Ryan Zimmerman on track to return from disabled list next Friday

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Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list last weekend due to a sore left hamstring, but he’s already nearing his return to game action.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com this morning that Zimmerman will likely begin a minor league rehab assignment on Monday. While the Nationals haven’t announced which affiliate he’ll play with, High-A Potomac is the most logical destination. Barring any setbacks, the hope is that he’ll be activated when he’s first eligible next Friday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Zimmerman played catch, fielded ground balls and ran the bases this morning at Nationals Park during a workout with trainer Steve Gober and bench coach Randy Knorr. His throwing was an issue prior to the hamstring injury and it’s apparently still a work in progress, as Kilgore notes that “some of Zimmerman’s throws hit Gober in the chest; some skipped by him or flew to the short fence behind him.”

The Nationals called up top prospect Anthony Rendon when Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list, but he’ll likely head back down the minors next Friday.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: