Erick Aybar shut down for season with possible sports hernia


Erick Aybar will be examined by a specialist today to determine if he has a sports hernia, but regardless of the news the Angels have shut down the shortstop for the remainder of the season.
Aybar injured his groin two weeks ago, but played through the pain until last Wednesday when he aggravated things while attempting to make a diving play defensively. He hasn’t played since and will finish the year hitting .254/.306/.333 in 132 games, which represents a 58-point drop in batting average and 137-point drop in OPS compared to his career-best campaign last season.
Brandon Wood has started five straight games in place of Aybar at shortstop and figures to see regular starts there for the final two weeks in what may prove to be his last chance to show he still belongs in the Angels’ long-term plans.

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.