Rachel Levitin: Examining fallout of Zimmerman’s move

I didn’t want to have to echo someone else’s sentiments this morning, but I do find myself in agreement with MASNsports.com’s Pete Kerzel. While I concur with Kerzel when he says he understands why the Nationals are turning Ryan Zimmerman into a utility man - since that appears to be what they have an urgent need for - I, too, feel it’s more than a little strange.

Last week, I floated the thought of moving Zimmerman to second base. I’m still not completely convinced that it’s a bad idea, even if Zimmerman looked good in left field. His Tuesday night debut in that position went well and the Nats went on to beat the Phillies 7-0 with one of their main offensive guys back in the order. This is promising, but this is also the start of ripple effect for the current Nats roster regarding who plays where and when.

That’s exactly why Zimmerman is now being touted as a utility man. Because, once Harper returns, who’s going to play left field every day? Is there going to be a four-man outfield rotation? What’s manager Matt Williams and general manager Mike Rizzo’s plan here? So far, nobody really knows, except them and maybe their players, but only to a certain extent.

What I think the situation will ultimately yield is an interesting trade deadline scenario for Washington. I don’t want to name names yet regarding who I think could be chips in that massive game of poker that is the trade deadline, but I do think bringing back Zimmerman with the intent of him playing three positions causes a domino effect among the current defensive alignment in place.

I still think Zimmerman at second base makes the most sense for the 2014 season given who’s under team control and for how long, but since the Nats haven’t expressed any interest in having him play that spot, I guess his filling that spot will live in my imagination for now.

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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