After attending the Washington Nationals 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night, it was made quite clear that one player is being given way too much credit: third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
Statistically, Zimmerman is having one of the worst seasons of his career. He’s batting just .267 with an on-base percentage of .344 and a slugging percentage of just .452. His numbers have not been this low since 2007. Defensively, he’s been just as bad. Zimmerman has committed 11 errors in the hot corner this season, which puts him at second most for all MLB third basemen.
On top of his inability to do well on the field, Zimmerman has also had a bit of trouble staying on the field over the last two years. In both seasons, Zimmerman suffered shoulder injuries which cause him to miss time. Despite receiving a cortisone shot, Zimmerman’s shoulder could still be bothering him and that could be contributing to his level of play.
As I observed Zimmerman struggle through an 0-for-4 day with two strikeouts in Thursday’s game, not very many people booed or heckled him. Jayson Werth, on the other hand, had just as bad a night by going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. When Werth struck out for the fourth time, Nationals Park erupted in boos, groans, and moans.
The point I’m trying to make is that Zimmerman is seemingly given a free-pass when he struggles. Since he is the “Face of the Franchise” and was the club’s first-ever draft pick when it moved to Washington D.C. in 2005, it’s easy to see why.
Unfortunately, the love affair between D.C. and Zimmerman is no excuse for him to struggle like this.
Hopefully Zimmerman can figure out a way to turn his season around and find some consistency at the plate. His numbers don’t quite add up to enough to justify the $14.1 million that the Nationals are paying him this season.
Unfortunately, it may be time for D.C. to come to the hard realization that Ryan Zimmerman is on the downturn of his career and may not be the “Face of the Franchise” for very much longer.