Ryan Zimmerman, Washington’s 35-year-old, 15-year veteran, said last month that however long Spring Training 2.0 ends up being, whether it’s two of three weeks, “... it will obviously be rushed compared to what we’re used to.”
“People don’t realize that we kind of ramp ourselves up in Spring Training so that you don’t just go right into 100% real major league baseball games, where competition kicks in and you try to do too much without getting your body there first,” Zimmerman explained.
“So I think it’s just going to be a matter of are the pitchers going to be ready and as ramped up and be ready to throw 100 pitches when it’s time for a starting pitcher to start?”
Adam Eaton, in an interview on MLB Network Radio earlier this month, said that while he doesn’t know how long they’ll get when/if they decide to start Spring Training 2.0, it will take, “more time than we think,” to get ready, when he too was asked how long they will need to ramp back up.
“I would say we’re all fresh right now,” Eaton added.
“We’ve been working out and doing the most we can do with what we’ve got, but like I said, whatever amount of time they give us we have to be professional and responsible and get it done.”
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo talked about how long it would take as well, when he spoke with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this past Wednesday morning.
“We have not ceased to train for Spring Training,” Rizzo said, noting that players continued to do what they could to stay sharp, while remaining in regular communication.
“We have a major-league coaches and managers staff call weekly. We have — the position-player coaches are in contact with the [position players], pitchers with the pitching coach, the hitters with the hitting coaches, infield coaches, the outfield coaches, the catching coaches.
“We’re in constant contact, these guys are staying in good shape. We don’t want them peaking — getting ready too early in case there’s a delay in Spring Training or there is no Spring Training, but we want them to be on the fringes of being ready, of prepared to go to Spring Training and we think in three weeks or so, give or take, that they could be in full swing for any type of real competition when the season starts.”
Rizzo said that some of his hitters are facing live pitching now, and vice versa, so it’s not like they haven’t had any baseball activity since MLB shut Spring Training down and postponed the start of the 2020 campaign back in mid-March, though it has now been two months-plus since they had any kind of organized activity.
Zimmerman actually said back on April 20th that he hadn’t, at that point, done much work, baseball-wise in weeks, though he was working out at home to stay strong and riding for a cardio workout on a Peloton bike.
“These guys have got a lot of different set-ups,” Rizzo told the Junkies this week.
“There are some guys seeing some live pitching, if you’re lucky enough to have a pitcher that can challenge you a little bit that lives around you and that type of thing.
“Same thing with the pitchers, if you’re lucky enough to have a person that could handle a Max Scherzer or a Stephen Strasburg around you that you could do it, we’ve got a lot of guys doing a lot of ingenuity to figure out ways to stay prepared for the season.
“Somebody should do a documentary on the different types of setups that these guys have, it’s really remarkable.
“Guys buying portable mounds so they can throw off [them] in their back yards and buying batting cages, and pitching machines, and curveball machines, and that type of thing to ready themselves in a very unique, unique situation.”
Will the plans for a mid-June Spring Training and early July start to the season actually come to fruition, or will we have to wait until 2021 for MLB baseball?