Today marks a big day for the Washington Nationals as the future face of the franchise Bryce Harper is back in the lineup and will be playing left field however due to his placement in that position it displaces the current face of the franchise Ryan Zimmerman.
In tonight’s lineup things are going back to where everyone thought they be this season in that the core eight are back together in the same lineup for the first time since opening days. However with Harper being in left field in tonight’s game Ryan Zimmerman must move back to his old position of third base.
Zimmerman mas moved off of the hot corner due to his sporadic throws to first base that saw him make two errors in just the nine games he’s played there this season not to mention the 21 errors he made last season. Since having shoulder problems a couple years ago Zimmerman has had to change the way he throws the baseball to an almost submarine type of throw to avoid discomfort. This change has not fared well for the once gold glove winner as he has lead all of third basemen in errors in the past two seasons.
So in a desperate attempt to keep Zimmerman in the lineup Manager Matt Williams moved him out to left field and slid Anthony Rendon over to third. He was able to do so for 25 games where even though he has a far subpar throwing arm for an outfielder he was able to hold his own including making a few diving catches as well however not that Bryce Harper is back in left field Williams must move Zimmerman back to third base even though he is a liability at that position.
At one point Zimmerman was the best fielding third basemen in baseball has now slowly become a defense liability at his own position and with there not being a DH in the National League the Washington Nationals appear stuck in a no win situation because the team will suffer defensively with him at third however the team will suffer offensively with him out of the lineup. The Nationals have become stuck in a situation that can’t be fixed during the season as they are in full gear and ready for a race towards the playoffs. Even with their seeming to be no way out for the Nationals when it comes to Zimmerman defensively there is one position that won’t force him to use his clearly hampered throwing arm and will allow him to utilize that once golden glove: first base.
It seems at this point Zimmerman’s future does not lie at third base rather across the diamond at first base where now gold glove caliber and fan favorite Adam LaRoche plays. It appears as the only logical step at this point for the Nationals to take as Zimmerman is the face of the franchise and has been since they moved to D.C. from the great white north and with LaRoche’s contract up at the end of the season this appears to be the move the team will take.
The hope for the Nationals is that the team can stay healthy, something they haven’t done since Anthony Rendon was called up last year, and that Ryan Zimmerman can tread water at the hot corner because if they can do that the Nationals are a force to reckon with for years to come.