What Ryan Zimmerman's DL Trip and the Call-Up of Bryce Harper Mean to the Washington Nationals

By Bryan Lutz

There is good news and bad news for Washington Nationals‘ fans today. The bad news is franchise cornerstone and $100 million man, Ryan Zimmerman, lands on the 15-day disabled list with a nagging shoulder injury. However, the good news is the rookie phenom, Bryce Harper, has been called up to the Major Leagues, making his possible debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday.

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Thus far, with an OPS of .708, Harper hasn’t reached his full potential in Triple-A. But considering he is 19, I guess I’ll give the kid a pass. While I am excited to see Bryce Harper play, I don’t understand this move whatsoever. It gets his arbitration clock running, nor is he ready for full-time duties for the Washington Nationals. Plus, he’s an outfielder, not an infielder like Zimmerman. I’m assuming Mark DeRosa will move to third base in the meantime, opening a spot for Bryce Harper in right field. Because other than that, I don’t see a fit for the phenom.

Now while a lot of us are excited for Bryce Harper – and rightfully so – there is the bad news that comes with it, and that’s the Ryan Zimmerman injury. It’s a tough break for Zimmerman and the Nationals, seeing as Zimmerman just signed a multi-million dollar deal to stay in Washington. He has been receiving cortisone shots in the shoulder, but apparently they are not working as well as Zimmerman has hoped.

Hopefully for Zimmerman, this injury gets healed with the proper rest. But if it is a nagging injury that won’t go away, the Nationals will be without another top star, considering their other big bat, Michael Morse, will be out a few more weeks as well.

The Washington Nationals are in first place in the National League East with a record of 14-5, but they have been winning an inordinate amount of pitcher’s duels due to their fantastic starting staff, not because of their offense. For Washington Nationals’ fans like myself, I have to wonder when the good fortune will fade for the Nationals.

Frankly, if this team loses Zimmerman, Morse, and Drew Storen for extended periods of time, they have little to no shot to hold on to the division.

Unless, of course, Bryce Harper is the real deal and destroys pitchers throughout the National League East. But until then, I just have to scratch my head at the call-up, and hope Zimmerman’s rest will get his shoulder healthy. Or else the dream playoff run might crash and burn before it is even allowed to take off.

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