Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is out of the lineup again due to injury.
Zimmerman missed a significant number of games early in the season with a thumb injury, but this time could be more serious. The Washington Nationals are reporting that the third baseman suffered a Grade 3 hamstring injury. That is the most severe type of injury to the muscle. While Zimmerman’s throwing ability is visibly deteriorating, his bat will be missed in the Nationals’ lineup.
On the year, Zimmerman is hitting for a .282 average with a slugging percentage of .456. Among regular starters, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon are the only players with an OPS over .800. His play in the field can be replaced, but his offense will be missed.
The Nationals are in a close race with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East. Third place in the division are the Miami Marlins, who are now just six games back of the Nationals. To makeup for the loss of Zimmerman, the Nationals acquired middle infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. The new lineup consists of Rendon at third, Ian Desmond at shortstop and Cabrera at second base. Cabrera will take over the primary role at second base, replacing Danny Espinosa.
There is potential for Zimmerman to be out the remainder of the season. Even if he is out for just weeks, the Nationals need their batting order to produce runs without him.