Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson tore a ligament in his left thumb on a slide into second base during the NLCS against the Cubs. You wouldn’t know it by his production during the World Series against the Royals, as he slugged three home runs while posting a 1.060 OPS. The injury required surgery after the Mets lost the series in five games, but upon reporting to Mets camp today, Granderson told Marc Carig of Newsday that he’s fully recovered and began hitting as normal in January.
While Yoenis Cespedes got most of the attention for helping reshape the offense after the trade deadline last season, Granderson was the team’s most valuable position player. Serving as the regular leadoff hitter and right fielder, he batted .259/.364/.457 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 98 runs scored over 157 games. His .821 OPS was his best since 2011 as a member of the Yankees. The Mets have designs on a return to the World Series, so the big question is whether he can come close to a repeat as he moves into his age-35 season.
As part of his four-year, $60 million contract with New York, Granderson is owed $16 million this season and $15 million in 2017.
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.