When Bryce Harper went out with a thumb injury for the Washington Nationals, 3B Ryan Zimmerman took over left field and looked comfortable doing so. Anthony Rendon slid into the third base position with Zimmerman in left.
Now, Zimmerman is back at third base for better or worse.
The third baseman has been plagued with shoulder problems over the years and his arm strength is now visibly declining. He has had numerous throws from third this season that barely made it to first base or that have sailed wildly past 1B Adam LaRoche. Despite his shoulder problems, though, the Nationals need Zimmerman in the starting lineup.
Zimmerman is fifth on the team in terms of batting average, hitting .272 on the year. He is a clutch veteran player who delivers for the Nationals when they need him. He singled in the 10th inning of Saturday night’s matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies and drove in the go-ahead run.
While his arm strength is not there, both Zimmerman’s fielding and hitting is crucial to the Nationals’ success.
The team is fortunate enough to have options when it comes to who will start at third base day in and day out. Zimmerman is an excellent veteran option to either start or flex in for key hitting situations. The Nationals will need him to step up in the second half of the season if they intend to win the division.