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Ryan Zimmerman out with 'severe cramp'

Ryan Zimmerman will exercise caution in healing his right hamstring, which he hurt last night before the Nationals' victory over the Colorado Rockies. He said this hamstring injury feels better than the left hamstring injury that forced him out of the starting lineup for five games earlier this season but that he can't be sure of when he'll return.

"It doesn't feel as bad as the last one," Zimmerman said. "We'll see. We just have to wait and see. Hopefully, it will be ready in a day or two."

Manager Jim Riggleman made out a lineup card without Zimmerman even before Zimmerman arrived at the park. Still, Zimmerman will be available to pinch hit, Riggleman said, and Riggleman is optimistic Zimmerman's stay on the bench will be short.

"I'm calling it a severe cramp," Riggleman said. "I'm not going to say he pulled something. If it turns out that's what happened, then we'll know more as we go through the day. We're certainly hoping it's something that's very short term."

Zimmerman saw a possible connection between both hamstring injuries even though they occurred in separate limbs. He thinks perhaps he favored his right hamstring while fighting through the injury to the left.

"This one is probably a correlation to that one,," Zimmerman said. "It makes sense. I don't know if that's right or not. It's just something that you think about."

Today, Willie Harris will bat third for the first time in his career. Riggleman said "you're kind of pulling a name out of a hat" between batting Harris or Cristian Guzman third. Harris got the nod in part because of his success against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Harris is 4 for 6 against Jimenez with a double, a triple and a walk.

While Harris and third baseman Alberto Gonzalez fill in for him, Zimmerman will try to be patient without becoming frustrated.

"You just came off the other one, you're playing well, the team's playing well," Zimmerman said. "But it's still early. You have to remember that. You can't try and rush anything. Hopefully it will be gone pretty quick."

Also, the Nationals have made official what we already knew: Luis Atilano will start Friday against Los Angeles in place of Jason Marquis. Atilano will be making his big league debut. More on him soon.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 22, 2010; 3:34 PM ET
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Next: Meet Luis Atilano


"I'm calling it a severe cramp," Riggleman said.
Perhaps, in the future, the manager could avail himself of the Code Red iPhone app to foretell the occurrence of such lineup-impacting ailments.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | April 22, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Feed that kid some bananas.

Posted by: tailwagger | April 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If baseball players were docked pay for games missed because of injuries, such as hamstring injuries, you'd see them making sure they were more physically prepared for each game to decrease the chances of them getting injured.

Maybe the Nats strength and conditioning coach, John Philbin, should be replaced by someone who knows how to keep his players physically game ready. Allowing half-assed warm-ups should never happen, no matter who the player is.

Posted by: KenzAFan | April 22, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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