Dodgers News: Yasmani Grandal Healthy, But Dogged By Weight Conerns
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After back-to-back seasons playing through nagging injuries, Yasmani Grandal is relieved to be pain free this winter. It’s allowed the 28-year-old catcher to carry forward with a normal training regimen as opposed to a rehabilitation program.

“It’s been great. It’s been fun being able to kind of concentrate on myself as opposed to what I need to do to prepare,” Grandal said during Dodgers FanFest on Saturday. “I felt great when I was healthy last year, so it’s just improving from there and figuring out how to get in better shape.

However, a plant-based diet has led to Grandal facing a weight challenge this offseason. “I’m usually coming in around 10 pounds over what I want, because Spring Training obviously takes a lot out of my body,” he said.

“So, I want to see how it works out this year, because I’m actually 10 pounds under my ideal weight.” The weight loss was unexpected, and has primarily been fat lost and muscle gained.

“I feel great, I feel very strong, and feel like I can move,” Grandal explained. He nonetheless is concerned over the toll Spring Training and the regular season will take on his body, and in turn what dietary adjustments will be necessary.

“If I start dropping too much weight that means I’m going to have to eat a lot. I don’t know how that’s going to work out,” Grandal said. “I need to get as many calories as I can. I’m probably burning around 4,000 calories in a day right now, and I’ll probably be burning twice as much during the regular season. To eat that much as a vegetarian is not easy. I’m eating a lot right now, so at some point we’ll have to start adding some meats.”

Grandal missed the start of the 2016 season due to lingering forearm soreness. He suffered a right forearm contusion during Spring Training and was also affected by lingering soreness in his left forearm. He appeared in just eight Cactus League games.

Grandal endured ankle, hand and elbow malaises throughout the regular season. He nonetheless finished the season batting .228/.339/.477 with 14 doubles, 27 home runs, 72 RBI and a 121 OPS+ in 126 games.

The one-time All-Star tied with Justin Turner for the team lead in home runs and led all Major League catchers in the category. “Semi-healthy the first year I got here I was an All-Star. Hopefully fully healthy I can be an All-Star and even more of a factor,” Grandal said.

“Standards for me are high right now. I set a bar, and I want to exceed that bar.”