UVA alum Ryan Zimmerman to sit out 2020 Nationals season, citing family
Zimmerman, a 2005 Virginia baseball alum, was the first draft pick of the Washington Nationals, and made his MLB debut that September.
The “original National,” as he has come to be known, cited his newborn child and his mother, who has multiple sclerosis.
“There’s a lot of factors that I and others have to consider. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer; it’s everybody’s individual choice,” said Zimmerman, who slashed .257/.321/.415 with six homers and 27 RBI in an injury-riddled 2019 season.
For his career, Zimmerman has a .279/.343/.475 slash line with 270 homers and 1,015 RBI.
After his career-best season in 2017, in which he slashed .303/.358/.573 with 36 homers and 108 RBI, Zimmerman was only able to play a combined 137 games over the 2018 and 2019 seasons as he battled an array of injuries.
He was healthy for the stretch run for the Nats in 2019, and despite putting up tepid numbers – a .208/.321/.333 slash line – he had two of the more important hits of the 2019 postseason.
Pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of the Nats’ 4-3 come-from-behind win over Milwaukee in the NL wild-card game, Zimmerman fought off a Josh Hader fastball for a bloop single to keep the rally going.
Then in his first career World Series at bat, Zimmerman went deep off Houston ace Gerrit Cole in the second inning of Game 1 to post the franchise’s first-ever World Series home run.
Zimmerman re-signed with the Nats for one year at a $2 million salary after the team declined his $18 million option.
He stressed today in a statement that he is “not retiring at this time,” but at 35, and with his recent history with injuries, we very could have seen the last of Zimmerman in MLB.
Story by Chris Graham