Ian Desmond out with sore thumb, will return tomorrow
Shortstop Ian Desmond is sitting for the second consecutive game tonight with a sore right thumb, a minor ailment that has nagged him for much of the season. Desmond will return tomorrow, Manager Jim Riggleman said, and the back-to-back days out of the lineup are merely a precaution.
Riggleman gave shortstop Ian Desmond the day off Monday, figuring it was about time. The Nationals are in the middle of 16 games in 16 days, and Desmond had played in most of them. During batting practice Monday, Desmond approached Riggleman and told him, "You picked a good day to give me a day off. My thumb is kind of bothering me." This afternoon, Riggleman inspected Desmond thumb in his office.
"It didn't look too bad," Riggleman said. "But I said, 'You know what? Let's give it one more day.' "
Desmond lobbied to play, but Riggleman wanted to make certain Desmond's thumb heals. Desmond took groundballs as the Nationals took infield/outfield before batting practice and said his thumb feels "awesome."
This month, mostly hitting out of the second spot, Desmond has played the best baseball of his rookie season. In 80 plate appearances this August, Desmond is hitting .375 with a .423 on-base percentage, a .528 slugging percentage and two home runs. He's been able to produce despite the lingering thumb issue.
"It's been off and on," Riggleman said. "He's been playing great, as we all know. He's a tough guy. He was not going to come out of the lineup. I gave him a day off. It just so happens he could use a day or two to let this thumb calm down."
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