Using 'Ryan Zimmerman' and 'shoulder soreness' in the same sentence is probably a good way to scare a Washington Nationals fan, but the third baseman was quick to downplay concerns after sitting out Tuesday's game, says MLB.com's Tom Schad. Zimmerman had his right shoulder surgically repaired in October and he stated that the day off was planned a week in advance to give him extra time to rest, with the Nationals already not playing on Monday.
"We looked at that date for a week to try to give me two days off to kind of help it," Zimmerman explained. "We knew we had this long stretch that's about to come up before the All-Star break, and it's a very important stretch for us, so it just made sense to give me two days right there and be ready to go."
Schad notes that Zimmerman has experienced difficulties with the throw from third to first this year as a result of the surgery, making a team-high 11 errors as he tries to adjust to a new arm slot. The Nats star had multiple cortisone shots last season as he battled with shoulder pain and he has admitted that it is still not 100%.
Zimmerman's .273/.355/.468 line is very similar to his career numbers, and his average home run & fly ball distance (per baseballheatmaps.com) is almost identical to his 33 home run 2009 season (304 feet to 305), so the soreness doesn't seem to be affecting his power at the plate. The Nationals will hope that he can continue to make adjustments on the fielding side while staying healthy enough to play every day. Another significant setback with the shoulder would raise serious questions about Zimmerman's long-term health.
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