Ryan Zimmerman to see specialist for shoulder injury

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Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder injury showed no improvement after a round of batting practice yesterday, so the Nationals third baseman will be examined by a specialist in Los Angeles.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Zimmerman is expected to get a cortisone shot, which typically knocks players out of action for at least 2-3 days, and a disabled list stint seems all but certain at this point.

Zimmerman has already been on the active roster without being available to play for nearly a week, so continuing to play short-handed makes little sense for the Nationals even though manager Davey Johnson stressed that they’re willing to wait because “he’s our best player.”

Zimmerman initially hurt his shoulder making several diving plays last week and told Kilgore that he’d likely “get a shot and play” through the injury if it was September rather than April. Doing that for 4-5 months isn’t really an option and after missing most of last season with an abdominal injury Zimmerman stressed that taking a long-term view of the situation is his priority.

He signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension in February.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.