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Matt Williams reveals that Ryan Zimmerman has “an arthritic shoulder”

Apr 8, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Ryan Zimmerman AP

Over the weekend an MRI exam revealed no structural damage in Ryan Zimmerman‘s shoulder, but the Nationals third baseman has had shoulder problems for two years now and during a radio interview last night manager Matt Williams revealed for the first that he’s “got an arthritic shoulder.”

Answering questions from Nationals fans on 106.7-FM, Williams said:

But we have to look at Ryan, though, and say “Would I like Ryan to play third?” Yea, I would. For a long time? Yes. But the fact of the matter is, Ryan’s got an arthritic shoulder. It gives him problems, and sometimes it’s tough on him. So we’ve started to do some things at first base, with him, where we can give him a break sometimes. …

We have to curtail that just a touch to make sure that he feels good. What does that involve? Maybe it doesn’t involve as many throws. Maybe it’s cutting down on the amount of grounders he takes in pregame. I know that he looks to go down, especially when it’s cold, in the cage and throw. Maybe it’s an adjustment to that, too.

Williams made it clear that he wants Zimmerman to remain at third base for “a long time” but obviously it’s not a good sign that the Nationals are needing to do things like cut down on his pregame throwing in order to keep his shoulder issues from being a bigger factor.

Current first baseman Adam LaRoche is a free agent after this season and Zimmerman sliding across the diamond full time in 2015 seems like a very real possibility at this point. He’s in the first season of a six-year, $100 million extension.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Why do they reveal these things AFTER fantasy drafts?

    • braddavery - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      I believe the correct answer to this question is; because professional sports teams don’t give a crap about your fantasy draft.

      • snerdblurter - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        slight correction: NO ONE gives a crap about your fantasy draft.

  2. nolanwiffle - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    This will actually work in the Nats favor. Zimmerman will offer little resistance when it’s suggested that Rendon supplant him at third for good.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Uhhhh…isn’t there still the little detail of what to do this year?

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Uhhh…..I think the article above did a pretty good job of explaining how the club plans to deal with it this year.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        Yes – the article says play him at first when his shoulder hurts him. But they already HAVE a first basemen (you following me now, chief?) And what do you do with LaRoche? Bench him? Platoon him?

        It would seem to me the best thing would be if Zimmerman did not have shoulder injury. For some bizarre reason, you disagree

  3. stex52 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    This is not a good sign. Think Jeff Bagwell. Now, I was told that Bagwell maintained a heavy weights routine even after he was told it would make his shoulder worse. But it curtailed a career that certainly would have made him a consensus HOF first rounder. And he lives with a fair amount of pain now. Hopefully Zimmerman takes care of it as much as he can.

    And having Rendon available at 3rd does look like a good thing.

  4. cbradley42014 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    I for one do not want to touch adam laroch at first, power hitting leftys are not easy to come by especially experienced ones like laroch I really don’t know what should be done about RZ. I guess platoon him at first against LHP. he definitely would be a tremoundous bat off the bench if he would accept it. RZ stays on team at any cost!

    • js20011041 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      So….you want to turn the $100 million player into a platoon player that’s only going to get 250 to 300 PA’s a year? To placate 34 year old Adam LaRoche, a first baseman with a career OPS+ of 113? Would even Ned Colletti or Ruben Amaro think this is a good idea?

    • Cris E - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      I for one do not want to touch adam laroch at first, power hitting leftys are not easy to come by especially experienced ones like laroch

      Adam? Adam LaRoche? Is that you?

  5. sportsfan18 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Zim will be their first baseman next season as LaRoche is in the last yr of his contract with the Nats…

  6. billgatesbarber - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Tremendous bat off the bench? Seriously? They would trade LaRoche tomorrow if Zim couldn’t play 3rd ever again.

    • shawndc04 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      I think the reference was to Zim, not LaRoche, being the bat off the bench

  7. NatsLady - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    I’m doing this once for Nats fans, then won’t take up space on this list.

    Injuries and Week 2 preview for Nats, Marlins, Braves

  8. careyb44 - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Aw man, bummer. I will really miss seeing Zimmer throwing those seeds across the diamond
    again this year.

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