A closer look at Zimmerman’s remarkable season (plus some spring training dates)

The Nationals have yet to release their full 2013 spring training schedule, but for those of you interested in getting a head start on your vacation planning, I’ve got some tentative dates courtesy of the Grapefruit League master schedule put together at SpringTrainingOnline.com.

Here’s what’s listed so far. The Nats, of course, will play their home games at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla.

Feb. 23: Nats at Mets (Port St. Lucie)
Feb. 24: Marlins at Nats
Feb. 26: Nats at Braves (Lake Buena Vista)
March 1: Nats at Braves (Lake Buena Vista, night game)
March 2: Nats at Mets (Port St. Lucie)
March 3: Cardinals at Nats
March 8: Cardinals at Nats
March 9: Nats at Marlins (Jupiter)
March 10: Nats at Tigers (Lakeland)
March 15: Nats at Cardinals (Jupiter)
March 17: Nats at Tigers (Lakeland)
March 21: Nats at Braves (Lake Buena Vista)
March 22: Tigers at Nats
March 23: Nats at Mets (Port St. Lucie)
March 24: Braves at Nats

I’ll obviously pass along the full schedule as soon as it’s made available.

ryan-zimmerman-back-batting-red.jpgI wrote yesterday that Ryan Zimmerman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, a procedure intended to repair the AC joint which affected him for much of the season.

The recovery time is expected to be around six weeks, and Zimmerman should be just fine by the time spring training rolls around.

The numbers that Zimmerman put up this season (.282/.346/.478 with 25 home runs and 95 RBIs) fall pretty much right in line with where he’s been over the course of his career. Just based on the stats, this was a typical Ryan Zimmerman season with strong production across the board.

By no means do those numbers tell the whole story, however.

Factor in the shoulder injury, a 13-game DL stint and the fact that over Zimmerman’s first 55 games, he was hitting just .218 with a .590 OPS and three home runs, and you can see just how impressive he was in the second half of the season.

Over his final 90 games, after getting a cortisone shot in Baltimore on June 24 which cleared some of the shoulder inflammation and helped him avoid in-season surgery, Zimmerman put up a slash line of .321/.383/.584 with 26 doubles, 22 homers and 73 RBIs.

Average those numbers over 162 games, you get a guy with 40 home runs, 47 doubles and 131 RBIs. Those are Miguel Cabrera type stats right there.

This isn’t some small sample size which is being stretched over a full season. This is a 90-game span in which Zimmerman still had some discomfort in the shoulder at times and went through mini slumps.

After the All-Star break, Zimmerman tied for fifth in the National League in home runs, ranked fifth in home runs and fifth in slugging percentage among players with at least 250 at-bats.

What’s it all show? It shows that when he’s healthy, Zimmerman is still one of the most productive offensive players in the game.

The numbers from this season back that up, even if they don’t look all that impressive at first glance.

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