Ryan Zimmerman sent for MRI on sore hamstring

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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.

 

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.