Roy Halladay likely headed to the DL

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After getting rocked by the Marlins this afternoon, many speculated that Halladay was hiding an injury. Turns out they were right. Halladay finally confessed to having felt some shoulder pain after his April 24 start against the Pirates. GM Ruben Amaro says his right-hander is “likely” headed to the disabled list.

“He’s experiencing some shoulder difficulties, some shoulder pain, and we’re likely going to have to put him on the DL,” Ruben Amaro said. “[This discomfort] a little different than I think Doc has experienced. Up until now, he hasn’t really expressed any discomfort. But [Sunday], after the game and after the exam, it sounds like we’re going to have to go ahead and DL him.”

Halladay’s ERA rose to 8.65 after recording only seven outs and surrendering nine runs — the final four on an opposite field grand slam by Adeiny Hechavarria — this afternoon. While he has been able to miss bats, his control is significantly worse as is his command. Ken Rosenthal talked to “two baseball people”, one suggesting that Halladay “can’t repeat his delivery and release point”.

As Chris Branch and Leslie Gudel point out, Halladay has been very hesitant to admit to being anything other than perfectly healthy.

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. 😉