First baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played through plantar fasciitis in his foot all season, but with his performance being terrible and the injury not getting any better the Nationals have decided to place him on the disabled list.
Zimmerman, who missed two-thirds of last season with injuries, hit just .209 with five homers and a .611 OPS in 56 games this year while transitioning from third base to first base due to shoulder problems.
Washington is also without left fielder Jayson Werth and Clint Robinson has been seeing regular playing time as one of his replacements, but manager Matt Williams could use Robinson at first base if he’s willing to turn left field over to rookie Michael Taylor and/or career-long infielder Danny Espinosa.
Robinson is a 30-year-old who hasn’t hit much in limited action yet, but he spent eight seasons in the minors hitting .302 with an .891 OPS.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals have contacted the Athletics in regards to Ben Zobrist. If the Nats were to land Zobrist, Rosenthal writes, he could play left field until Jayson Werth returns, then serve as utilityman, playing in the infield or the outfield as needed.
The Yankees are also interested in Zobrist, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Cubs are reportedly interested as well as the Mets.
Zobrist spent just over a month on the disabled list between late April and late May due to arthroscopic knee surgery. The versatile 34-year-old is batting .222/.304/.383 with two home runs, 14 RBI, and one stolen base in 92 plate appearances this season. He is earning $7.5 million for the 2015 campaign and can become a free agent at season’s end.
Nationals center fielder Denard Span exited Sunday’s game with right knee soreness and he’s out of the lineup for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
Washington is also without left fielder Jayson Werth, who’s on the disabled list with a fractured wrist, so the Nationals are using Michael Taylor in center field and Tyler Moore in left field.
Span missed the first three weeks of the season recovering from core muscle surgery, but he’s played very well by hitting .314 with five homers and a career-high .859 OPS in 33 games.
The damage from Jayson Werth being hit on the wrist by a pitch on May 15 is even worse than expected, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that a CT scan showed “two small fractures.”
So far the Nationals haven’t made any official announcement on his status, but Werth is already on the disabled list and Ladson writes that “he could return as early as August.”
And when the best-case scenario is returning in August that seemingly suggests there are other scenarios in which he’ll miss the remainder of the season.
Replacing his 2014 production will be difficult–Werth hit .292 with an .849 OPS–but Washington is relatively well-equipped to handle his loss with rookie Michael Taylor capable of being the primary left field fill in and Tyler Moore also around to grab some playing time.
The Phillies have levied some complaints about the division rival Nationals, but they don’t have to do with anything done during a game. Rather, they feel that they are afforded less time for on-field batting practice at Nationals Park compared to other road parks, and they’re unhappy with the music selection as well, which has included Linda Rondstadt, Patrick Swayze, and Starland Vocal Band.
Here’s what manager Ryne Sandberg had to say, via MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki:
“We’ll take care of that,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said before Saturday’s game against the Nationals at Nationals Park. “We’re going with the silent treatment at our place.
“It’s bush league. And irrelevant. What’s the point?”
Jayson Werth thinks the soft music is a net positive.
“I didn’t even notice it,” Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said with a hint of a smile. “But it’s nice soothing music they’ve got going on here. It’s nice for the fans at the ballpark before the game. Yeah, maybe get a beer, a pretzel, enjoy BP.”
A more extensive list of songs that were played, taken from the Phillies’ broadcast on Comcast SportsNet: