinks.

  14. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    Steady Eddie said…Bat speed. Exactly what DCWonk and I saw at the Rays game on Thursday. FBs at 94 and 95 from Mike Moore that he either fouled off weakly to the right side (late) or missed entirely.Yep. We were there and saw it with our own eyes. It was pretty obvious, and, I figured, heck, if Eddie and I could see it from Sec 307, it must be graingly obvious to the players (particularly scouts and opposition pitchers).I went back and looked at what I wrote when I got back from the game Thursday night (and caught a bit of flack for saying it):RZ looked absolutely awful in his first three at bats (all K's). It looked as if each pitcher was saying "dude, you can't even hit my fastball when you know it's coming. Here it is", and they'd throw fastballs, and most of the time RZ was just flat out missing. Couldn't keep up. It looked awful.I've always loved RZ, but, I'll say it: I'm not particularly happy that RZ took so long to admit the obvious. Yes, I know he's competitive, and I know (as written above) that players want to play until they're broken . . . but, heck, he was in fact hurting the team, and RZ should have realized this. You can't have the batter in the #3 hole who is the 7th worst in MLB in OPS.I was listening to 106.7-talk-radio (I meant to post this a few days back, but I forgot), and while I rarely agree with anything they say, one of the guys said something that made sense: he said that Davey responded to a question about whether RZ was hurt, and Davey said something like "I don't know, I need to talk to him." To the sports-guy, this was an obvious tell, because if RZ weren't hurt, Davey would have denied it very strenuously.Let RZ go on the DL immediately — take 15 days to the all star break and get three more days — 18 days of rest for a 15-day DL.

  16. sjm308 - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Natsnut – just look at how many players try and keep playing when injured. Its just what they try and do. If you ask any player how they feel, they will respond in a positive fashion. Pitchers are even worse, and at this point in the season, no one is feeling good. That is what makes a baseball season so special. Zimm is struggling (hurt?) but doesn't want to come out of the lineup. It will probably result in another 15 days of rest but if he had his choice, he would stay in the lineup. Its not pride, its what makes him a major league baseball player.Go Nats!! (one more win and I don't have to wear black & orange)

  17. bdrube - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    No doubt the pressure of trying to live up to his big contract extension was a factor. He had to have heard all the naysayers saying he wasn't worth it because he is so injury prone. At least he'll never be accused of "dogging it" like Stephen Drew was by his idiot owner.

  18. Fear and Ignorance - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    He has 6 HR in his last 400+ AB's. This is far more than a slump…this is more like the collapse of a career. Good thing we locked him up for 9 more years.

  19. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    F&I, I usually take issue with some of your opinions, but always respect your right to say them. But I have to agree with you on 6 HRs in his last 400+ at-bats is more than just a slump. Throw in the erratic throws and his tendency to "Ole" balls at third — like tonight's error — and I have to say his career is not on the ascendency, that's for sure.

  20. NatsNutToo - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    I don't care what the other selfish players do, baseball is, and will always be, a team sport. If you can't help the team win, move over and let someone else play who can help the team, until you are healed, whenever that is.

  21. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    Fear and Ignorance said… He has 6 HR in his last 400+ AB's. This is far more than a slump…this is more like the collapse of a career.Huh? Your conclusion is not only ridiculous, but your premise is factually incorrect.In his last 43 games last year, he had 166 AB, 7 HR, and a slash line of .277/.337/.452/.789(So that gives him 10 HR's in just under 400 AB's, right? But if he's been injured almost all of this year, why bother . . . never mind)

  22. Gonat - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    That head first slide on Thursday wasn't the smartest thing.The fact that Zim may have been playing hurt while hurting his team is just the icing on the cake of what we have been talking about for weeks about Zim.This is about a team not a player. Its been like playing with a typical pitcher in your #3 RBI spot and he's been an automatic out and some times and automatic 2 outs with all the GIDPs which makes him worse that a pitcher as he wasn't advancing runners.Think of how fortunate the Nats have been to keep winning except the Yankees serious with Zim's offensive woes.

