For much of the past year, there has been a conversation as to when the Washington Nationals‘ star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman would be moving over to play first base. When Adam LaRoche is a free agent in 2015, Zimmerman can slide across the diamond, and Anthony Rendon can take care of third.
Well, if anyone were to actually include Zimmerman in those conversations, they would find out that he has no plans on leaving the hot corner anytime soon. Oh, and thanks for asking, by the way.
Zimmerman committed 21 errors this year, the fourth-most in the major in 2013, and that is what started the talk about moving him over to first. The lack of offense and his throwing accuracy were being questioned by people inside baseball as well as Nationals fans. Had Ryan lost the ability to play third?
Zimmerman had surgery last winter to clean out the AC joint in his throwing shoulder. As the season moved on, he steadily improved defensively as his health improved. By the end of the year, he was back throwing darts across the field to LaRoche.
Over his first 27 games this season, Zimmerman made an astonishing eight errors and had a lowly fielding percentage of .896. He went through a five-game span from April 12-16 where he made four errors, and then had two errors in one game back on May 11 against the Chicago Cubs. Things started to change for the good as the season progressed. Zimmerman’s errors started to decrease while his confidence started to improve.
As a matter of fact, things began to get very good. In July, Zimmerman committed just two throwing errors. In August, he made three. In September, Zimmerman committed just one throwing error and went the final 21 games of the season without a throwing mistake.
If the healthy Zimmerman shows up to training camp in February, then any conversation of him moving across the diamond will be put to rest. The reports of his position change might have been very premature.