Washington Nationals can cope without Ryan Zimmerman

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at Nationals Park on May 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at Nationals Park on May 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals first-baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list with a lingering back injury. But they should be able to cope without him.

After his back injury lingered for too long, the Washington Nationals placed Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list Saturday. However, given the performance of other players, they will be able to cope without the stalwart during his absence.

Zimmerman had been off to a sluggish start this season, with just a .217 batting average and .689 OPS. He was showing some signs of progress at the plate in recent games though. He had a .288 AVG, .883 OPS and four home runs in his last 17 games.

So the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the veteran first-baseman on a personal level. But as a team, the Nats aren’t exactly in a terrible position when having to fill the void that he leaves.

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The man tasked with filling that void is Matt Adams, who has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season. His .275 AVG and sparking 1.043 OPS have been one of the key reasons for the team’s offensive surge of late.

The way the playing time was trending anyway meant that Adams had eaten significantly into Ryan Zimmerman’s starts regardless. Adams seemed to be drawing the starts against righties, and Zimmerman a chance to face the lefties. Pretty much a standard platoon situation.

So in his absence, the Nats will keep trotting Adams out against right-handers, and the majority of lefites. Although when a tough leftie comes up, they may rest him. This would either push Howie Kendrick to first, or give Mark Reynolds a start.

So on the offensive side, they are set and won’t lose out on much without Zimmerman. Where they do miss out on having him is with the glove, as we’ve seen him adapt exceptionally well to first base. And although Adams has done well on defense so far, he’s not renowned for a great glove.

But if Zimmerman has to be away from the club for rehab at any point, the clubhouse will miss the veteran leadership he brings. Even more so when some of the other veterans are also on the DL recovering themselves.

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On the whole, the Nationals should be able to get by without Ryan Zimmerman, despite him being a key figure for the team on and off the field. After all, in their last fives games without him, they’ve won all five!

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