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Stock Watch: What’s wrong with Zimmerman?

Jun 11, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman reacts after he struck out during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, June 6, 2015, in Washington. The Cubs won 4-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling.  

Record: 2-4

Team slash: .240/.290/.399

Team ERA: 4.42

Runs per game:  3.16



Danny Espinosa, 2B/LF:  .438 AVG/ 2 HR/ 4 RBI 

It’s hard to believe, but Espinosa has quietly been one of the great stories on this Nationals club this season. Thought to be a part-time player heading into the season, he’s second on the team in home runs (8), is as versatile as they come and — at the moment — can’t be left out of the lineup. Though the return of everyday second baseman Anthony Rendon means Matt Williams has to get creative to give Espinosa regular at-bats, with the way the offense is struggling to score, he might not have a choice.

Casey Janssen, RP: 3 GP/ 3.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA

The bullpen has struggled of late, but it’s not Janssen that’s been the problem. In fact, other than his rough outing in Cincinnati (he allowed four runs in an inning of work), he’s been more than solid. In his seven other appearances, he’s allowed no runs on three hits in 6 2/3 frames. Given the state of the rest of the ‘pen, the Nats will certainly take that every time.



Ryan Zimmerman, 1B: .063 AVG/ .118 OBP/ .063 SLG 

Nats fans have been wondering what’s been wrong with Zimmerman for a few weeks now. But it finally was revealed several days ago that the first baseman has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot for most of the season. Whether or not that’s been the primary cause for his struggles is unknown, but the bottom line is that Zimmerman hasn’t been himself, and the Nats need more from him. He’s currently mired in a 4-for-46 stretch, and as Mark Zuckerman noted, ranks last among qualifying MLB first baseman in both OPS and WAR. If he can’t hit his way out of this funk, you wonder if Williams might tinker with the lineup to find better protection behind Bryce Harper.

Ian Desmond, SS: .125 AVG/ .125 OBP/ .292 SLG 

After a good May, Desmond has fallen back to earth a bit this month. Some have argued that being dropped to sixth in the order after Rendon’s return has had an effect on him. Who knows if that’s the real reason, but the numbers don’t lie: Desmond is hitting .170/.214/.259 in the six-hole, as opposed to .293/.341/.455 when batting second.

Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 0-1/ 5.0 IP/ 7.20 ERA

Yes, this might be a bit unfair given how well Zimmermann had been pitching prior to Sunday’s outing vs. the Cubs, but he had an off day against a solid lineup to drop his record to 5-3 in 12 starts. The tough thing for him these days is that he almost has to be himself at all times; the bullpen is struggling, the other starters not named Max Scherzer are either injured or inconsistent, and the margin for error is slim because of the offense’s recent struggles. So the Nats can’t afford to have Zimmermann go through a slump too.


  1. masterfishkeeper - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    I don’t think it was finally revealed that Zimmerman had plantar fasciatus. That’s been known since early in the season.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:55 PM

      Indeed, and by the founder of this blog even. 😉

    • unkyd59 - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:59 PM

      You are correct, sir!

    • Section 222 - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:02 PM

      I suppose it was “finally revealed” that he was still struggling with it, and it was having an impact on his play, though that’s a stretch too.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:10 PM

      Thanks for backing me up! (Although it is disappointing that I don’t know more than everyone else.)

      • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:15 PM

        But you were the first to point it out, so there’s that. 😉

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:17 PM

      I think mainly, the team had not addressed Zim’s poor play period before whatever MW said about resting him last weekend – but yes, the PF had been announced 6 weeks earlier.

      As to whether or what extent it is the cause of Zim’s problems: some folks have cited the example of Albert Pujols, who has struggled with PF on and off for years and in many cases still performed quite well with it.

      Most recently, in 2013, Pujols was battling PF and knee problems at the same time and didn’t have as severe a drop off at the plate that Zim has seen. Angels could DH him, which probably helped.

      Pujols kept playing with it until mid-summer, when he suffered a rupture of the ligament and spent the last 6+ weeks of the season on the DL.

      What if anything this means for Zim, who knows? But since folks have cited Pujols, I thought I would (as they say) look it up.

  2. jd - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    Another protection comment. Harper leads the league in Home Runs has an OBP in the high .400’s and leads all the majors in WAR. Does he look like he needs protection?

    People have this fear that with no ‘protection’ teams will walk him every time. Trust me on this if teams do that they will get hurt, putting extra runners on base will lead to more runs regardless on how bad you think the lineup is.

    • nats128 - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:56 PM

      When you are that hot there is a protection issue. You have to make it to where they dont do the pitch around with 2 outs and nobody on base just to get to the next batter.

      Ryan Zimmermans contact has been so weak that they have even let the lefty reliever face him that was brought in for Harper. That tells you all you need to know.

