Bill Ladson, of Nationals.MLB.com, reports the Washington Nationals have placed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list with a slightly torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Zimmerman has put up a mediocre season to this point, but this injury will derail it for at least two weeks. He is hitting .257 with 11 doubles, eight home runs and 27 RBIs. He does not have the best strikeout-to-walk ratio, with 38 strikeouts to only nine walks. Zimmerman has been the focal point in the Nationals lineup this season, hitting third in every game he has played so far. The injury has caused him to miss the last seven games, so fantasy owners have already started to feel the effects.
Entering this season, he was coming off a very good 2007 campaign in which hit .266 with 43 doubles, 24 home runs and 91 RBIs last season for the Nationals. Zimmerman played in every game and only missed five games in 2006. He has had some problems with strikeouts in the past few seasons. He struck out 125 times last season and 120 two seasons ago. However, he combined to hit 44 homers and drive in 201 runs in his first two full seasons in the league.
From a fantasy perspective, Zimmerman is a solid fantasy third baseman who will have to be replaced. It is not known how long his shoulder will need to heal, so owners likely should think about a short-term substitute for Zimmerman. Owners should put him on the disabled list if they have the roster room. If not, they should stash him on their bench until he is healthy. Zimmerman should be kept on any team because he is a solid player who could help in several categories.
His replacement in the starting lineup for the Nationals likely will be infielder Aaron Boone. Boone has played well this season in a reserve role at both at first base and third base. He is hitting .273 with five home runs and 14 RBIs. Boone is not a definite pickup for owners looking for a third baseman, but he is worth picking up in NL-only leagues because of his relatively good start to the season.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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