By Chico Harlan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will take a day off tomorrow to provide time for a minor left shoulder injury to heal, Manager Manny Acta said. Zimmerman has played the best baseball of his season while battling a sore left shoulder since last weekend's series against Baltimore, when he tweaked it on a sliding double.
"He'll be out of the lineup" tomorrow, Acta said. "I gave him the option -- [today's] a left-handed pitcher, he'll go [today]. And then he'll take Monday off. But it's a playable thing. He's been playing through it. So he is going to have a day off on Monday, just a day off to give it some time. It's nothing serious. We wouldn't have our franchise player out there playing with something serious."
Zimmerman, too, played down the injury, saying that check-ups revealed nothing major.
"It's sore, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it," he said. "If there is anything wrong with it I wouldn't play, and I'm still out there playing."
For Zimmerman, off days come infrequently. On May 4, Zimmerman requested a day off for an afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That ended Zimmerman's consecutive games streak at 205. In retrospect, it also ended a bedeviling batting slump.
Ever since, he's batting .333 with five home runs and a .623 slugging percentage. He's lifted his season batting average to .258.
"I'm getting close to where I want to be," he said. "I'm used to struggling in April by now."Nats Sign Pokey Reese
A former major league all-star who hasn't appeared in a game since 2004 signed yesterday with Washington and will be assigned to Class AAA Columbus. Pokey Reese, a second baseman and shortstop with a career .248 average, signed a minor league contract after Columbus infielder Pete Orr was placed on the disabled list.
During the height of his career with the Cincinnati Reds, Reese was known primarily for his fielding ability, winning Gold Glove awards in 1999 and 2000. In 2006, though, while in spring training with Florida, Reese left the team with no explanation and was later released.