Report: Nationals’ Zimmerman has Arthritic Shoulder
On Tuesday, ESPN.com reported Nationals’ third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has an arthritic right shoulder. Initial results from Sunday’s MRI didn’t reveal any major structural damage, but after further study, arthritis was discovered.
General manager Mike Rizzo, on a radio interview with WJFK-FN (“106.7 – the Fan”), confirmed Zimmerman’s current condition. Rizzo also mentioned how Zimmerman will attempt to
play through the pain, sometimes at first base instead of his customary third base.
This is a tough blow for the team going forward. Zimmerman has served the organization with honor, on and off the field. He’s a gamer in the best sense of the word. If at all possible, he’ll want to play. That’s what makes going forward so difficult. This condition will limit what Zimmerman can do, especially defensively.
One also gets the sense that as opponents know Zimmerman is limited in the field, they may try to take advantage of that limitation. It’s cruel, to be sure. It’s entirely possible, as well.
The “timer’s running” on the number of years/games Zimmerman can continue to play at third base. Rizzo and company need to figure out what’s good for the player, and what’s best for the organization. There’s gonna be some short-term adjustments that will get bench guys (Kevin Framdsen, Danny Espinosa) on the field much more. Long-term, as soon as next year, the half the infield will be different. Rizzo must use some wisdom and creativity to make the changes while keeping the team in contention for postseason play.
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