After having offseason shoulder surgery, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman more or less floundered through the first month of the season, putting up a .226/.311/.358 slash line with one home run and 11 RBIs.
Zimmerman followed that up nicely with a hot .313/.394/.521 slash line in May with five home runs and 17 RBI, but would proceed to have a mediocre June with a .258/.345/.474. Zimmerman was pretty up and down month by month, and is currently on his way to finishing Washington’s overall disappointing season up, as he has hit 11 home runs this month and is hitting .283/.333/.613. This is probably because of the aforementioned shoulder surgery, as Zimmerman was probably not 100 percent going into the season, and judging by his defense and up and down offense, it’s pretty tough to argue otherwise.
Zimmerman has 21 errors this season, two less than his 2007 total, and two more than his 2012 total. Most of these errors are throwing errors, since after Zimmerman had abdominal surgery, Washington helped him try to change his mechanics throwing so as to make it easier on his body to throw. Combine this with multiple shoulder surgeries, and you have a recipe for some frustrating, yet sparkling defense.
Zimmerman is locked in with the Nationals until at least 2019, but the question is how many of those years will Zimmerman be at third base?
I think it’s pretty safe so say Zimmerman is playing his final games at third in Arizona this weekend. When a team plays poorly, things like errors are scrutinized more intensely, and a team that is based on defense is certainly one that will try their best to improve it. Moving Zimmerman over to first base, which is what many believe Washington will do, allows Zimmerman’s throwing problems to be remedied, and it also gives them someone who will be a very strong defensive first baseman.
There is no guarantee this will happen, as Washington will have to find a trade partner to take Adam LaRoche, which may not be very hard, based on his track record, but it certainly won’t be a walk in the park. One guarantee is that moving Zimmerman solidifies Washington’s defense and allows the Nationals to tend to other problems.