Zimmerman not in Sunday’s lineup due to abdominal strain

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Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman got an on-field visit from a team trainer on Saturday night after taking a rough slide into second base.

He stayed in the game and finished out the Nats’ 8-4 loss, but, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, he is not playing on Sunday.

The Nationals haven’t yet commented about the apparent injury, so it’s unclear if his absence in today’s starting lineup is connected to that slide. But it’s probably a safe assumption.

Alex Cora is playing third base in place of Zimmerman against Mets right-hander Chris Young. Zim is batting .357/.486/.536 with a homer, a triple, four RBI and seven walks through eight games this season.

UPDATE: Bill Ladson of MLB.com brings the update. Zimmerman has been diagnosed with an abdominal strain and is expected to miss the next couple of days. Cora should see regular action at the hot corner.

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.