Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman returned from the disabled list on Tuesday night after missing close to two months with a right thumb injury, and he went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI against the Phillies. He now has a slash-line of .378/.415/.676 over 41 plate appearances this season, but more interestingly Zimmerman started in left field for the first time in his career.
With Bryce Harper still out after undergoing surgery on his left thumb, Zimmerman looks likely to see regular time in left field over the next month or so. He is also expected to see time at first base, due at least partially to his history of shoulder issues, and if regular first baseman Adam LaRoche winds up on the trade block Zimmerman may eventually become a full-time player at that position. Let’s not forget that Zimmerman should also see some playing time at his customary position, particularly after Harper returns to action and outfield playing time becomes harder to get.
Multi-position eligibility is good for anyone’s fantasy value, and Zimmerman brings the added bonus of being a highly productive hitter when he’s healthy. Individual league settings can and do vary, but Zimmerman will most likely need to play 10 games in the outfield and at first base before being eligible at one or both spots. Since he is starting from zero it’s not guaranteed he adds eligibility at first base very quickly, but Zimmerman looks all but certain to add outfield eligibility in most fantasy leagues within the next two weeks or so.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.