Not long after Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake announced he will not play this season due to personal reasons, The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli first reported that Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross would also be sitting out. The Nationals have since confirmed the news, expressing support for both players in a statement.
Zimmerman, 35, is sitting out due to family reasons. He and his wife just welcomed a new son into their family and his mother has multiple sclerosis. After winning a World Series with the Nationals last season, Zimmerman is now reportedly considering retirement.
For Ryan Zimmerman, this could very well mean retirement. Joe Ross was a guy expected to be the team's fifth starter.— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) June 29, 2020
Ross, 27, was expected to compete for a spot in the Nationals’ rotation this season. He posted a 5.48 ERA and 11.67 WHIP across 64 innings this past season. Across 335.1 career innings, Ross holds a 4.29 ERA.
Several other Nationals players are considering sitting out the season. All-Star relief pitcher Sean Doolittle is among the players who could sit out because his wife, Eireann Dolan, has a chronic lung condition that makes here at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Following MLB’s decision to implement a 60-game season, more MLB players are expected to sit out this year. Only players deemed to be high-risk are guaranteed to receive their fully prorated pay and service time if they sit out this year.