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.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.