This could be the subject that 3 weeks ago when camp started, we hoped we didn’t have to talk about, and here we are less than 30 days before Opening Day and the Ryan Zimmerman health issue is once again front and center. There is no need for panic or sounding the alarms as Ryan Zimmerman could be fine.
Proof that Zimmerman is, indeed, doing workouts, if not yet playing games. I know it's sideways. Mistakes were made. pic.twitter.com/CSoqSBsMCw
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 7, 2016
On March 2nd, Bill Ladson had this report on Ryan Zimmerman:
“Baker has treated Zimmerman gently this spring. Zimmerman is still dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. There isn’t any rush to get Zimmerman to full speed, however. Baker said he simply wants to make sure Zimmerman is ready by Opening Day.”
“It’s a cautious approach, knowing I don’t need that many at-bats down here to get ready,” Zimmerman said. “I would be more worried if I haven’t been able to do everything else. I have participated in everything but the running, which I did for the first time [Tuesday], and I feel good today.”
Then 4 days later on March 6th, Baker had this to say from a Chelsea Janes report:
“He’ll be fine,” said Baker, who said he hopes to get Zimmerman playing Grapefruit League games “in the next couple weeks.”
On March 6th, things have appeared to change or have they? It’s hard to tell, but the words seem very different.
This from Rotowire and someone needs to let them know that Ryan Zimmerman is now a 1st baseman:
“Zimmerman has been working through plantar fasciitis and is hoped to return in the next couple of weeks, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.
Zimmerman hit the DL with plantar fasciitis in June of 2015 after dealing with it for most of the season to that point, so this could be a problem that takes a while to fully disappear. This isn’t encouraging for those hoping Zimmerman would enter 2016 at full health. The third baseman hasn’t played more than 100 games in a season since 2013 and has averaged just 110 games per season since 2011.”
How long does Ryan Zimmerman need to get ready for the season? He would like 2 solid weeks of work. When he was rehabbing in Harrisburg last year prior to coming off the DL in June for the plantar fasciitis he had this to say:
“First of all I have to go up there and play every day. It’s not worth it to go up there and play two days and need two days off. That kind of puts them in a bind. “When I’m ready to go every day, that’s kind of what we’re waiting on. As far as the at bats, who knows. It could be 15-20 at bats, it could be 25. I’m obviously not gonna stay down forever. At some point, you just have to go with what you got.”
What are the contingency plans? Tyler Moore starts today for the Nats at 1st base. Is it time to get Jayson Werth a 1st baseman’s glove and get him working with Nick Johnson? Probably not if you don’t believe Ryan Zimmerman’s health issues are serious.
The simple Plan “B” is Clint Robinson at 1st base with Tyler Moore. Another plan is Espinosa at SS, Trea Turner at 2nd base, and Daniel Murphy at 1st base. Plan “A” of course is a healthy and productive Ryan Zimmerman at 1st base and Plan B is rest days. Matt Skole appears to be the only depth in the Minors if needed, and he will play in today’s game at 1st base after Moore departs.
If you really want to know if Ryan Zimmerman is alright, just check his ‘exit velocity’ on batted balls versus his OPS stat:
Below a 97mph average exit velocity, it appears to be a problem with Ryan physically. Above 97mph is right where you want Ryan Zimmerman to be. You could almost manage him from that because he isn’t doing his team any good when his OPS is below league average like it was in April, May and June.
Of note on today’s Spring Training game 6 of the 8 projected starters will be starting today’s game vs the Marlins. Missing of course is Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos who is recovering from his LASIK eye procedure and Ramos will resume baseball activities on Wednesday.
The plan is to get Joe Ross and Tanner Roark about 3 innings or 50 pitches, whichever comes first. Jose Fernandez gets the start for the Marlins.
Spectacular photos of the pitchers pre-game!
1st pitch by Joe Ross!
Clint Robinson 2 run blast!
Jayson Werth with his 1st hit of the Spring.
Papelbon for the Save!