Rachel Levitin: Should Nats experiment with Zimmerman at second?

Tuesday night’s rainout that left a game postponed between the Nationals and Miami Marlins gave a lackluster D.C. offense a night off from its recent mediocrity. No matter the combination manager Matt Williams attempts to string together this season, a list of injuries to key pieces of the Nats’ offensive puzzle is plaguing this team.

June is days away, the starting rotation is down a solid lefty with Gio Gonzalez on the disabled list and there’s no set timeline regarding third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. There are rumblings of Zimmerman playing the outfield upon his imminent return. The will-he-or-won’t-he should be answered soon enough, but what would that defensive change mean for the rest of the starting nine?

It hasn’t happened yet, nor has it been confirmed as to what will happen next, but where would Zimmerman play if he went to the outfield? What would that mean for Denard Span and Jayson Werth, who aren’t likely to be switched out? Bryce Harper might be on the disabled list at the moment, but he rounds out Washington’s starting three for outfield.

Call it far-fetched, and maybe it is, but what if Zimmerman played a little second base? If Zimmerman can get his swing back and helps to round out a starting nine that includes the best possible bats currently available via the 25-man roster, second base might just be a perfect fit.<

If Zimmerman moved to second base, his mandatory, routine toss to first wouldn’t be as taxing on his shoulder as the quick-fire throw from third. It could actually help save his arm in the long run and help ensure a lengthier career.

He’s got a solid glove and, on his better days, a strong bat. Why not give him a shot at second base and see how that pans out? Especially with Adam LaRoche back at first base for the moment, Zimmerman at second could be a nice experiment.

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC. Follow her on Twitter: @RHLevitin. She will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation’s capital as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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