Zimmerman said he could have played – or even pinch-hit if the 10-inning game dragged on – but he and the Nationals both decided to take the precaution of not playing. Zimmerman has no structural damage in his shoulder, a team spokesman said. He said he has not had an MRI on his shoulder and has no plans to undergo the exam.
Zimmerman had felt the inflammation for several days, a buildup from “just diving around and jamming it a little bit,” he said. When Zimmerman tried to warm up today in the batting cage, he felt tight. After consulting with Manager Davey Johnson, he decided against playing.
“It’s nothing,” Zimmerman said. “It’s something that I could have played through. It’s been bugging me, and then it would go away a couple days. I’ve been diving all over the place over there. It’s just like a jammed finger, pretty much. I’m going to give it a couple days of rest, it’ll go away and I’ll be good to go on Tuesday.”
In 2008, Zimmerman missed roughly the final two months of the season after he suffered a small tear in his right shoulder while sliding into a base. Zimmerman said this bout of inflammation has no relation to that injury.
Johnson had planned to give Zimmerman a day off Sunday, anyway, in order to give Zimmerman consecutive days off when combined with the Nationals’ scheduled off day Monday before they begin a six-game West Coast trip in San Diego. Now, Zimmerman will have three days to rest his sore shoulder. “By Tuesday, it will be no big deal,” he said.
While he swung in the batting cage this morning, Zimmerman informed hitting coach Rick Eckstein his shoulder felt tight. Eckstein recommended Zimmerman talk to Johnson if the feeling in the shoulder did not improve.
Johnson “was just like, ‘If it’s tight, there’s no reason to do that in April,’ ” Zimmerman said. “I really have no doubt by Tuesday it’ll be fine.”