Washington Nationals: Opening Day 2017 Roster Projection
By Ricky Keeler
1B Ryan Zimmerman
The question with Zimmerman heading into the 2017 season is how healthy he will be for the duration of the season. While he played in over 100 games last season for the first time since 2013, he had a negative WAR (-1.1) for the first time in his 12-year career.
Now, the Washington Nationals did bring in Adam Lind for some insurance off the bench at first base. With that being said, the Lind signing doesn’t necessarily mean Zimmerman will play next. In fact, as seen last year, Baker shows a lot of trust in his veterans to get the job done.
Zimmerman was one of those players who put the ball in play a ton last season, but didn’t have much luck as he didn’t make a lot of fly ball contact. According to Fangraphs, he only hit a flyball 34.7% of the time last season, which was his lowest percentage since that aforementioned 2013 campaign.
While five games is a small sample size, Zimmerman might’ve found something in that NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 6-for-17 in that series with a pair of doubles and a pair of RBI’s.
Baker might play it cautious with Zimmerman this spring in terms of how much playing time he gets. Right now, the only thing fans should be worried about with Zimmerman this spring is whether or not he makes it to Opening Day healthy and ready to go. Then, everyone will find out whether or not he can bounce back.