Ryan Zimmerman may miss rest of season
Correction: This post incorrectly said that Ryan Zimmerman had an .899 slugging percentage. That was his on-base plus slugging percentage; his slugging percentage was .510.
The Nationals will be "conservative" with how they treat Ryan Zimmerman's strained rib injury, and it is possible he will not play again this year, Manager Jim Riggleman said. Zimmerman, who will sit out for the third straight game today, said his strained rib muscle feels the "same," not necessarily better. Zimmerman will take light swings in the batting cage today, but he will not be available even to pinch-hit, Riggleman said.
It is unlikely Zimmerman will return tomorrow -- "I'd have to hear something very encouraging from him," Riggleman said -- and there is a chance, according to Riggleman, that Zimmerman, with seven games left after today, has played his final game of the 2010 season.
"That's a possibility," Riggleman said. "But he might play tomorrow. It depends on what he tells me here today. It could be two weeks and he's still feeling it. It has to be that he's got no issues.
"We're just going to be really conservative about when we put him back out there. We're just really concerned that -- what I don't want to have happen is that he plays in a game, swings and hurts it, and now it's a month into the offseason that he's got to rehab the injury. That's not the way you want a player going into the offseason -- before he's got to get on track with what he's got to do to get on track for next year, first he's got to rehab an injury. If we can avoid that, we will."
Zimmerman is batting .307 with a .388 on-base percentage and an .899 slugging percentage, numbers that, paired with Gold Glove defense, could earn him fringe MVP support on the lower half of the 10-place ballot. Zimmerman, who also missed time in late April with two hamstring tweaks, has hit 24 home runs in 142 games.
Utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez has replaced Zimmerman at third base for all three games he's missed, including today.
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