Ryan Zimmerman: 'I was banged up a little bit' during spring training

Josh Luckenbaugh
November 28, 2018 - 12:16 pm

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After a stellar 2017 season, Ryan Zimmerman took a step back in 2018, playing in just 85 games due to a right oblique strain and hitting just .264. 

Some fans linked Zimmerman's injury woes and the regression in production to what he did, or didn't, do at spring training before the season. Zimmerman only took two at-bats in MLB spring training games, skipping most of them despite appearing to be fully healthy.

During an appearance on Grant & Danny Wednesday, Zimmerman explained he was "banged up a little bit" during spring training, but stopped short of calling whatever he was dealing with a full-blown injury. 

"The reason I didn't play in games is because I was banged up a little bit," Zimmerman told hosts Paulsen and Rouhier. "That's been documented, I think, during the season last year and after the season when I got that question for obvious reasons."

"And the whole thing goes back to, 'Well, were you injured and you didn't tell anybody?' I wasn't injured, I had some things going on, and for me to have the best chance to play Opening Day and be ready for the season, that was the best course of action Davey, myself and the trainers put together."

"I think spring training is overrated, but do I think you need to spring training? Of course," he continued. "I think playing games in spring training is necessary. But last year, the best way for me to be ready to play day one of the regular season and help the team win games that mattered was to do what we did." 

"It wasn't the perfect scenario, and I don't think anyone would want that to happen again, but that's what we did. That's what we had to deal with."

And as for spring training 2019?

"I will be participating in some games, and I won't be participating in a lot of games."

Don't panic, Nats fans: it's not uncommon for veteran players like Zimmerman to skip 10 or more spring training games. Instead, get excited: Washington's first Grapefruit League game is just 87 days away!

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