We mentioned yesterday that Zack Greinke is making progress from a fractured rib, but the Brewers are also close to seeing an importance piece of their everyday lineup return.
Corey Hart will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Nashville, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Hart has been sidelined since the early part of spring training due to a strained left oblique.
Hart hopes to return as soon as April 25 against the Reds, though Brewers manager Ron Roenicke believes he will need at least a week in the minors.
“He’s probably going to need a week,” said Roenicke. “He’s not going to play every day. We wouldn’t want to do too much too fast at this point.”
Brewers right fielders have combined to bat just .233/.298/.419 with a .716 OPS over 43 at-bats during Hart’s absence.
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.