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Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman is back and tearing the cover off the ball this spring...

Ryan Zimmerman talked to reporters for 30 minutes on Friday as he prepares for his 16th season in the majors.

Taking at bats and playing in games the way he’s likely to during the regular season, with a few starts a week, and at bats every few days, Ryan Zimmerman, 36, is 10 for 22 this spring, (.455/.500/1.227), with two doubles and five home runs in eight games.

Not bad for a 15-year veteran coming off a 2020 campaign he opted out of out of concern for his family’s health, and because he could, at this point in his career, make the decision financially, and in service-time terms as he said earlier this spring.

But don’t worry, Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals’ first 1st Round draft pick (2005) has been around long enough to know not to take spring numbers too seriously, good or bad.

“Yeah, I mean, my thoughts on Spring Training are very well known,” Zimmerman said with a grin on a Zoom call with reporters on Friday afternoon, less than a week away from the start of his 16th big league season.

“I don’t really take much good or bad about Spring Training. First of all, I think we’d all rather do well than do bad. Nobody wants to do bad. I discount Spring Training because I’ve had Spring Trainings where I do really well, and I’ve had Spring Trainings where I do poorly. I just think it has — at least for me, I can’t speak for everyone, it has no direct effect on what’s going to happen on April 1st.”

So what do you take from the month-plus of work everyone does each spring?

“I think the goal of Spring Training is to get your body into shape and playing in games, and things that you can’t do on your own in the offseason, to stay healthy, and to be ready to go when the regular season starts.

“Whether I hit five home runs, zero home runs, or 10 home runs, it doesn’t really change my confidence going into the regular season.

“But yeah, it is nice to be swinging the bat well, to know I’m in a good spot. And then just — the goal is to try to stay there now, for sixth or seven months, and that’s the beauty of baseball.”

“He’s squaring balls up right now,” manager Davey Martinez said after Zimmerman hit two home runs in one game this week.

“He’s only got 20-21 at bats, but it seems like every time he swings he’s hitting the ball hard, which is good.

“He understands his role. He’s going to play part time, we’re going to use him off the bench, but what he’s doing right now is awesome. And if he can continue to do that, we’re going to have a really good year and he’s going to have a really good year.”

If he can continue to do that? How do you try to stay where you are now all season if you’re hitting like Zimmerman is this spring?

“You try to stay as consistent as you can,” Zimmerman said, and you put in the work like he does with hitting coaches Kevin Long and Pat Roessler (who wears No. 66, which, you’ll see why we mention that in a second).

“And K-Long and Six, the hitting coaches are about as good as they get.

“They’re always down there ready to work and I think the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is when you’re going good like this you’ve got to stick with your routine.

“The big mistake I think people make is when you have a bad five or ten games, people try to change everything. You’ve just got to stay as consistent as you can, don’t panic.

“Trust that everyone goes through bad spells. So even when I’m not doing like I’m doing now, I try to stay as consistent as I can with my routine and just kind of grind it out.”

Zimmerman even had an even-handed take on the idea that people are surprised the he can step back in after a “year” off and start hitting out of the gate.

But, as Zimmerman explained on Friday, it wasn’t really a year off from baseball, even though he chose not to play in the 60-game season.

“I think if we didn’t have Spring Training last year and I went from basically November to the following February, I think it would have been a bigger jump,” he explained.

“Being able to go through pretty much a whole Spring Training last year, and then you know, I mean, everyone missed basically from the end of February until June.

“It wasn’t just me who missed that time, so basically all I missed out on was 50 or 60 games.”

Did he have any doubt that he’d still be able to do it as he watched baseball at home for the first time in a decade and a half last season, and then decided he’s return?

“I think there’s always going to be doubts when you take a year off from doing something — if you think you’re still going to be able to do it, but I didn’t think I was necessarily going to forget how to play baseball in six or seven months,” Zimmerman said.

“But yeah, I mean it’s nice to have the success and it builds confidence, obviously, and now it’s just about getting back into it and sticking with your routine and staying disciplined and just kind of getting ready for the season.”