Cortisone injections kept Ryan Zimmerman playing–and playing remarkably well–despite season-long shoulder problems and today the Nationals third baseman underwent arthroscopic surgery.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that the recovery timetable is six weeks, so barring any setbacks Zimmerman should have plenty of time to get healthy for spring training.
Prior to his first injection Zimmerman hit just .218 with three homers and a .590 OPS in 55 games, but he hit .321 with 22 homers and a .967 OPS in his final 90 games to finish the year with an .824 OPS that’s right in line with his .832 career mark.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.