Ryan Zimmerman, continue to earn that contract
Ryan Zimmerman was dawned the Nationals franchise player before even wore the clubs jersey. At the age of 20 he broke into the big leagues and batted .397 through 20 games, affirming to Nationals fans that he would be the first homegrown star on this team.
The rest was history as Zimmerman went on to have a monster rookie season, batting .287 with 20 homers and 110 RBI, he finished only second to Hanley Ramirez in Rookie-of-the-Year voting.
It was something to be excited about going into the future, and talks for a long-term contract for the hot corner were already underway.
Three years later Zimmerman was still in his rookie contract and really hadn’t improved at the rate everyone had hoped. Some started to question whether the slugger deserved a big deal or if the Nationals should wait and see what he does in his fourth full, and usually decisive season.
The Nats decided to give him Zimmerman a five year, $45 million dollar contract through 2013 under the hope that he would continue to develop and lead this team to prominence.
Zimmerman rewarded the Nats with an extremely strong first two months, which saw him bat well over .300 with an exciting 30 game hit streak.
The slugger however has struggled in June and July batting only .243 with 3 homers and 17 RBI.
The Nationals need their leader and franchise player to regain the form he showed in the first two months. If Zimmerman wants to be the All-Star he was selected, and paid to be, he needs to give us consistency.
Zimmerman also needs to fix his throwing problems. Once described by Baseball America as the next Brooks Robinson, Zimmerman has had 12 errors already this season. Oddly enough, most of those errors have been throwing.
It’s a shame Zimmerman couldn’t use the all-star break to take some time and refocus, but hopefully he can bring his average back up and keep his throws on line.
Nats young starters, turn the corner.
The Nationals young pitchers struggled early in the season upon their call ups. This was to be expected, young starting pitchers have the biggest adjustment periods out of all young players and unfortunately for them they are under the biggest microscope.
Around mid-June however, both Craig Stammen and Jordan Zimmermann seemed to find their delivery.
Sammen’s breakout game came June 18th at Yankee Stadium, where he pitched six and a third shut out innings, leading to the first ever shut out in the new house-that-Ruth-built.
Zimmerman’s came against Tampa, where he only allowed one run, a solo homer, in five strong innings.
Since, both have put up almost nothing but quality starts. Most runs being scored on the young hurlers are coming in innings where they simply make youthful mistakes. The two starters abilities are unquestionable; right now it is all just a matter of consistency.
Consistency is the only thing that separates the Nationals from having three John Lannan’s in the second half. If Zimmermann and Stammen can just bear down and continue to produce good outings, the National’s win total will surely go up.