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Walters called up as Zimmerman hits disabled list

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- The Nationals placed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list because of a fractured right thumb and recalled infielder Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.

Zimmerman was off to a great start, batting .364 with two home runs, six RBIs and a .405 on-base percentage before he fractured the thumb in the fifth inning of Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Braves. After hitting a double to put runners on second and third with one out, Zimmerman was picked off by left-hander Alex Wood. Zimmerman argued with second-base umpire Paul Nauert over the call to no avail.

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ATLANTA -- The Nationals placed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list because of a fractured right thumb and recalled infielder Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.

Zimmerman was off to a great start, batting .364 with two home runs, six RBIs and a .405 on-base percentage before he fractured the thumb in the fifth inning of Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Braves. After hitting a double to put runners on second and third with one out, Zimmerman was picked off by left-hander Alex Wood. Zimmerman argued with second-base umpire Paul Nauert over the call to no avail.

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Zimmerman then looked at his right thumb and was slow to get up.

"When I looked down, it didn't look normal," Zimmerman said. "I [have] never really broken a bone or done anything like that, but you could tell something wasn't normal."

Zimmerman then slowly walked into the dugout and was taken out of the game. It marked the fourth consecutive year in which he was placed on the disabled list.

"It's tough, but that's part of sports, it's part of the game. No reason to sit there, pout or feel sorry for myself. Nobody else is," Zimmerman said. "It's a freak accident. It stinks. I was off to a good start and the team was playing well. It's just frustrating."

Zimmerman will go to the Cleveland Clinic on Monday to see a hand specialist and make sure that there was a clean break inside the thumb.

Walters, ranked by MLB.com as the Nationals' No. 10 prospect, will be a backup infielder. He can play all of the infield positions, except for first base. Before the promotion, Walters was batting .290 in nine games for Syracuse.

"[Walters] is capable of playing all three [infield positions]. His natural position is shortstop and he has the skill set to play shortstop," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "Being a switch-hitter off the bench with power helps us."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman