According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Ryan Zimmerman was sent for an MRI on sore left hamstring today. Zimmerman initially felt a cramp in his hamstring last weekend and aggravated it during Wednesday’s game. He’s out of the starting lineup today for the second straight game.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo have both expressed confidence that Zimmerman will not require a trip to the disabled list, but he was sent for tests to be on the safe side. Chad Tracy should get most of the playing time at third base until he’s ready to return.
Zimmerman, 28, is hitting .226/.311/.358 with one home run, 11 RBI and a .670 OPS through 15 games. After adjusting his throwing mechanics following offseason shoulder surgery, he has already committed four errors.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.