VIERA, Fla. - It hasn’t taken long for Ryan Zimmerman to get his swing back after offseason shoulder surgery.
With his 3-for-3 performance today against the Marlins, Zimmerman is now 6-for-12 on the spring with two extra-base hits. One of the two is a home run, which Zimmerman crushed off Marlins lefty Brad Hand in the fifth inning this afternoon to tie the game 6-6.
“I haven’t been worrying about him,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s just a good hitter. He’s got plenty of power. He’s been great in BP, been great all the way around. It was nice to see (Bryce Harper) hit the left-hander in front of him. We’re getting there, slowly but surely.”
Chris Young called himself “erratic” today in his Grapefruit League debut. Johnson called the 6-foot-10 right-hander “rusty.”
“I thought he was a little rusty, but he pitched good,” Johnson said. “I think he threw around 50 pitches (52, in fact), but it was a good first outing.
“I mean, he’s a big machine getting going. He threw some quality pitches, he always pitches up. I guess it’s coming from 6-10, out there around (an) eight-foot release or something. I don’t know where it’s coming from. I’m having a hard time getting it down. But I thought he threw some good change-ups, good curveballs. Good first outing.”
Craig Stammen got smacked around pretty good on his birthday, allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in just two-thirds of an inning. Johnson said he didn’t seem concerned by Stammen’s outing, he just seemed to feel it wasn’t Stammen’s day.
“I thought he threw the ball pretty good,” Johnson said. “His command wasn’t as good, and we’ve seen a couple clubs coming in here really swinging some hot bats. Everything they seem to hit is finding a hole, finding a place to land. He’s usually very pitch-efficient and he threw, I think, 32 pitches. But he’s fine.”
Infield prospect Zach Walters now has homers in back-to-back games, following his long home run to right-center in the eighth inning today. Johnson said before the game that Walters is one of the younger guys he’s been most impressed with this spring, and following today’s game, Johnson indicated that Walters will be hanging around big league camp a while longer.
“He’s made some adjustments with (hitting coach) Rick Eckstein,” Johnson said. “I think he’s learning more about who he can be and playing to his ability. He’s got a good approach (hitting) both right and left now, which I like, but he’s just got a good high ceiling. He’s just learning, as young players do, sometimes they get in some bad habits. He’s coming along. When I first saw him last year, I got a good feel for him and having him all spring, he’s going to probably be one of the last cuts. I’m going to keep him here. But I like where he’s going. I like his approach.
“(Last year, he was) spread out too much. He’s tremendously strong. I just think he gets a better attack point where he’s at right now, a little more upright, a la (Ian Desmond), driving down through the ball. Using his whole body. When he spreads out, sometimes you use more upper body but what he’s doing now is more in tune with who he is and who can be.”