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Ryan Zimmerman may become a left fielder

May 18, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT

ryan zimmerman getty Getty Images

As we noted yesterday, Ryan Zimmerman‘s timetable for returning from his fractured thumb is up in the air, as his bum shoulder makes the resumption of throwing a much tougher proposition for him than doing so would for most rehabbing players. Now here’s a new wrinkle from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

The Nationals are not saying anything publicly about a potential position change for Zimmerman, and no final decision has been reached. Internally, though, officials and coaches have discussed and considered the idea of Zimmerman – a former Gold Glove third baseman in the first year of a six-year, $100 million contract extension – playing left field.

Kilgore notes that Zimmerman has been shagging fly balls in the Nats outfield during batting practice while wearing an outfielder’s glove. Everyone is being cagey about it, but Nats’ officials aren’t saying it’s nothing either.

Kilgore makes the astute observations that (a) Zimmerman is likely to be back before Bryce Harper is, so him taking over left field could make sense in the short term; and (b) Denard Span has been atrocious on offense, making it possible that, once Harper returns, Zimmerman could stay in left field and Harper could take over center field, at least sometimes, to give the Nats an offensive boost.

Not the dumbest thing in the world. Although, given Zimmerman’s throwing issues, you have to figure runners would challenge him to gun them down as they race for home on basically every ball hit to left field.

  1. toodrunktotastethischicken - May 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    I guess the eventual Zimmerman to 1st, Rendon to 3rd scenario is out the window?

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM


      • paperlions - May 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Whose contract is up after this year, will be 35 next year, and isn’t very good.

      • seeinred87 - May 19, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Are you saying Adam LaRoche isn’t very good, paper?

        He’s had a not-so-great season or two, but I wouldn’t say he isn’t very good

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 19, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Doesn’t matter as long as he’s better than Span right now. Maybe Zim can play 1st next year, but it ain’t happening often this year

  2. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 18, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Sounds about right

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Left Field isn’t so hard for a guy having the Yips when he throws…..

  4. kicksave1980 - May 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    A lot of you who follow the Nationals on a daily basis would know better than I, but it doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. There are very few left fielders who have good arms anyway…that’s why they’re in left to begin with.

    • chad10 - May 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      It’s also a different throwing motion. Crow hop, long arm throw.

      They also may be looking at next year. If I’m not mistaken, Span’s contract is up after this year and has a cheap buyout.

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