UPDATE: Street actually injured his groin on Saturday, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, and is probably going to be out until early June.
9:28am: Rockies closer Huston Street looked to be on the right track when he delivered a scoreless inning last Thursday in a rehab appearance for Double-A Tulsa. Now that has changed.
According to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies, Street was lifted from a rehab outing Saturday after just five pitches, likely due to a recurrence of arm or shoulder fatigue. Here’s how the Tulsa Drillers’ website described the scene:
“Street motioned to the Tulsa dugout. He was promptly removed and taken to the Tulsa clubhouse by trainer Austin O’Shea.”
The Rockies haven’t revealed any further information and might not do so until they are able to reexamine Street on Sunday afternoon. Still, this sure sounds like a setback. Manny Corpas is the best option for saves these days in Colorado with Franklin Morales on the disabled list.
All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.
The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.
It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.
It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.
Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