Ryan Zimmerman to begin playing in extended spring training games

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Good news for the pathetic Nationals’ offense.

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Ryan Zimmerman will play “several innings” tomorrow in his first extended spring training game.

Zimmerman has been limited to just eight games this season due to an abdominal injury. He was initially placed on the disabled list on April 12 and had surgery to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen on May 3.

The Nats’ third baseman wrote about his rehab in a blog post with CSNWashington.com earlier today:

If you haven’t seen, I’ve been out of the lineup for a while rehabbing an abdominal tear that occurred a few months ago. I attempted to rehab it without surgery for the first few weeks, and I just couldn’t get it back to where I needed to be full strength. Dr. Meyers in Philadelphia is the best in the business for this procedure, and after some heavy thinking, we decided it was the best idea to go ahead with the surgery.

In just four short weeks, I’m already almost back to full baseball activities and will be joining an affiliate shortly to get a couple of games under my belt before returning to D.C.

Zimmerman was originally expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks following surgery, so he’s currently on track to return sometime in the middle of June.

Nationals’ third basemen have combined to bat .274 entering Tuesday’s action, which sounds just dandy, but they only have three homers and 16 RBI. And that includes Zimmerman’s one home run and four RBI prior to going on the disabled list.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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