WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Ryan Zimmerman will return to play third base for the majority of the time once Bryce Harper returns to the Nationals lineup from injury, manager Matt Williams told the Junkies on Friday.
It was previously uncertain how the team would utilize Zimmerman, who, upon return from the Disabled List himself, humbly made his professional debut in left field to ensure his bat would remain in the lineup, while Anthony Rendon handled third base duties.
Asked what’s going to happen when Harper comes back, Williams acknowledge the situation as a good problem for the Nationals to have.
“It’s a problem, but it’s a nice problem, because Harp’s a fantastic outfielder,” Williams said. “But I think you’re right. Where else would [Zimmerman] go?”
“He may play a little bit of first base when Roche-y needs a day off, or if for some reason there’s an opportunity to give one of the outfielders a day off — he may play left — but I would imagine for the majority of the time, he’s gonna be at third,” he said. “And he’s won a Gold Glove over there. He knows what he’s doing over there.”
“You guys, I’ve said it, and I mean it. I think that the fact the Ryan’s playing left field is a testament to how much he wants to win. Never played it before. Walked out there and said, ‘You know what? I’ll do it, and I’ll do it to the best of my ability.’ And he’s been great, but it’s his first time. He did it for the team because it was a necessity and he wants to win, and he’s willing to anything he can to do that. I mean, that’s a great attitude.”
In a later interview, Zimmerman himself would go on to say he has no preference which of the three positions — third base, first base or left field — he plays, he just wants to win while the window for the Nationals to do so is still open, adding, “you never know how long it’s gonna last.”