  23. Fear and Ignorance - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    DCWonk-He has 6 HR's in his last 89 games played. Official AB's vs. PA's aside, that is horrible. He also only has a total of 16 HR's in his last 187 games dating back to 2010. Either he is just not the player people like you claim he is, or pitchers have found his weakness. He stands too far from the plate, and cannot pull the ball at all anymore. It is one thing to hit the other way from time to time, but a #3 hitter needs to drive the ball to LF with consistency…something he hasn't done since the All-Star break in 2010.

  24. Gonat - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    F&I, he hasn't really been pulling the ball because they are pitching him outside except for a few mistake pitches.The thing that baffles me is all the people complaining now that were saying 2 weeks ago that there wasn't a problem.I keep wondering what "game" some of the posters have been watching. Some comment this morning that said Zim's slump/meltdown has no effect on Harper's own recent slump.

  25. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    Fear and Ignorance said… DCWonk-He has 6 HR's in his last 89 games played.Why do you keep saying 6? Where are you getting that from? He has three this year, and seven from Aug 11, 2011 to Sep 26, 2011 — that makes 10 in his last 89 games.But more relevant, if he's been injured all year, then perhaps this year shouldn't even count if you want to evaluate whether his career is over. He's only 27, you know.He also only has a total of 16 HR's in his last 187 games dating back to 2010.Selective stats anyone? If you go further back just two more weeks you have to add six more to that total.And, again, if he's injured this year, why are you using it to evaluate him?

  26. Fear and Ignorance - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:42 AM

    Big deal…22 HR's in his last 210 games. Is that supposed to be worth $126 million??? The point is…this is not a slump!!! This is who he has become. Hurt or not, doesn't matter!!! Production is what matters, and they cannot count on any of it from him…the "face of the franchise." He is Cal Ripken at the tail end of his career…minus the durability, 2 MVP Awards and 19 All-Star games.

  27. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    "“I’ve been hitting for a while here, and I don’t miss fastballs the way I’ve been missing fastballs."For those posters who have insisted that Zim was not late on his FBs, now you have heard it from the source, himself, on what has been obvious for weeks to anyone paying the least bit attention. And now we know, in spite of the characteristic insistence to the contrary, that it is his shoulder that is still the culprit, as if we had not already figured that out. That guy we have seen on the field is just not the same RZ we all know.Zim needs to sit and get whole. He has been hurting the team on offense. I would much rather see Tyler Moore's bat in the lineup every day than Zim's, under the circumstances. Too bad Tracy is not yet available to play 3b, but Lombo can fill in with Moore as the LFer. The team will suffer some on D, but will benefit on offense, which is where they really need to start producing.

  28. MicheleS - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Wow.. F&I, just remember David Wright last year. The Mets would be no where without him.On RZ, okay we all have been right about him being hurt. So why does that make him selfish? Who is going to play 3b they way he does and hit better? Lombo? I love lombo, but his hitting has taled off. No doubt they have been waiting for DeRosa to come of the DL.I have no doubt that Cal played this way, and I am sure you all cheered him on regardless.Zim, get your shot, go on the DL and HEAL fully.

  29. Another_Sam - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    I've got $0.02 to say on this topic. I'm glad to see some reality creeping in here. Regarding team player — players, even superstars — don't put themselves on the DL, or in and out of the lineup, or choose where they bat in the order. The players don't make out the lineup card. Clearly RZ is a top of the line, blue chip major league star. We fans have seen that he's not himself lately, but that's for the manager and his advisors to work through — not the hair trigger fickle fans, of which I'm surely one. lol. I hope a stint on the DL gets RZ healthy for the strectch drive.

  30. Will - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Fear and Ignorance. Your handle is ever so appropriate. As DC Wonk has pointed out, you've been willfully ignorant about your use of statistics, even after he pointed out you were making stuff up.Even so, Zimmerman is nothing more than Cal Ripken in decline? I would absolutely love for that to be the case. After age 27 (Zimmerman's current age), Ripken played 2008 more games, hit 271 HR, and batted .272/.336/.434, played in 13 All Star games and won an MVP.And don't forget Zimmerman's excellent defense. Every 3B makes a lot of errors. Last year, 3B committed 602 errors, or 20 per team. However, very few of those players had the range of Zimmerman. Any defensive metric will support the point that Zimmerman is a very good defender. I don't care if he fluffs a throw every now and then. The sheer number of balls that he can get to that other 3B could not makes up for it.

