Despite previous reports about his impending retirement Jorge Posada has not made an official announcement that he’s calling it quits, but the longtime Yankees catcher told Adam Berry of MLB.com that he’s “not getting prepared for another season, that’s for sure.”
Posada added that he “tried” to get ready to play in 2012 but “it’s not in me … more and more days started going by, and nothing’s going in the right direction.”
So why hasn’t he made things official yet? Posada said that he plans to talk things over with his family in order to be certain he’s making the right decision and will likely have an announcement in a couple weeks.
Posada struggled last season, hitting just .235 with a .714 OPS in 115 games while transitioning from catcher to designated hitter, but it’s worth noting that the 39-year-old switch-hitter batted .269 with an .814 OPS versus right-handed pitching. His brutal 6-for-65 (.069) mark versus lefties dragged his overall numbers down, but Posada remained plenty effective against righties.
Five years from now he’ll be an interesting Hall of Fame case, because voters tend to underrate catchers and Posada’s counting stats were likely hurt by getting a late start in the majors. Among all catchers with at least 5,000 plate appearances his .848 OPS ranks fifth in baseball history, sandwiched between Hall of Famers Gabby Hartnett and Yogi Berra, and even with his poor defense factored in he also ranks 12th all-time in Wins Above Replacement among catchers.
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.