Friday, February 22, 2013

Zimmerman impresses in first BP session

Associated Press
Ryan Zimmerman has been brought along slowly after shoulder surgery.
VIERA, Fla. -- Ryan Zimmerman took a full round of batting practice on the field this morning, the first time he's done that this spring. Based on the way the Nationals third baseman crushed the ball to all corners of Space Coast Stadium, you'd never have known it.

"He looked great," manager Davey Johnsons said. "He said he still thinks he's got a little bit left, but they all looked good. I thought it was a very impressive batting practice."

Brought along slowly since late-October surgery to repair the sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, Zimmerman remains a few steps behind his teammates in spring drills. But most of the concern remains in the field. At the plate, the 28-year-old has managed to stay sharp.

"I've been hitting live in the cage for the last couple days," he said. "I don't obviously just jump out there and go right into it, but it feels good. No surprises. I've just got to continue getting the throwing going, and as soon as that's ready, obviously the hitting will be ready before that."

Zimmerman continues to advance in his throwing program. He threw from 90 feet yesterday. He'll do so again tomorrow, two rounds this time.

Eventually, he'll be cleared to throw across the diamond during team defensive drills.

"It's a painfully slow progression," he said. "But that's what we need to do."

Johnson plans to get Zimmerman at-bats as his designated hitter before he takes the field for a Grapefruit League game, though that increase in workload remains at least another week away.

Tough as it's been for Zimmerman to hold back and not participate in full, he understands the importance of a slow-and-steady approach at this early stage of camp.

"Of course, you don't want to have to do this stuff," he said. "You want to be out there with your teammates, and not being able to participate in infield, outfield, things like that ... that's fun for us. Doing that kind of stuff is enjoyable. It's not work. So to not be able to do that, you feel you kind of stick out, and you don't want to be that guy. But that's what we have to do. And when you think about it, this stuff isn't important. April 1, that's important, and that's what we’re working for."

Meanwhile, Christian Garcia has been diagnosed with a strain of the area between his wrist and forearm, an ailment that only seems to hamper the right-hander on some physical acts, but not all. Johnson suggested the MRI of Garcia's arm will be sent for a second opinion.

"It's kind of a strange injury," Johnson said. "I think somebody else is going to get his MRI, but they're diagnosing it as a strain, kind of ligaments or tendons in this area [pointing to his wrist]. It doesn't bother him throwing the curveball or changeup, but it bothers him opening the car door or throwing a fastball. So he's just on a day-to-day, see how he feels, get treatment and wait on the other opinion."

32 comments:

NatsLady said...

"Painfully slow..." Actually, I'm glad if he is feeling pain. Last year the cortisone shots masked the pain, and Zim said his mind was telling him he could do things that his body couldn't achieve. Pain exists for a reason. I hope he can HEAL the shoulder, finally. Slow is fine by me.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Every Spring starting in 2006, Ryan Zimmerman has started out absolutely raking from day 1.

NatsLady said...

Oh, look, they put the scrubs into the Tigers game and our ex-guy Kobernus just got an RBI triple. He ran fast.

NatsLady said...

NJ, yeah, now that you remind me, RZ did that last spring.

Rabbit34 said...

Zimmerman.....huge year this year.

NatsLady said...

Morse playing RF and batting cleanup in the SD-M's game.

Steady Eddie said...

NatsLady, I hope the "pain" in "painfully slow" is largely psychological. After surgery to fix the problem, the only kind of physical pain he should be feeling, if any, is muscles underused during the recovery stretching themselves out again.

Section 222 said...

A monster, injury-free year from Zim along with the expected improvement of Harper is our secret antidote to the very real possibility that ALR and maybe even Desmond regress. He can be absolutely scary when things are clicking for him. I can't wait!

NatsLady said...

I hope so, too, Eddie. But I'm thinking we fans mostly don't learn the true situation until after the season. That's fine with me, because opponents don't know either.

NatsNut said...

I keep reading this and it has me confused. What is the area between the wrist and the forearm? Looking at my arm right now, it looks to me like it goes wrist, forearm then elbow. I don't see much of an area between the wrist and forearm though. ??

Also, is anyone else thinking Shawn Hill here? Fingers crossed it's nothing.

