Dodgers to activate Chris Capuano, DL Mark Ellis

Leave a comment

The Dodgers will activate starter Chris Capuano from the disabled list before tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks, as Capuano opposes Trevor Cahill. In a related move, the Dodgers will place Mark Ellis on the disabled list retroactive to April 27 with a strained right quad, reports Dylan Hernandez.

Capuano went on the DL with a strained calf after an ugly April 16 start against the Padres in which he surrendered 5 runs in two innings. It was his first start of the season. Prior to that, he had two scoreless appearances of one and 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.

Ellis has not played since April 26. He is hitting .342 in 80 plate appearances.

In related news, Jerry Hairston Jr. limped off the field during an early workout today, testing his injured groin. He will likely join Ellis on the DL.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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. 😉