Bradley Zimmer Suffers a Setback in his Recovery

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 1: Bradley Zimmer
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 1: Bradley Zimmer /

Bradley Zimmer suffered a minor setback in his shoulder recovery. What does this mean for the Indians going forward?

Bradley Zimmer was making strides in recovering from shoulder surgery he endured last July, until this past weekend he suffered some soreness in his side.

According to Mandy Bell, the Cleveland Indians‘ beat reporter, Terry Francona said that Zimmer “had a little strain in his side,” and it has slowed him down over the past week. The strain happened while the team was still in Goodyear, Arizona for Spring Training.

This is nothing new for the Indians or Zimmer himself, as he has suffered an injury in each of his first two big league seasons.

Zimmer was the Indians top prospect before his call-up during the 2017 season and he seemed to take the full force of the starting centerfield position. He was playing well during his season until he dove into first base in a game against the Baltimore Orioles and broke his hand. This was huge as the Indians had to move Jason Kipnis out to center field for the playoffs and lose his great speed on the base paths and in the outfield.

After starting the season as the starting center fielder in 2018, Zimmer’s main flaw of striking out (35 percent of his at-bats in the MLB) continued to show, thus he was optioned down to the Columbus Clippers. Zimmer then bit the big one and suffered a shoulder injury while taking batting practice. In the end, Zimmer underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in July and was out for the next eight to 12 months.

While recovering from this surgery, Zimmer had been progressing along and was right on track to make his 2019 season debut sometime in late April to Early May. He was scheduled to throw to the bases on March 23 and this is when he suffered the strain. The strain slowed him down for about a week and is looking to get going once again in his shoulder progression.

The Indians need all of the outfield help they can get right now as the starting outfield is a combined 1-22 at the plate and the only RBI coming from a Greg Allen pinch-hit sac fly. They can use any sort of hitting from the outfield and even with his strikeout rate, Bradley Zimmer would be a welcomed sight in the Indians lineup. His combination of power and speed is unmatchable to anybody in this Indians current outfield.

Bradley Zimmer would likely be in a platoon role once he returns from his injury and rehab games down in the minor leagues. Leonys Martin currently patrols CF, but Zimmer’s defense would be hard to keep off the field. Although his primary position is center field, Zimmer could platoon with Jake Bauers, Carlos Gonzalez, and Tyler Naquin in left and right field.

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Overall, this setback is just another bump in the long road of Zimmer’s injury history. The Indians need him back as soon as possible and even with this setback, it does not seem too far off from him making his 2019 season debut.