      • jd - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:00 PM

        like I said, Harper’s numbers prove that a lack of ‘protection’ hasn’t hurt his production one bit. If you see pitchers constantly put him on and then avoid giving up runs by doing so I will agree with you that there is a ‘protection’ issue.

      • nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 8:04 AM

        Certainly has helped his OBP but has taken the bat out of his hands.

  3. jd - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:17 PM


    How are the Nats prospects doing?

    1) Giolito – 20 moved up to high A this year – scuffling – 2017?
    2) R. Lopez – 21 moved up to high A this year – scuffling – 2018?
    3)Turner – 22 SS moved up to AA this year – dominating – 2017?
    4)Fedde – 22 coming off TJ – 2018?
    5)Taylor – 24 in the majors – scuffling.
    6) Cole – 23 in AAA – scuffling – 2016?
    7)Difo – 23 Moved up to AA – excelling – 2017?
    8) Ross – 23 moved up yo AA -excelling – 2017?
    9)Goodwin – 24 down to AA this year – scuffling – ???
    10) Severino -21 moved up to AA this year -holding his own – 2017?

    • Danny - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      Giolito may have an ERA in the mid 4s, but he has looked good. His K/9 rate is well over 10.

      • pdowdy83 - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:47 PM

        His K Rate is 12.55 and his walk rate is 1.91. And he is doing that at about 2 years under the league average for age. I would say he is holding his own.

    • jd - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:57 PM

      pdowdy83 and Danny,

      Fair points. He’s getting hit a bit (38 hits in 33 innings) but BABIP is a crazy .427. Not haven’t seen him pitch I can only look at the numbers but yes bhe’s holding his own.

      • pdowdy83 - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:07 PM

        Nice work on that list though. It’s cool to see player/level/eta stuff with big prospects.

  4. jd - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I don’t know if this means anything at all but Difo had one at bat in Harrisburg’s game this afternoon and then came out.

    • texnat1 - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:41 PM

      Interesting. Could it mean that RZim is headed to the DL?

      • jd - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:42 PM

        If he’s injured he should.

      • nats128 - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:53 PM

        Den Dekker was off yesterday. Difo with 1 AB today. You just hope nothin is wrong with either of them. Could be as you say related to Ryan Zimmerman or someone else.

        Den Dekker and Difo are temporary band aids as MW wont use either of them to do much more than last guy off the bench to pinch hit.

      • virginiascopist - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:56 PM

        Pinch hit and/or pinch run

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:11 PM

        Or it could be a trade. Hope not.

    • letswin3 - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:02 PM

      If he’s coming up, I like it. I have seen at least 3 perfect opportunities to insert him into recent games as a pinch runner late in games when another run was desperately needed. Think of guys like Zimmerman (the foot) and Ramos (just plain slow, plus a hammie waiting to happen) on first, with 2 out, when someone finds a gap … those 2 guys, right now, would never reach home plate. And please don’t tell me that we can’t replace Ramos (late in games) with the only backup catcher, because that would leave us exposed to Lobo getting hurt and having to leave the game …. more and more managers are doing exactly that these days, plus, we’re already losing the game, so what’s to lose? I would love to see Difo back up here. In the meantime, can we get a debate started over the pronunciation of Difo .. a couple of weeks ago, FP said he asked him and was told it’s Dah-fo???

      • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:17 PM

        Yes, I recall FP saying that he told him so. As in Willem, or Daniel.

        “a couple of weeks ago, FP said he asked him and was told it’s Dah-fo???”

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:41 PM

        I know who Willem Dafoe is. Who’s Daniel Dafoe?

      • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      • nataddicted - Jun 11, 2015 at 4:29 PM

        Well there you go. If you keep your eyes open you can learn at least one thing every day!

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:05 PM

        I KNOW who Daniel Defoe is.

  5. infideljack - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    I think some of our pitching problems are related to Ramos. I want to see more of Lobaton before Ramos takes his perenial trip to the DL.

  6. ptindc - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    From Bill Ladson @ 2:56PM:

    William Ladson ‏@washingnats 1m1 minute ago

    I was just informed that first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is going on the disabled list because of foot problems. #Nats #MLB #Nationals

    • Section 222 - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      I guess Ladson first revealed this. Wow.

      • ptindc - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        I feel like our NI commenters are always a step ahead on this stuff. Best community on the Nats and a clever bunch of posters here. Now we’ll see if Difo is the guy coming up.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    Nats place Ryan Zimmerman on the DL with plantar fasciitis and recall outfielder Matt den Dekker from Class AAA Syracuse.

    • pdowdy83 - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:10 PM

      This is a good decision. Rest should help some and he is definitely not currently helping the team.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:36 PM

        Right and he can get restarted in a rehab assignment. Call it the plantar fascitis but he was mired in a serious slump as I don’t buy that the foot was affecting his bat speed.

      • natsguy - Jun 11, 2015 at 5:50 PM


        I don’t buy it either as his bat speed has been going down for a long time. Since 2012.





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