  31. Tim - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    So, Nady's roster spot is safe… for now. Zim to DL, DeRosa called up.Now that he's admitted it, how do you put him (Zim) in the lineup at all? He HAS to go on the DL right away to get someone who's 100% on the roster. Is that DeRosa? I didn't think he was quite ready. Will they call up someone else and then demote that person when DeRosa is ready?Hey Lombo – you better be taking bunches of ground balls at 3B today in practice. In fact, start now.

  32. NatsNut - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    But the thing is, we've still been WINNING, so I'm not so sure it's that clear he's hurting the team. In the last 9 series, we've only lost 2. We have not lost our position in 1st place. HIS average stinks, but somehow we're still winning as a team, so i can see how he might want to stay in there trying. "…but, heck, he was in fact hurting the team, and RZ should have realized this."

  33. NCNatsie - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    I don't remember exactly what day it was Davy said he was going to talk to Zim, but my guess would be that he did just like he said, and they decided on a DL stint, but to wait until the AS break was at hand so they could get 18 for 15, and now that time is here so the move is at hand.

  34. Mr Baseball - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    They should go with Lombo at lead off, followed by Espi second and Brice 3rd and leave every thing else the same.

  35. Bzl. - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    My only problem with Zim playing is him being in the 3-hole. If he was 7th or 8th, he's still a Plus regarding overall benefit of team. But, a healthier Zim is worth a month on the DL; just get it done soon!This is exactly like ALR last year, except the injury won't require rest of year. Zim will come back just fine, and it's a good thing he's Ours for many years to come.

  36. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    The point is…this is not a slump!!!Right. Apparently it's an injury and not a slump. And not the end of his career. Sheesh, players like him don't suddenly lose the inability to hit a fastball at age 27. When they're healthy.(And, hey, psst: did you miss the part about him hitting .289 last year?)

  37. Another_Sam - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    F&I — I've posted here that RZ of late has reminded me of the Cal's very last years: odd stance[s] and a lock to GIDP.

  38. timeless46 - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Does Lombo have the arm to play third? Almost wonder if it would be better to put Lombo at second and have Espi play third. I know Danny has the arm to play third.

  39. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    To expand on the points of (the original) NatsNut: with one game to play, the Nats are 18-13 in the Dreaded AL/NL East Stretch (um, DANES) and 10-7 in interleague play. (When was the last time they had a winning record in interleague play, if ever?)NatsNut said… But the thing is, we've still been WINNING, so I'm not so sure it's that clear he's hurting the team. In the last 9 series, we've only lost 2. We have not lost our position in 1st place. HIS average stinks, but somehow we're still winning as a team, so i can see how he might want to stay in there trying."…but, heck, he was in fact hurting the team, and RZ should have realized this." June 24, 2012 7:53 AM

  41. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    To answer my own question, er, last year, when they went 8-7. But the last winning IL record before that was in 2005 (12-6)."(When was the last time they had a winning record in interleague play, if ever?)"

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Very disappointed.

  43. m20832 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    The Nats have a Manager, a bench coach and a hitting coach. Why wouldn't any of them have noticed before today that FoF was hurting? If just two fans (Props to DCWonk and Steady Eddie) can notice this from section 307, the coach and Manager watch from the top steps of the dugout! Is it so important to keep FoF in the line up everyday? When it's obvious he's hurting?

  44. 164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I don't blame RZ. All players want to play and the culture of the game is to play hurt and work through it. I blame the coaches and other staff who saw the same things we did and let it slide. Even with a star, you can't leave it up to him when he's hurt, for the very reason RZ said: "Everyone plays until basically they break, which isn't always the smartest thing, but that's how we've been raised in this game." And as DJ acknowledged, ""You can tell by the way he's not getting at balls he normally gets at, and he's not going to complain about it. He's going to try to go through it." Well, then, it was Johnson's job to take charge.I love Davey and understand his respect for a guy with RZ's stature, but this was allowed to continue too long. Glad to see they're finally ready to address it.

