MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Zimmerman placed on DL; Nats call up Goodwin

Zimmerman placed on DL; Nats call up Goodwin

WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, retroactive to Monday, for the second time this season, this time because of a left wrist contusion. The team also recalled outfielder Brian Goodwin from Triple-A Syracuse.

Zimmerman was injured last Sunday after he was struck on the left wrist by a pitch from Giants closer Santiago Casilla in the ninth inning of Washington's 3-1 loss at AT&T Park. Zimmerman had an X-ray and MRI soon thereafter and no fractures were found inside the wrist.

"I enjoy playing baseball. Not being able to do it is tough," Zimmerman said.

While Zimmerman acknowledged his frustration over getting injured again, manager Dusty Baker told him to play the game in his mind as if he were in the lineup.

"And also him and Joe Ross will be still stronger when everyone else is weak and tired down the stretch," Baker said he told Zimmerman. "There's still ample time for them to play hero when it really counts at the end.

"I just told him, you got to be strong. ... Frustration really doesn't help the situation. Actually, it can make it worse if you're worrying. It impedes guys' healing process by worrying, to me. I just told him to work on other parts of his body. Keep your legs strong and make your other arm strong. Come back in better shape than when you left."

Goodwin, 25, is having the best season of his professional career. In 109 games for Syracuse, Goodwin is hitting .284 with 11 home runs, 62 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and 45 runs scored. An International League mid-season All-Star, he ranked among league leaders in RBIs (second), doubles (sixth) and stolen bases (tied for 10th) at the time of his promotion.

Brian Goodwin makes a catch in the seventh inning of his Major League debut.Getty

Goodwin, who made his Major League debut replacing an injured Bryce Harper in the top of the seventh inning of Saturday's 7-1 loss to the Giants, is in his fifth full season in Washington's system after being selected No. 34 overall in the 2011 Draft out of Miami Dade College. Injuries often stood in the way as to why Goodwin didn't progress over the years. But 2016 is a different story.

• Stiff neck takes Harper out of game vs. Giants

"Goodie earned it," Baker said. "He's been having a good year. He's having his best year since he's been with us. I urged him in Spring Training to hopefully have this kind of year. You can go from a prospect to a suspect in no time. I told him, 'Man, you're at a turning point in your baseball career.' He turned it on and you've got to reward guys for doing what you ask them to do."

Goodwin appeared to be shocked that he made it to the big leagues.

"I found out last night. I just kind of blacked out once I heard it," Goodwin said. "I was just excited. Everything I ever dreamed of, everything I worked for, just to get that news, it was unreal. ... It's been a good journey. A lot of ups, a lot of downs. A lot of time to learn and figure some stuff out about myself -- as a person and as a player. But I think it was all necessary. Eventually it got me here, so it was good."

With Zimmerman out of action, the Nationals will have Clint Robinson and Daniel Murphy split time at first base. When Murphy plays first, Trea Turner will play second base, while Ben Revere will play center field. When Robinson is in the lineup, Turner will be back in center field, while Murphy will be at his normal position -- second base.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.