Freddy Sanchez finally expected back tonight

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Freddy Sanchez hasn’t played since the middle of last September because of knee and shoulder injuries that both required surgery, but the Giants are planning to activate the 32-year-old second baseman from the disabled list prior to tonight’s game.
Sanchez looked good during a seven-game rehab stint at Single-A and Double-A, going 9-for-20 (.450) with five doubles while most importantly avoiding any setbacks. Bruce Bochy has said he’ll work Sanchez back into the lineup gradually, but injuries to Mark DeRosa and Edgar Renteria lessen the infield logjam and keep the Giants’ manager from having to make any tough calls about playing time.
Once he’s back in the mix expect Sanchez to play just about every day at second base, with Matt Downs returning to a utility man role and Juan Uribe playing shortstop. Sanchez hit .284 with a measly .619 OPS in 25 games for San Francisco after coming over in a midseason trade with Pittsburgh, but the Giants liked him enough to give him a two-year, $12 million deal shortly after the season ended.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.