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Zimmerman gets another cortisone shot, offseason surgery likely

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Zimmerman gets another cortisone shot, offseason surgery likely

Upon receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder on June 24, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman acknowledged he might need another one (or more) before season's end.

Nearly three months later, the time finally came.

Zimmerman received a shot prior to today's doubleheader against the Dodgers, a step taken after a recent recurrence of discomfort in the shoulder, and one designed to allow him to finish the season before he's likely to require arthroscopic surgery.

The Nationals said the discomfort Zimmerman has been feeling isn't as severe as it was in June, when he got his last shot prior to the club's series finale in Baltimore.

"I think the difference between this one and the one in Baltimore is that he wants the cortisone shot now, because he's feeling it a little bit," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "In Baltimore, he needed the cortisone shot to perform up to his standards. That's the big difference."

Zimmerman has been dealing with the injury -- diagnosed as a sprained AC joint in his shoulder -- since April, and he's now received four shots over the course of the year. The first two didn't make much difference, but the one he received on June 24 turned his season around. In 55 games prior to that date, he hit .218 with three homers, 22 RBI and a .590 OPS. In 75 games since that shot, he's hit .332 with 19 homers, 62 RBI and a .994 OPS.

Zimmerman's production hasn't dropped much at all in recent weeks -- he's hitting .298 with five homers in September -- but the discomfort was recurring enough to convince him to take this step.

"He's playing great as far as I'm concerned," manager Davey Johnson said. "But the results from the last time he did it were so good, and he felt so much better."

Both Johnson and Rizzo confirmed what has been suspected for some time: Zimmerman will likely need arthroscopic surgery to clean up the shoulder during the offseason. That procedure would be considered minor, and Zimmerman would be fully healed well before the start of spring training.

"I think it's something that's been discussed a couple times from three months ago, and we even discussed it a little bit last night," Johnson said. "It's something that will definitely be seriously considered."

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Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

The Washington Nationals recently released the dates of their promotional days and giveaways this season, and there are some real gems in this schedule.

Among the standard bobblehead giveaways — Daniel Murphy on April 14, Trea Turner on May 12 and Tanner Roark on June 9 — and the highly recommended Pups in the Park days — April 29, May 13, June 10, June 25, September 7 and September 30 — pick the right game and you could get a snow globe, an American flag shirt or even a fedora. Seriously.

On May 24’s game against the Mariners, the first 25,000 fans will get a Max Scherzer snow globe, which has the potential to be the coolest knickknack in your house. Or on June 14 against the Braves — oddly not closer to the Fourth of July — Budweiser is behind the first 15,000 21-and-up fans getting an American flag tank top.

But truly the most unique item on this list is the Nationals-themed fedora, which will go to the first 25,000 fans at the Brewers’ July 26 matchup. How the Nats landed on this promotional item remains a mystery, but if you like hats beyond a traditional baseball cap, this is the game to attend.

Other cool or oddball promotions include the Nats Magic 8-Ball game April 3, the Chewbacca Koozie day May 27, Bryce Harper action figure day August 29 and Oktoberfest beer stein day Sept. 29.

Here's the complete list of the team's promotional days and giveaways

MORE NATS: Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well in 2016

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Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well, but he won't specify why

Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well, but he won't specify why

Bryce Harper struggled by his standards in 2016 and he says he know why it happened last year. While it was rumored last season that he was playing through injuries, Harper never really missed significant time, nor did he really say that his injuries were the reason for his disappointing numbers. 

Speaking with the media today at spring training, Harper hinted at his injuries from last season as he said he was just trying to stay in the lineup every day.  

Although Harper's statistics dropped off dramatically from his MVP season in 2015, his numbers weren't entirely awful last year. He still hit 24 homers, drove in 86 runs and he had an .814 OPS. 

With a full offseason to heal up, Harper will be a prime bounce-back candidate as he looks to help the Nationals win their third NL East title in the last four years. 

Related: Sorry D.C. sports fans, Bryce Harper is a Dallas Cowboys fan