Ryan Zimmerman and Koda Glover were both experiencing back discomfort at Nationals Park on Saturday. Zimmerman told his bosses, who decided to proceed cautiously and kept him out of the Nationals’ 6-3 loss to the Rangers. His replacement, Adam Lind, hit a two-run home run, and while Zimmerman might not play Sunday, he definitely expects to play Monday.
Meanwhile, Glover waited until after the game to tell his bosses, after he blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning. His status moving forward isn’t as clear, or optimistic.
“I was taking a shower, bent over to get my body wash, stood up and had a little kink,” Glover said. “With some issues I’ve had lately I kind of pushed myself. I didn’t want to take a day off. I’ve had three days off already, so I pushed the limits today, tried to pitch through it. And it’s one of them things where it was out of my control and I should have said something early. I didn’t, and now my back’s in pretty bad shape.”
Glover said he didn’t know if he will miss any significant time or if a trip to the disabled list is necessary. The 24-year-old also tried pitching through a torn labrum in his hip last season and was shut down in late September. The hip didn’t require surgery; instead, Glover was told he needed to stay on top of it with strength exercises, but admitted he relaxed on the maintenance this spring. It then flared up and he spent 14 games on the disabled list until May 12.
“I’m tired of being hurt,” Glover said. “Never been hurt before until last year, and ever since then it just seems like something new keeps popping up every day. So it’s one of them things where I can’t control it. I just got to put my head down and keep going.”
If the injury does sideline Glover, the Nationals might have to turn to Matt Albers, their best reliever this season, to close games. The 34-year-old right-hander, signed as a nonroster invite during the offseason, continued his surprising season with two scoreless innings Saturday. The performance dropped his ERA to 1.08 in 25 innings. He’s compiled 29 strikeouts to four walks.
“I don’t know [about Glover’s status] because we’re in this long streak and we need everybody we can have,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “So we got to go back and reassess the situation. It’s not a very pleasant situation, so you just got to reassess it and try to come up with some answers.”
Zimmerman wasn’t nearly as concerned about his discomfort. The 32-year-old first baseman, who leads baseball with a .365 batting average, said he tweaked his back diving for a ball Tuesday in Los Angeles. He played Wednesday, was given Thursday off, and played Friday, going 2 for 4 with a double. He said it felt “okay” Friday, but he wanted to quash the problem before it had a chance to worsen.
“Just one of those things where knowing what I’ve known in the past, if you continue to play and it gets worse then something bad happens,” Zimmerman said. “But if you give it a day or two then you can kind of just stop it right there. And that’s sort of the plan since it’s June and we have the ability to do that. We’ll see how it feels in the morning, kind of go from there as far as tomorrow. But even if I don’t play tomorrow I can’t see me not playing on Monday.”