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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nationals Journal: Zimmerman will see time at first base in 2014

World gone wrong.

By Zimmerman’s comprehension of the Nationals’ plan, he could spell Adam LaRoche in the starting lineup against tough, left-handed starting pitchers roughly 10 to 15 games. He will also be an option to move across the diamond if a double-switch removes LaRoche from the game. In the Nationals’ current plan, he’s a third baseman who will happen to play some first.

“If that’s best for the team, I’m willing to play over there,” Zimmerman said in a phone conversation. “I don’t want to play 60 games over there. The way I played at the end of last season and the way my arm felt, I think third base is my best position and it gives our team the best chance to win. I feel like I’m the best third baseman that we have.

“I think it’s more something like, ‘Have you ever played over there? Would you be willing to play there just in case?’ You know me. If I can help our team by playing over there, I’ll do it.”

...Williams said Zimmerman has the athletic ability to play any infield position – “he could play shortstop if he wanted to,” Williams said. Still, Zimmerman views learning first base as a significant challenge. He readily admits he has no earthly idea how to play first base. He has appeared in 1,110 major league games in the field: one at shortstop, 1,109 at third base.

“I don’t even know which foot stretch at first base,” Zimmerman said. “As much as I’m going to be playing over there, I don’t think I’m going to need a crash course. I’d like to think other guys will have confidence in me, that if they can get it close, I’ll be able to catch it.”

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2013 at 05:37 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nats

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   1. OCD SS Posted: December 11, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4615747)
Obligatory "It's incredibly hard."
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: December 11, 2013 at 08:44 AM (#4615754)
The local papers are saying that Espinosa is going to be the utility infielder. If Zimmerman plays first, instead of Rendin moving to third to allow Espinosa to play second, they might just play Espinosa at third

Not sure I like that. Espinosa's glove might carry his bat at second but not at third.
   3. OsunaSakata Posted: December 11, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4615763)
There's a marginal improvement if Espinosa is platooning with LaRoche vs. LHP. Espinosa's OPS vs. LHP is .787. LaRoche'a OPS vs. LHP is .729
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4615764)
Williams said Zimmerman has the athletic ability to play any infield position – “he could play shortstop if he wanted to,” Williams said.


Zimmerman is the new Ichiro?
   5. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4615779)
Williams said Zimmerman has the athletic ability to play any infield position – “he could play shortstop if he wanted to,” Williams said

Out of curiosity, why doesn't he want to?
   6. OsunaSakata Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4615782)
Zimmerman started and played shortstop for one game in 2005. On extreme shifts for LHBs like Ryan Howard, he's been the pivot man on 4-5-3 double plays. They could have made Zimmerman a shortstop if he started in his rookie year. He's more like Brooks Robinson and George Brett who were shifted to shortstop on an emergency basis a few times in their career.
   7. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4615783)
Out of curiosity, why doesn't he want to?
Yes, Russell Martin, we see you waving your arms. We know you want to.
   8. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4615792)
Rotoworld says the nats have interest in Eric Chavez. I'd like that (mainly for selfish reasons because I loved Chavez with the A's).
   9. Natty Fan Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4615807)
#8 After Zimmerman's dissapointing 2007 and 2008 seasons, Eric Chavez showed up pretty high on his BBREF comps list. That used to scare me a little about his long term future. Chavez is currently third on Zimmerman's age-28 comp list, but he now slots in after David Wright and Scott Rolen. Aramis Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Harold Baines and Carl Yastrzemski also show up now.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4615814)
“I don’t even know which foot stretch at first base,” Zimmerman said.


Or English, apparently.
   11. Greg K Posted: December 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4615836)
A question about first base:

I've played there my whole life, and my technique is to once the ground ball is hit, plant with my left foot on the corner of the bag (I'm left-handed) and face the fielder. Once the throw is released I stride with my right foot towards wherever the ball is coming. But having looked up how to teach first base I see a lot of talk about standing astride the base and not putting a foot on it until you know where the throw is going (I guess to make sure your feet are in the exact right spot). It seems like a recipe for tripping over your own feet, but apparently people do it this way?
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4615838)
I've played there my whole life, and my technique is to once the ground ball is hit, plant with my left foot on the corner of the bag (I'm left-handed) and face the fielder. Once the throw is released I stride with my right foot towards wherever the ball is coming. But having looked up how to teach first base I see a lot of talk about standing astride the base and not putting a foot on it until you know where the throw is going (I guess to make sure your feet are in the exact right spot). It seems like a recipe for tripping over your own feet, but apparently people do it this way?


That's recommended. Now, if the throw is at the base, it doesn't really matter which foot you stretch with. But if the throw is off line, then planting the foot that is away from the ball and stretching with the nearer foot will allow you slightly better reach on the ball than trying to cross your body.

   13. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: December 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4615873)
Bad news for Tyler Moore.
   14. McCoy Posted: December 11, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4615898)
I would think most news would be bad news for Tyler Moore.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 11, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4615937)
Are you guys saying he's not going to make it after all?
   16. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 11, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4616006)
There was some (internet-only) speculation that the Nationals might be interested in Brandon Phillips, with the following dominos falling down:

Brandon Phillips to second base
Anthony Rendon to third base (his natural position)
Ryan Zimmerman to first base (because he just can't stay healthy)
Adam LaRoche to get told about the rabbits.
   17. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 11, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4616029)
I thought the headline would say "Zimmerman will see time in the Bronx in 2014".
   18. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: December 11, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4616157)
I dunno McCoy, things were looking up for Moore's playing time with LaRoche doing his USO tour overseas cutting into the couple of days in the offseason when he might exercise more than walking with a rifle.
   19. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: December 12, 2013 at 12:31 AM (#4616423)
Well, at least with Zimmerman playing 1B we won't have to worry about his shaky throws across the diamond. I'll bet he still misses the bag sometimes though!
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 12, 2013 at 02:53 AM (#4616469)
Are you guys saying he's not going to make it after all?

Well done.

   21. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 12, 2013 at 03:32 AM (#4616473)
No need to be so negative. You know what? Tyler Moore has got spunk.
   22. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: December 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4616558)
Maybe this will make the Nationals broadcast team finally stop comparing Adam LaRoche to Joey Votto.

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