It had been just yesterday that concern started to go up about whether or not Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder would manage to hold on for an entire season, and what the team might do if that have been to happen. Well, Zimmerman’s shoulder isn’t the problem any further — it’s his thumb. But we’re still likely to discover how the Nationals will cope together with his absence.
The next baseman is anticipated to miss 4-6 weeks after breaking his right thumb diving back once again to second base as he was in the process of being picked off throughout a 6-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Once we wrote the other day, with Zimmerman out, the Nationals could move Anthony Rendon to third base and insert Danny Espinosa at second base, with Kevin Frandsen on call to fill in when days off for either are needed. Actually, that’s the alignment Washington went with on Saturday following Zimmermans’injury.
“It’s not our first choice, certainly, but the fact they can play multiple positions is good in times like this,” manager Matt Williams said. The Nationals were already short-handed as Denard Span was placed on the 7-day concussion list prior to the game, and Frandsen was in the outfield in his stead.
According to Jason Wojciechowski of ESPN.com, the depth of the Nationals will be on display with Zimmerman out of the lineup — and that can’t be a good thing. “The Nats’ depth was sorely tested last year, with ‘tested’ serving as a euphemism for the fact that the non-regulars were completely awful. Danny Espinosa, a handy example because he will have to cover second base in Zimmerman’s absence while Anthony Rendon shifts back over to his original position at third, somehow hit .158/.193/.272 in 2013,” he writes.
“Sure, Espinosa probably isn’t that bad, as he broke his wrist early in 2013 after managing a low-contact, high-power .242/.319/.408 line from 2011 to 2012. Combine that with good defense and Espinosa was once and might still be a nice above-average player. The possibility remains, however, that he is exactly as bad as he looked last season.”