Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman is headed to a doctor after experiencing right shoulder soreness which led to his being lifted from tonight's game in Nationals Park.
With two down in the fourth and Justin Upton on second after singling and stealing a base, Atlanta Braves' shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a sharp grounder to third where Zimmerman fielded the ball on his backhand and made an over-the-top throw to first that sailed slowly over Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche's head and went all the to wall in foul territory. A run scored on the E:5, and another scored as the inning was extended for Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg.
It was Zimmerman's second throwing error of the year and another in a long line of errors tied to the 29-year-old third baseman's altered throwing mechanics. After years of dealing with a shoulder issue and adjusting his throwing to compensate for the pain, four cortisone shots to get him through the 2012 campaign and surgery to clear out the AC joint in his right shoulder at the end of that season, the troubles have continued.
Two innings after error tonight, Zimmerman was lifted from the game with Danny Espinosa taking over at second base in the top of the sixth and Anthony Rendon shifting to third.
Once the 6-2 loss to the Braves was over, Nats' skipper Matt Williams addressed the issue in his post game press conference with reporters.
"He went to his backhand tonight," Williams said, "threw that ball across the infield and felt pain in his shoulder so we thought it prudent to get him out of there and make sure that everything is okay. So, he's got shoulder soreness."
#Nats Manager Matt Williams said 3B Ryan Zimmerman left tonight's game with right shoulder soreness. He will be reevaluated tomorrow.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 6, 2014
Asked if he was alarmed, Williams told reporters, "Of course."
"We want to make sure that he's 100% healthy," he said. "He's been good all -- he had a little bit of a setback in Spring Training. He got through that, but tonight he felt it again, so..."
"We'll evaluate him tomorrow," Williams continued. "He'll go see a doc."
The Nationals' first-year manager said they were planning on getting an MRI on Zimmerman's shoulder.
"We're looking at that right now, we have to try to see if we can schedule that for tomorrow. We'll see."
Since the issue in Spring Training, Zimmerman felt no pain in his shoulder before tonight according to his manager.
"No, he was fine," Williams said. "But tonight -- again it's cold out there. In between innings you don't necessarily get all the way loose either, with the weather, so, he felt it, so we're just making sure."
It was more bad news for the Nats on a somber night in the nation's capital which saw Washington lose to Atlanta for the ninth time in the last 11 games in Nationals Park.
More information when it is available...