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On third thought, sure, Ryan Zimmerman may play left field for the Nats

May 28, 2014, 5:26 PM EST

Ryan Zimmerman AP

First it was reported that Ryan Zimmerman was learning to play left field when he came back.

Then Zimmerman denied that.

Now, Mike Rizzo goes on the radio and says a whole lotta stuff which makes it sound like, yeah, Zimmerman is going to play left field:

When asked if it was reasonable to deduce that could entail Zimmerman playing in left, Rizzo responded, “I’ve seen him run around out there. He looks pretty darn good out there for me, and a guy with his athletic ability can play anywhere on the field.”

“I scouted him as a shortstop at University of Virginia, and there was talk at draft time that this guy could play shortstop if he had to,” he said. “We all know he’s a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman, he’s taken balls at first base, he’s taken fly balls in the outfield. He’s a guy who can play anywhere, and more importantly, is willing to do anything and play anywhere, and do anything he has to do to help us win games, and that’s a huge statement from a veteran player with the caliber of Ryan Zimmerman.”

If I had to guess I’d say that the Nats really want him to play left field. And if there is any uncertainty there it’s because either (a) Zimmerman didn’t want to tell people he was doing it before the Nats made a decision; or (b) Zimmerman is not that hot on the idea. Or at least wasn’t a few weeks ago when he first started shagging flies out there.

Given all of the Nats’ injuries and the ability to maximize offensive output once Bryce Harper comes back, it would be really great for the Nats if Zimmerman could play and respectable left field.

  1. chinahand11 - May 28, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    He is a heckuva ballplayer, a great athlete willing to change position to help the club. I think it’s pretty big of him, I’m used to someone bawling about position change. Yount did the same and excelled at SS and OF.

  2. emdash01 - May 28, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    He couldn’t possibly be worse than Scott Hairston, and it’d be hard to be worse than Tyler Moore or, this year, Werth. I’d imagine Werth is actually the reason they’re hesitant to commit to Zimm to first – he’s been Ibanez-ing this year, and it’s been painful to watch.

  3. miguelcairo - May 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Seeing his weird throw from third to first for years, it cracks me up that we may see him try to nail a runner at home from left field.

  4. blovy8 - May 29, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Zimmerman’s pretty much said all the right things, I don’t think there’s any subtext to read into it. The real question is can he throw well enough to get Espinosa out of the lineup when Harper gets back?

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