Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who on Saturday aggravated an abdominal strain he's been playing with since spring training, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, a Nationals source confirmed. The team will announce the move tomorrow, though the DL placement will be retroactive to Saturday.
The injury hasn't hindered Zimmerman at the plate; he's hitting .357 so far with a 1.022 OPS in eight games. But certain throws have hurt him, and he aggravated the injury sliding headfirst into second base. It's the second time in four years a headfirst slide into second has landed Zimmerman on the DL; he hurt his left shoulder in Baltimore in 2008.
The move will put a big hole in a Nationals lineup that has already struggled to score consistently; the team will likely have to bat Jayson Werth third and find someone else to hit second. The Nationals won with that lineup Sunday, but the order has looked thin early this year, and first baseman Adam LaRoche is already attempting to play with two nagging injuries.
Alex Cora and Jerry Hairston will likely get a large chunk of time at third; the Nationals could call up Brian Bixler to get another infielder, or recall Roger Bernadina, who's been on bereavement leave from Triple-A Syracuse, to add another outfielder if Hairston is playing the infield more often.
The Nationals won't rush Zimmerman back, but their lineup is going to sorely miss his presence. He'd be able to return two weeks from today.