Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was expected to receive his fourth cortisone injection of the season on Wednesday afternoon as the pain in his right shoulder has returned in recent weeks.
Zimmerman spent a stint on the 15-day disabled list in late April and early May with an inflamed right AC joint and two initial injections failed to take. He then received another just before a June 24 game at Baltimore and went on an offensive tear in the ensuing weeks.
Washington manager Davey Johnson acknowledged that Zimmerman may need surgery after the season to clean up the shoulder. But that procedure is not expected to be serious enough to linger long into the offseason or continue to give Zimmerman problems in spring training. Zimmerman is in the lineup for Game 1 of a doubleheader on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, though Johnson said he likely won’t play in Game 2.
“He’s kind of like Danny [Espinosa]. They’re not gonna say nothing,” Johnson said. “And they probably are a little upset that you know and I know that they’re getting treatment. But I don’t hide things. That’s what’s happening. It’s not near as serious as it was the first time around.”
After the cortisone shot in June Zimmerman immediately smashed three home runs in his next four games and 11 hits in his first seven to end the month. In July he batted .366 with a .434 on-base percentage and a 1.186 OPS. He also had 10 homers and nine doubles in July with 24 RBI and walked 11 times.
He’s not exactly struggling at the plate now, either. Zimmerman is hitting .298 in September with a .963 OPS. He has five homers in those 14 games with a double and a triple and 15 RBI.
“I think the difference between this one and the one in Baltimore is that he wants the cortisone shot now, because he’s feeling it a little bit,” Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said. “In Baltimore, he needed the cortisone shot to perform up to his standards. That’s the big difference.”
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