The Washington Nationals lost a big part of their lineup when 3B Ryan Zimmerman went down with an injury. The initial injury reports were upgraded to what is now a grade three hamstring injury, and Zimmerman is out for what looks like the remainder of the season. The only possibility of him returning would be if the Nationals make it deep into the playoffs.
Despite playing only a small portion of the season, Zimmerman was hitting for a .282 average. His lingering shoulder problems caused him to be a concern in the field, but his bat was a welcomed piece of the Nationals’ offense.
In his absence, however, the Nationals have proven that they can win without Zimmerman in the batting order.
Outfielders Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper have come around at the plate. Even with Werth missing a handful of games to recover from lingering injuries, the Nationals are able to fill the gap with young prospect Michael Taylor. Harper is starting to find his groove and Werth is hitting .279 on the year.
The team even went out of their way to acquire middle infielder Asdrubal Cabrera before the trade deadline with the intention to flex Zimmerman in and out of the lineup due to his shoulder problems. The Nationals were prepared for a loss like this and they are proving that the team is capable of dealing with it effectively.
The Nationals remain well ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Even though they would like to see a healthy and productive Zimmerman in the lineup, they can make due until he is back in game shape.
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