Ryan Zimmerman, 3B Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman fractured his right thumb diving back to 2nd base on Saturday night, and his going to be out for the next 4-6 weeks. He was in obvious pain as he went back to the dug out after getting picked off, and after the game, Nationals manager Matt Williams said that Zimmerman had suffered a fracture.
The fact that the Nationals are saying he’ll only be out 4-6 weeks, it is likely that the bones in his thumb did not move very much, or that the break was right in the middle of the bone. These types of fractures usually do not require surgery, but it will require Zimmerman to wear a cast to allow the bones to realign. After fractures, there’s a chance that the thumb doesn’t have the same flexibility and strength prior to the fracture. There is also an increased tendency of arthritis, which will add onto the number Zimmerman’s joints being affected by arthritis (shoulder). Anthony Rendon will get the majority of the playing time now at 3B while Danny Espinosa will play 2B.
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Koji Uehara, RP Boston Red Sox: Koji Uehera has been feeling shoulder stiffness, and that was what gave Edward Mujica the save Friday night against the Yankees. He was unavailable again Saturday, and it’s time for some concern from fantasy baseball managers. Uehara, who just turned 39 two weeks ago, has had a similar type of shoulder injury two years ago when he was with Texas. When asked how long it took for him to recover from that particular issue, he said “it eventually took two months because the issue resurfaced.”
While Uehara and the Red Sox are still deeming that this isn’t a serious issue, fantasy owners should be proactive, and look to make some moves before anything becomes official. The best option for saves if Uehara does get shut down for any amount of time is the previously mentioned Mujica. He was a rock for the St. Louis Cardinals last year, with 37 saves and a 2.78 ERA. Junichi Tazawa, a fellow Japanese ace, has the best stuff between the two potential closers, who has pitched 5.2 scoreless innings with 0 walks and 8 K’s. Regardless, I think Mujica’s experience in the closing role is what gives him the edge. Time will tell if Uehara will even miss any time, but this situation is definitely concerning.
Clayton Kershaw, SP Los Angeles Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw threw off a mound for the first time since he was placed on the DL for an inflamed back muscle. Prior to the game on Saturday, he threw 15-pitches in the bullpen, all at less than max speed of course, but this is finally some good news for Kershaw owners. There is still no timetable for his return, but this was a step in the right direction.
Quick Notes: Colorado SP Brett Anderson left Saturday’s game in the 4th inning due to a left index finger contusion…Mariners SP Hisashi Iwakuma tossed 45 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. The Mariners are hoping for his return at the end of the month…A.J. Burnett was removed in the fifth inning Friday due to groin soreness, which may cost him his start Wednesday…Cole Hamels tossed 6-innings of one run ball in A Clearwater and is on track for an April 22nd return…Denard Span has been placed on the concussion DL, which is a 7-day DL…