Monday, April 11, 2011, 3:08 p.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
The Nationals will place Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained abdominal muscle, a club source confirmed.
Zimmerman sat out Sunday's game in New York after aggravating the injury sliding into second base the previous night. He hoped rest and treatment would alleviate the strain enough to allow him to return to the lineup Tuesday against the Phillies, but team officials didn't want to take the chance.
The move will be retroactive to Sunday, meaning Zimmerman will be eligible to return April 25.
This is the same injury that sidelined Zimmerman for three games early in spring training -- he also missed time late in camp with a separate groin strain -- and the third baseman had been experiencing some discomfort since Opening Day.
"When I slid into second last night, I hurt it a little more," Zimmerman said Sunday afternoon. "It's one of those things where we'll see how it feels. ... It feels bad enough not to play today. So worse than it was during spring training, but it's not terrible. So we'll see."
Zimmerman aggravated the injury in the third inning of Saturday night's 8-4 loss to the Mets, when he singled to center and then advanced to second base as the ball was thrown toward third. Though there was no play on him, he slide headfirst into the base and appeared to be in some pain as he got up.
Zimmerman remained in the game, though, and singled in his next at-bat.
It's uncertain who the Nationals will add to the roster to replace Zimmerman. Outfielder Roger Bernadina could be recalled from Class AAA Syracuse, with utilityman Jerry Hairston joining veteran infielder Alex Cora as fill-ins at third base. Infielder Brian Bixler could also be promoted from Syracuse.
Mark Zuckerman also blogs about the Nationals at natsinsider.com. Contact him at email@example.com and on Twitter @MarkZuckerman.