Nats place Zim on DL, add Mark Reynolds
PHOENIX -- The Nationals' version of roster roulette continued Saturday morning, when first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained oblique and Mark Reynolds was purchased from Triple-A Syracuse.
Zimmerman had been bothered by lower back pain that was aggravated by a couple of aggressive dives within the past week, and the Nationals chose to look at the big picture with the move.
"We're in May," manager Dave Martinez said.
Reynolds was signed to a Minor League deal with an out clause at the end of Spring Training after one of the most productive seasons of his career in Colorado in 2017, and he was given a crash course in extended spring camp before playing 10 games at Triple-A Syracuse before his promotion.
"It's not a full Spring Training slate, but my body's not sore and I've got my callouses back on my hands from hitting," Reynolds said. "Good to go."
Reynolds, who was hitting .231 with one homer and four RBIs with the Chiefs, gives Martinez options at first base, left field and third base. He has played mostly first base the past three seasons with Colorado and St. Louis after spending much of his early career at third.
Reynolds started four games in left field in his last season with the Cardinals in 2015, an area the Nationals have been covering with Matt Adams, Andrew Stevenson and Moises Sierra because of the extended loss of Adam Eaton, moved to the 60-day disabled list Friday.
"He'll definitely help us," Martinez said. "Veteran guy. He has pop. He's going to get a chance to play. I'm glad he's here. I told him, 'We have some lefties coming up, you'll get a chance to play against lefties.' You know I like playing everybody."
Zimmerman played the final two games of the San Diego series last weekend, but he has missed five of the past seven games. He is hitting .217 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 33 games.
"It was trending in the right direction," Zimmerman said. "Some of those dives kind of made it worse, so it's just to the point where I couldn't sustain it for five months. Give it some time, get it better. Hope it won't be too long.
"It's the smart thing to do. If it was September, it would be a different story."
Reynolds has 281 homers in his 11-year career and had one of his best seasons with Colorado in 2017, when he slashed .267/.352/.487 with 30 homers and 97 RBIs. Like some others, he fell into the cracks in the free-agent market this past offseason.
"After last year I didn't envision myself being in extended [spring camp] and Triple-A, but I knew 10 years from now I would back and be mad at myself if I didn't try," Reynolds said. "I was fortunate to have the Nationals reach out.
"I felt like I deserved a Major League job after the year I had last year. Had a lot of offers in the offseason, but they were like, 'Come and try to make our club.' I was having way too much fun golfing and hanging around with my kids than worrying about trying to make a team.
"The winter sucked, but he were are now. Just want to help these guys win some games."
Zimmerman and Reynolds were college teammates at Virginia -- Sean Doolittle also played with the Cavaliers -- and the two also played on summer travel teams together in northern Virginia.
"Having that depth and the ability to call someones like that up, it's pretty good for your team," Zimmerman said.
Right-hander Joaquin Benoit was moved to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.