Delmon Young carted off, placed on DL with ankle sprain

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Twins left fielder Delmon Young had to be carted off the field moments ago at Milwaukee’s Miller Park after smashing his right leg against the wall on a Yuniesky Betancourt inside-the-park home run.

Young took a bad route on Betancourt’s deep fly ball and looked to suffer a serious injury when his leg met the out-of-town scoreboard along the left field wall. He was replaced in the Minnesota lineup by Luke Hughes, who took over at first base with Michael Cuddyer shifting to the outfield.

Young, 25, was 0-for-2 in the game before exiting. He’s batting just .256/.281/.324 with two home runs and 20 RBI in 217 plate appearances this season. The Twins should provide an update shortly.

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UPDATE, 9:31 PM: According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Young has been diagnosed only with a right ankle sprain. Initial X-rays did not show any type of fracture.

UPDATE, 10:37 PM: Young has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list, according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 AM. Rene Tosoni has been recalled to take his spot on the 25-man roster.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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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. 😉