Ryan Zimmerman will officially be placed on the 15-day disabled list sometime on Tuesday with an abdominal injury, just before the Nats start a three-game series with the Phillies. Seeing as Zimmerman is their best player, this means the team will be playing musical chairs both in the line-up and in the field.
For the batting order, the main question facing Riggleman is who to bat second. Jayson Werth will likely slide down to Zimmerman’s third spot to protect the modern day bash brothers, LaRoche and Morse, who combined have hit a baseball all the way over the fence one time this season. So, the second spot … it should be Danny Espinosa, who has a .406 OBP so far. But it will probably be Rick Ankiel, because a sub-.300 OBP guy who strikes out a ton is who one want at the top of your line-up. That’s where Ankiel hit on Sunday when Zimmerman was out.
As for who replaces Zimmerman as the third baseman, there appear to be two likely options. There is Alex Cora, best known for his supporting role in such mediocre seasons as 2002, and Jerry Hairston who you may recognize as the Most Orioles Middle Infielder of the 2000s. Neither is a third baseman. Both will take turns filling in for a Gold Glove third baseman. You have to believe Mike Rizzo dreams of scenarios like this so he can show off the less publicized offseason moves he made, like bringing in Cora and Hairston.
The first of a dozen or so sans-Zimmerman Nats games is tonight at 7:05 in D.C. Enjoy!