Ryan Zimmerman missed 13 games between July 6-26 with a left rib cage strain. He returned from the DL to go 5 for 21 over six games games on Washington’s recently-completed road trip, but in the finale of the Nationals’ four-game set in San Francisco, Zimmerman took a fastball off his left wrist.
He hasn’t played since. During the Nats’ three-game series in Arizona, Dusty Baker told reporters, including MLB.com’s Jamal Collier, that he was concerned any time one of his player gets hit in the hand, though X-rays were negative.
"I was very concerned," Baker said. "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.
“Trying not to think about it, you want to think positively because you hate to lose anybody and sustain any injuries this late in the season."
Before this afternoon’s series opener with the Giants in Washington, D.C., Baker was asked for an update on the Nationals’ 31-year-old first baseman, who’s struggled at the plate, with a .222/.284/.394 line, 14 doubles and 12 home runs in 335 plate appearances this season.
“Zim’s getting better,” Baker said, “but he’s still not available tonight and, you know, like I’ve told people before when you get hit like that, ball on bone, it doesn’t heal.
“There’s no muscle in there. You can treat it all you want. Anybody who’s ever had a bone bruise knows it stays sore for a long time, especially in your hands.
“When you have to make that movement,” he explained mimicking a swing, “that’s what’s bothering him — to make that final movement. So, we just hope that he’s better in a day or so.”
Baker said that he hadn’t yet discussed the possibility of another DL stint for the 12-year veteran, who’s had a hard time staying on the field in the last three seasons.
“We haven’t talked about it,” Baker told reporters. “Naturally, the longer you go, the more you think about it. But so far, so good. I don’t know how long it’s been...
“Right now if it was retroactive it would be like maybe a week or something like that...”
Tonight’s game will be the fourth Zimmerman has missed.