BALTIMORE -- Ryan Zimmerman endured another poor outing at the plate on Saturday night, raising the possibility that his ailing right shoulder might need another cortisone shot -- or, perhaps, a second stint on the disabled list.
Following a 3-1 win over the Orioles, manager Davey Johnson admitted that while Zimmerman isn't the type of player to speak up when something is physically wrong, he is concerned about his veteran third baseman. That quickly prompted questions as to whether Zimmerman, who wound up on the disabled list on April 27 with shoulder inflammation, could end up back on the DL.
"There's no question about it," Johnson said. "I think possibly even getting another injection in the shoulder. I'm that concerned."
Saturday night, Zimmerman went 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .218. Though it's still early -- and he did hit .289 last year while missing 61 games -- Zimmerman hasn't had a multihit game since June 8, and for the month he's batting .167 with one home run and four RBIs in 78 at-bats.
"It's just one of those things; it's frustrating because it feels fine when I throw, it feels fine when I play defense," Zimmerman said. "When I hit BP, it's OK. It just hasn't translated into the game, obviously."
Johnson did say after Friday night's game -- another 0-for-4 outing -- that he would not consider moving Zimmerman down in the lineup.
"Well, for me, it's not like I'm swinging at bad pitches," Zimmerman said. "I'm just missing pitches that I usually hit. It'd be different if I was striking out swinging at sliders in the dirt or fastballs above my chest or whatever, but I've been working decent counts and getting good pitches to hit and I just foul them back. Particularly for me, if I'm in a hitter's count and I see a fastball, I'm usually not continually late pitch after pitch, so that's what's so frustrating."
One option could be having the cortisone shot and then using the All-Star break, beginning on July 9, to rest.
"At some point, you kind of have to look at it and say, 'Is it smart to keep going through this?' Or should we try and do something using the All-Star break to get it better so that, during the second half, I can actually be 100 percent, or a lot closer to 100 percent, and be a good hitter in the middle of this lineup on a team that has all signs looking that we're going to be very competitive in the second half?" Zimmerman said. "That's important."