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Oblique tear puts Ian Desmond on DL

Jul 22, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Ian Desmond AP

The Nationals suffered a big blow Sunday, with shortstop Ian Desmond heading off to the disabled list with a torn oblique.

An MRI today revealed the extent of the injury, and Desmond is expected to miss at least a few weeks, CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman reports.

Desmond has been fighting the oblique for at least a month, and while he stayed in the Nationals’ lineup, he opted to skip the All-Star Game to try to rest it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. The incredible thing is that Desmond increased his production while playing through the injury. Over his last 19 games, he was hitting .388 with six homers.

“He was playing so good with it, hitting rockets,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I just couldn’t read it. And they don’t MRI those things usually, we haven’t all year long. We just know it was kind of a strain.”

With Desmond out, the Nationals will play Danny Espinosa at shortstop and Steve Lombardozzi at second base. Lombardozzi was mostly playing left field this season while Michael Morse was sidelined. His at-bats in the outfield will now go to Corey Brown and Roger Bernadina, at least until Jayson Werth comes off the DL. Brown is coming up from Triple-A to replace Desmond on the roster.

  1. daveeproc - Jul 22, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Amazing how this team continues to win despite all the injuries.

    • kkolchak - Jul 22, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      That’s a reminder that the Nats were built to win with their starting pitching, which (knock on wood) has so far remained injury free (just so long as you don’t count Wang). Fortunately, Danny Espinosa is a natural SS who has been playing 2B, so the Nats don’t lose anything there, fielding-wise. Danny has also stepped it up at the plate recently. Just as fortunately, Steve Lombardozzi is there to step right in as the starter at 2B.

      The Nats’ DEPTH this season is an often-overlooked story and a real tribute to GM Mike Rizzo’s skill at building the club. In years past, even if they had somehow been competitive, this level of injuries would have torpedoed them.

      • dcfan4life - Jul 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Its funny you mention this because some key National starting pitchers missed significant time in years past. Both Jordan Zimmerman and Strasburg had tommy john surgery. The Nationals won 80 games last year. If Strasburg plays all year he may win them another 15 games (im including games hed get a ND but the Nats would win cuz hed pitch well enough to keep em in it). But the depth is amazing this year. Morse misses 2 months and Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore both do extremely well. Werth goes down, Bryce Harper comes up and Morse comes back. Ramos season is finished, Flores does a nice job behind the plate and 2 out of the 3 other catchers we bring up hit well. Drew Storen goes down and Clippard saves 15 straight. Even this weekend is a sign. They blow a 9-0 lead at home, lose the second game as well and still settle down, win the final 2 against the Braves and bounce back. They are for real and i hope it all continues.

  2. yahmule - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Desmond is pretty tough young man to play through that injury – and produce – for as long as he did.

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