WASHINGTON — Any San Francisco fans tuned in for tonight’s Nationals-Giants game will notice Ryan Zimmerman still isn’t back in the lineup after getting plunked on the wrist earlier this week in the Bay Area.
I guess he wasn’t milking it for attention:
Zimmerman missed his fourth-straight game on Friday, still nursing a bone bruise that has him day-to-day. As of yet, he is unable to test it in batting practice or fielding ground balls at first base.
The Nationals currently enjoy a seven-game lead in the National League East, but trail the Cubs for the best record in the league. Management does not want to put him on the disabled list. Even if they did it retroactively, that puts him out until August 15, causing him to miss four series in total.
Each day that he sits out, the Nationals play with a short bench. The more time that passes, the more optimism dwindles in the front office.
“When you get hit like that, ball on bone, that doesn’t heal. There’s no muscle in there,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker explained to the media. “Anytime you get hit in the hand or the wrist, you’re always thinking there’s a lot of bones in there, not any meat in there to protect you.
“You can treat it all you want, but anybody who’s ever had a bone bruise — it stays sore for a long time. We just hope that he’s better in a day or so.”
So far, Zimmerman has only been able to test his wrist defensively, taking flyballs in the outfield. Before he returns to the lineup, he will need to test and prove his readiness at first base and the plate.
“That’s what’s bothering him — to make that final movement,” Baker said of the follow through on Zimmerman’s swing. “So, we just hope that he’s better in a day or so.”
Zimmerman’s absence is mitigated by a surging Trea Turner, who started his 10th straight game for the Nats on Friday, this time in centerfield. Showing his table-setting prowess, Turner has six multi-hit games over that stretch, batting .349, stealing five bases and scoring eight runs.
He has improved his batting line to .312/.346/.494, all while handling centerfield, shortstop and second base.
Clint Robinson continues to take Zimmerman’s spot in the lineup, playing first base and batting seventh. His batting line is .215/.272/.362 on the season.
“The longer you go, the more you think about it,” Baker said of putting Zimmerman on the disabled list. He did say that as of Friday, the team was planning to wait the injury out.
“You want to think positively because you hate to lose anybody and sustain any injuries this late in the season.”