Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Zimmerman staying put
By AJ Mass
According to Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, the team has absolutely no intention of moving Ryan Zimmerman across the diamond for the 2014 season. There had been some buzz that due to the third baseman's fielding woes, a change of position to first base might be in the team's plans, but Rizzo denies any such thoughts ever existed.
"No, I never had any discussions or thoughts about anyone else," Rizzo said. "He was our third baseman of the future and a middle-of-the-lineup hitter, and I knew that as his shoulder was rehabbing and getting better each and every day that he'd be the defensive guy that we've had in the past and hopefully we'll have in the future."
Part of the impetus for the rumored third-to-first move was the poor play of Adam LaRoche at first base, combined with the thought that prospect Anthony Rendon might be a better fit at the hot corner, than at second base where he played the majority of the time this past season. However, LaRoche is under contract for $12 million in 2014, and unlikely to be headed anywhere.
If there is a silver lining with LaRoche, it may lie in the fact he was struggling all season with a weight loss problem, a side effect as a result of medicine he takes to control his ADD. LaRoche is hoping that with a new prescription and an off-season to gain back some of those lost pounds will get him back on track for the 2014 season. If that proves to be the case, then there may well be no reason for Washington's infield to make any drastic alterations.