NEW YORK — Ryan Zimmerman, mired in one of the worst slumps of his career and dealing with a lingering foot injury, was out of the Nationals lineup Wednesday, the third time he hasn’t played in four days.
Zimmerman has tried to play through plantar fasciitis in his left foot most of the season, but the ailment hadn’t kept him out of the lineup until Sunday, when he sat for the Nationals’ series finale against the Cubs. The club was off Monday, but Zimmerman again didn’t look comfortable at the plate during Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Yankees, prompting another day off Wednesday.
“It’s not like it’s a pulled muscle, so it’s something that bothers him differently every day,” manager Matt Williams said of the injury, which is a stretched or inflamed ligament in the sole of the foot. “Some days it’s better than others. Some days it doesn’t go well. We’ll see.”
Whether it’s entirely a byproduct of the foot injury or something else, Zimmerman is stuck in a prolonged slump, the likes of which he has rarely endured during his decade in the major leagues. He ended play Tuesday hitting just .209 with a .265 on-base percentage, five homers and 34 RBI. He ranks last among 26 qualifying MLB first basemen with a .611 OPS and -0.5 WAR.
Zimmerman currently finds himself in a 4-for-46 slump, capped by Tuesday’s 0-for-4 performance.
“The issue is that if you’re hampered, you have to look at the source of all of the struggle, whether it’s physical or timing, whether it’s a combination of both,” Williams said. “That being said, we have to make sure that we’re monitoring him physically first. He’s a pro. He understands how to hit and he’s proven that over time.
“He’ll be fine. I fully expect him to be, at the end of the year, where he normally is. He’s gone through a little of a tough stretch lately. That being said, he knows how to get out of it, too. No. 1 concern for me is physical health and the foot and making sure that he’s able to get out there and play and do what he wants to do. We monitor that every day and make decisions on it every day as well.”