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Ryan Zimmerman will begin transition to first base

Dec 10, 2013, 7:55 PM EST

zimmerman getty Getty Images

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the story:

Let there be no confusion: [Ryan] Zimmerman will remain the Nationals’ everyday third baseman in 2014. But, Zimmerman confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the Nationals’ plans for him next season include spot duty at first base. Zimmerman will take some grounders at first base during spring training, the possible first step in a potential permanent switch in a future season.

That future season could very well be 2015, as current starting first baseman Adam LaRoche is due to hit the free agent market. Zimmerman worked past his early-summer throwing issues and finished the 2013 season on a strong defensive note, but the Nationals are looking to the future and envision an infield that has 2011 first-round pick Anthony Rendon manning the hot corner.

“You know me,” Zimmerman said Tuesday. “If I can help our team by playing over there, I’ll do it.”

  1. David Proctor - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a sure thing that Zimmerman is moving to first, but I think the Nationals are insuring themselves for the possibility. If Zimmerman throws well in 2014, they’ll keep him at third. He’s more valuable there. But if the throwing woes continue, the Nats won’t want Zimmerman to be thrown into the fire at 1B completely unprepared in 2015. So by letting him get his feet wet in 2014, they set themselves up well for 2015, either way.

    • natstowngreg - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Very low on the surprise meter. Zimmerman playing 1B has been on the radar for a couple of seasons, with LaRoche not being a long-term answer at 1B, and Rendon coming up. With his shoulder healed, Ryan showed that he can still play quality 3B.

      Meanwhile, Rizzo has an option for 2015 that doesn’t involve force-fitting Rendon at 2B. It’s hard to see LaRoche being a Nat beyond this season. The real loser may be Tyler Moore, who has shown potential as a run-producer, but has been played out of position in LF.

  2. crabcakesfootball - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one

  3. sleepyirv - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    As the face of a franchise, I hope everything turns out well for Zimmerman and the Nats. He’s been with the team for their lean years that I hope he still has enough for when they make their next run.

  4. jrobitaille23 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    and there goes his value. His numbers at 1B are pedestrian. He is amongst the most overrated players in the game

    • karlkolchak - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      Overrated? By whom exactly, other than anonymous internet commenters?

    • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Ryan Zimmerman’s offensive levels have been well above the positional average at first base in each of the past five seasons, and one would think he’d be at least above-average there defensively, too.

      • natstowngreg - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        If Ryan can hit around his career numbers — .286/.352/.477, 26 HR/96 RBI per 162 games — he will be fine at 1B. His defense should be very good, since throwing the ball, not so much catching it, has been his defensive issue. He’s always air-mailed throws on occasion — long before he hurt his shoulder. He did have unusual problems last season catching ground balls, but hopefully, with the shoulder healed, those problems will go away.

  5. nandeezy33 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    There you go Zimmerman. Pat yourself on the back for helping the team. But don’t injure your shoulder doing so.

    In response to a couple of comments….

    You would think if Zimms were an above avg defender, they would keep him at the hot corner. But he is a tremendous liability with his dead arm. However, his glove is not lacking. I see no issues with his transition to the other corner. At least he doesn’t have to make throws on a consistent basis.

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