  45. Gonat - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Ghost Of Steve M. said… At some point you have to move Zim to back of the order if he doesn't start getting the job done. June 13, 2012 10:38 AM ____________________________Its so funny going back to this post almost 2 weeks ago and then you read posters that pop out of the woodword today to write "I blame the coaches and other staff who saw the same things we did and let it slide. Even with a star, you can't leave it up to him when he's hurt"If you saw it, why didn't you say it before today?Too many hindsight people here. Easy to do.Then you get this from Zim trying to justify: I haven't really been helping the team lately, offensively. I feel like I've done some other things to help the team win. Zim, no you haven't done other things to help the team win because you occupied the most important spot in the lineup and failed miserably. Bad enough having all the K's w/ RISP but your GIDPs has killed this team and your selfishnish and lack of leadership I believe as others have said pushed Bryce Harper into a slump.Zim, you said numerous times your shoulder was fine. Basically you lied and decided now was the time to tell the truth. You also put your Manager who put his trust in you in a difficult situation as he stuck with you instead of moving you to the 9th spot in the batting order. Most fans stuck by you including the constant Zim apologists that have made endless excuses for you. Is this what its come to?You got the contract extension based on trust. I pointed out at the time how you have averaged only 126 games a season for the previous 4 years which is like paying you for full seasons when you only play 3/4 of the season. Maybe he can take this DL time and hang out with Charlie Sheen again while his team is playing on the road.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    NcNatsie, huh, 18 for 15? Zim has to sit for a minimum of 15 days and can sit 18 or 25 or whatever.The only rule is no less than 15.

  47. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    "If just two fans (Props to DCWonk and Steady Eddie) can notice this from section 307, the coach and Manager watch from the top steps of the dugout! "I've been posting about Zim's late swing for some time, now. It was obvious to anyone paying attention to the way opposing pitchers attacked him – with the FB, which he just crushes when he is right. I am certain that the Nats' brain trust noticed the same thing, but chose to believe he would gradually get better. Instead, he got progressively worse.They always seem to err on the side of optimism. Same thing with Zim last year when they tried to play him with a damaged abdominal muscle, before finally putting him on the DL, remember?Zim needs to get whole. He is a difference maker on both offense and defense when he is right. The Nats are going to need him to make the post-season, and to win there, as well.

  48. NatsFanJim - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I understand how zim desperately wants to produce and be a part of this team's success, but he's simply killing rallies — major league leader in grounding into DP's.Only, he should have faced up to this sooner and not put himself or his wishes and desires over the team. This is where Zim is most to blame.

  49. NatsFanJim - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Another note: Zim's injuries are beginning to set a recognizable pattern: he's injured every year now. Injury prone … not good. Not to mention his throwing issues which virtually everyone wants to NOT talk about. And his fielding, is it me or do I notice that Zim makes too many 'acrobatic' plays; almost Olay kind of plays that players make that do not or cannot get in front of a batted ball. Otherwors, it appears to me that Zim makes routine plays into acrobatic plays. Not good either.Signing him to a long term deal may turn out to be a heart breaker, bank buster, and a huge let down.

  50. NatsFanJim - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    When is Rendon ready?

  51. Bigfish - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Given RZim's propensity (or at least it seems to me) for injury, I'm beginning to wonder if we have another Nick Johnson on our hands. Brittle — and a slow healer. Bad combination. And I say this as an old UVA grad who loves the guy. And who loves the fact that he's bought a house in my neighborhood (Arlington).

  52. peric - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Pretty much thought so … they need to make a PLAN for this guy and get him back to as close to 100% as quickly as possible. No more diddling around, just like LaRoche he's had this problem for way too long now. Its really hard to miss.When is Rendon ready?Where have you been JIm? Rendon isn't ready for baseball activities until the end of August … he is still 2 years away. Best replacement for Zim? Espinosa. Moving Lombardozzi to 2nd. Espinosa might as well learn third base and add it to his repertoire. The other possibilities are Mark Teahen (having a good year) and 23 year old Latin American prospect Carlos Rivero. Both having good years at AAA Syracuse.

  53. peric - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    And by the way Gonat? I am not a "hindsight" person. I pretty said this is what I saw from the get-go. Period.

  54. peric - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Its possible a shot plus moving Zim down in the lineup might work. But Zim is a notorious slow healer that requires rest. They need his bat. Zim should be moved to first base next year … definitely!

  55. peric - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    And Gonat? Ignore the avatar. When it comes to Zim's current issues I am not a hindsight person … :) :) ;)

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