Zimmer (shoulder) said earlier this month that he anticipates being available for the start of spring training, Joe Noga of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. “Based on how I’m feeling now, I feel like I’ll be ready,” Zimmer said. “Whether they turn me loose by then or not, I feel like I’m in a really good place right now, physically.”
Zimmer missed the final three months of the 2018 campaign while recovering from July surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The Tribe indicated back on Jan. 11 that Zimmer had resumed hitting off a tee and throwing from 75 feet without issue, and it’s expected that he’ll gradually increase his throwing distance before camp opens in February. Even if Cleveland’s team doctors concur with Zimmer’s own assessment of his health, the 26-year-old will likely be restricted in some capacity at the beginning of camp if for no other reason than precautionary purposes. That said, if he avoids any setbacks with his shoulder during the spring, Zimmer should have a reasonably clear path to playing time for a Cleveland squad lacking in impact outfielders. Zimmer’s swing-and-miss ways make him a major average risk, but the power-and-speed combination he’s displayed in the past still gives him some intrigue as a late-round flier in drafts.