Nationals Notebook

Zimmerman Sits Out Against Marlins

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

After his left shoulder stiffened overnight following a hit-by-pitch Monday in Pittsburgh, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was out of Tuesday's lineup, as the team hoped a day of treatment and rest would allow him to return Wednesday.

"We figured it'd be better to treat it all day and kind of get rid of [the soreness]," Zimmerman said, "instead of trying to play through it and have to play [hurt] for however long that takes."

Zimmerman was struck on the shoulder by a Charlie Morton fastball in Monday night's sixth inning. With the Nationals undermanned because of Austin Kearns's thumb injury, Zimmerman stayed in the game and homered in his next at-bat. But the soreness increased during the game, on the team's flight home and overnight.

"He came in today pretty sore," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "Hopefully it will be a one-day thing, but we'll check him out tomorrow. . . . He doesn't get many days off, and this one might help him."

Zimmerman, the Nationals' lone all-star, had played in 103 of the team's first 106 games, including 102 starts at third base. He had a streak of 206 consecutive games played -- at the time the second-longest such active streak in the game -- that ended in May 2008, followed by a six-week stay on the disabled list that summer with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Asked Tuesday if he could have played despite the sore shoulder had the Nationals been involved in a pennant race, Zimmerman said: "If I could play, I'd probably play. I don't enjoy sitting games out [or] taking days off."

Meantime, Kearns was being examined by a hand specialist Tuesday afternoon and was also not expected to play.

Rehabilitating Effort

Rookie right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (elbow soreness) threw 3 1/3 innings Tuesday night in a rehab start for Class A Potomac, allowing two hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and a homer while striking out six.

The Nationals will decide in the next day or so whether to bring Zimmermann back to the majors or give him a second rehab start.

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