Steady Eddie said...

NL -- agree, but I'm just hoping there's nothing there that wouldn't ordinarily be there in recoveries from this kind of surgery.

On another topic, nice to see that AtBat13 tracks individual pitches during Spring Training, not the illusion of all one-pitch outs (or hits) like last year and before.

#4 said...

Listening to 710 AM - Seattle. Morse struck out in his first Mariners AB.

baseballswami said...

Zim, ALR, Harper, Desi- I just feel like the real wild card is Danny. Could miss the season, could go crazy and fulfill everyone's hopes. I don't see a middle ground here.

NatsLady said...

Listening to the Cincy game, on the theory we see them before we see San Diego... :)

NatsLady said...

It is just SO good to have baseball in my ear... So good.

Section 222 said...

NN, that's exactly what I thought! Strange, unexplained forearm pain. Yikes. Didn't Shawn Hill try all sorts of wacky remedies, or was that Patterson? Sure hope Garcia's fate is better than those guys.

TimDz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
#4 said...

Amen, sister. Services are is session.

TimDz said...

NatsLady said...
It is just SO good to have baseball in my ear... So good.

---------------

Sounds a bit painful to me...

UnkyD said...

Garcia is house money.... Meaning we got him for free (basically). Nobody will be rushing him along, which is good...if he gets a little tendinitis, he'll get plenty of time to rest it off. I hope he gets well and really contributes this year, but not much more than a roster spot invested in him, at this point, right? Very high reward, but little risk... Great pick up, a year ago...

baseballswami said...

So CMW is pitching in the WBC for Chinese Taipei. That should be interesting.

MicheleS said...

I swear to god if I ever meet Greg Amsinger I am going to smack him. Turn on Hot Stove at 4 o'clock and he starts talking about sending Det to the pen so we can sign Loshe. He did it last night on MLB Tonight. Stupid Cardinals loving talking head.

How many hours until Stras starts mowing down the Mets?

baseballswami said...

Michele S - last night when he did it they were all stupid. At least today Rosenthal had half a clue. The only people who are not worried about us having more LHP are actually the Nats. Everyone else is freaking out on our behalf. Most of the MLB group are pretty good, but Amsinger is a Cardinal- homer, pretty boy.

Natman said...

Atlanta/Detroit game over. Up-Up-Hey 0 for 6 with 2 strikeouts. That's what I want to see for s full 162 games this year.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Michele, the more I see of him, the more I think Amsinger is deliberately trolling for ratings. Srsly.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

NatsLady said...
It is just SO good to have baseball in my ear... So good.
---------------
Sounds a bit painful to me...


Look low and away ... but watch out for in-your-ear.

baseballswami said...

Tomorrow at noon!!!!!!!!!!

Section 222 said...

I love it when the MLB guys make idiotic suggestions that we know will never happen. Last night, IIRC, the only pushback was Mitch Williams saying it would hurt team chemistry to demote Det (Storen lost his job, now Det would lose his). No one seemed to get that Det may very well be a better pitcher than Lohse, and besides, Rizzo isn't going to give up another draft pick for him.

waddu eye no said...

that's why they're on TV instead of in a dugout somewhere.

natsfan1a said...

That, and being, you know, past their prime and all (assuming that they had a prime).

Gonat said...

I agree with an earlier post today that Ryan Z can be a MVP if he can stay healthy all year. This is a packed lineup! I hope he does it!

Laddie Blah Blah said...

RZ is the indispensable man for the Nats. When RZ is raking, the Nats are a dominant offensive team. When he's off, he grounds into those rally-killing DPs. His health is more important to the team than either Haren's or Espinoza's. Those 2 can be replaced. Zim cannot.

It would be nice if all 3 could perform at a high level, but it is essential that Zim does. From late June until the end of last season, Zim had a .321, .383, .584 line in 90 games and 399 PAs. That comes out to a .967 OPS, with 26 2 base hits and 22 dingers over that span. Folks, those are MVP numbers, especially if he regains his gold glove form at 3rd.

Last year, it took the 3rd cortisone shot to start RZ's offensive tear. If he is healthy this year, he won't need anything besides his bat and glove.

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