Results tagged ‘ Ryan Zimmerman ’

Upton wants to stay with Rays, but wouldn’t mind playing with Zimmerman

Center fielder B.J. Upton told Craig Heist of WTOP in Washington that he would love to stay with the Rays, but would not be surprised if he was traded after the season.

Upton also said that he wouldn’t mind playing close to home and with his childhood friend, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The two grew up together playing Little League Baseball in Virginia.

“I would love to be [in Tampa],” Upton said. “But I can’t sit here and say there is not a possibility that I could be gone. Like I said, I love this organization. They have given me the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. They are obviously the team that drafted me. I would love to be here.

“If I’m not, playing in Washington would kind of be playing close to home. I just want to play anywhere. … Since you brought up Washington, it would be kind of cool to play close to home and definitely play with the guy in Ryan Zimmerman that I played with growing up. That would be kind of a cool thing. I’ve known him for a long time. … To be on the team with him and playing in the division [against Mets third baseman] David Wright, who I also grew up with, that would be a cool thing, but right now, my heart is with the Rays.”

Zimmerman made it known in late July that he would love to play with his Upton. There has been speculation for weeks that the Nationals have been interested in the right-handed-hitting Upton.

Back in July, Zimmerman said he did not talk to Upton about the possibility of playing close to home. During the offseason, however, Upton sometimes told Zimmerman how lucky he is to play close to home.

“It would be different and I think it would be fun, but when it comes down to it, the most important thing is to get guys who can help us win,” Zimmerman said. “B.J. is a very talented player. I think a lot of people still think he is going to improve a lot. He has all the tools. He is one of those guys who can run, throw and hit for power. He is a very gifted athlete.”

Teammates impressed with Strasburg

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg pitched five shutout innings in a 7-3 loss to the Dodgers at Nationals Park on Tuesday night. His outing came a year and three days after he had Tommy John surgery.

His teammates came away impressed with what they saw. Wilson Ramos caught Strasburg for the first time and Ramos said they were on the same page throughout the game.

“He was unbelievable — his pitches. Everything was working down in the zone,” Ramos said. “We were on the same page. He shook me off only two or three times. I tried to be on the same page with him and we were.”

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman noticed that Strasburg wasn’t throwing his curveball as much he did in the past.

“When you have a fastball like him, you can throw just fastballs,” Zimmerman said. “He is a talent. That surgery — it’s not like it’s career threatening anymore. If you put the time in and work hard like him, you have a real good chance to come back.”

The way Strasburg was pitching, shortstop Ian Desmond said he never would have known that Strasburg had Tommy John surgery.

“It looked like he didn’t skip a beat,” Desmond said. “Last year, when he got hurt, he did an interview and he said he was going to come back stronger and smarter. … He looked like he did.

“To be able to comeback with the adrenalin, with the media, with everything else and be able to hone in on the strike zone and do your job with reliability — unbelievable.”

Nats’ Espinosa getting pitches to hit

Danny Espinosa’s batting average continues to climb. Since being put in the second spot in the batting order during the second game of the doubleheader against the Pirates on Saturday, Espinosa is 6-for-15 [.400] and has seen his batting average go up to .247.

According to Espinosa the reason for his success of late is because he is hitting in front of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Espinosa said that that he is getting a lot of good pitches to hit.

“Obviously, I have great protection hitting in front of Zim,” Espinosa said “So they probably don’t want me driving the ball. I’m hitting good pitches with me hitting in front of him.”

Night at the Park with Zimmerman

The second annual “A Night at the Park” was held Thursday night at Nationals Park. The event was hosted by Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

The event helped raise money to find a treatment and cure for Multiple Sclerosis. There were $63,200 raised at the live auction, which included a trip to the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix and the US Open in New York.

During the live auction, Nationals reliever Todd Coffey, one of several teammates on hand, donated $2,200 and won a trip to the Masters Tournament. He received two single-day passes to next year’s Wednesday’s practice round and Par 3 tournament.

There was also a silent auction. People at the event had a chance to acquire Zimmerman’s jersey, Buster Posey’s Rookie of the Year bat, a Shaquille O’Neal-signed basketball and a signed football signed by Eli and Payton Manning.

“We have some interesting things,” Zimmerman said. “There were some great live auction items this year. It’s just going to get better and better each year. Last year was kind of a stepping stone. We learned from it and it was great last year. It shaping up to be a lot better.”

Coffey had his eyes on a framed photo of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. He also wanted to buy a framed picture of singer Justin Bieber for his daughter. It’s not known if Coffey was able to obtain the pictures.

“There are several things I’m looking at right now,” Coffey said. “I’m out there keeping my eye on it — making sure I’m the only bid so I could win,” Coffey said before the auction closed at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The event also feature a special performance from country music star Rodney Atkins, who has a brother-in-law with MS, according to Zimmerman. Atkins sung the fan favorites such as “Cleaning the gun,” “Farmer’s Daughter” and “Watching You.”

“It means a lot to my family that Rodney comes out here and does this,” Zimmerman said.

Nationals Park was transformed into an intimate concert hall for 1,000 guests. A custom stage was built on the outside concourse of the Presidents’ Club with attendees sitting in the Diamond Club seats.

MS is a disease close to Ryan’s heart. In 1995, his mother Cheryl was diagnosed with MS, a chronic and unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system.

As President of the ziMS Foundation, which he founded in 2006, Zimmerman is excited to give back to his community and find a cure for this debilitating disease. The 2010 “A Night At The Park” raised roughly $200,000 for the ziMS Foundation

“It’s personal with my mom having it,” Zimmerman said. “It’s good to be able to give back. So many people have helped me get where I am now. This is not only for my Mom, we have met a number of families and people who have been affected by this disease. For me to be able to have platform and the resources to give back just a little bit is the least I could do.”

Zimmerman to have rehab assignment in Syracuse

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7:00 PM.

The plan is for Zimmerman to play Saturday and Sunday, take the day off Monday and then be taken off the disabled list before the Nationals play against the Cardinals on Tuesday at Nationals Park.

Zimmerman was a combined 6-for-12 (.500) with two RBIs in rehab stint games for Class-A Hagerstown and Class-A Potomac. Zimmerman has been recovering from a torn abdominal muscle and has not appeared in a Major League game since April 9. He underwent surgery on May 3.

Zimmerman has played in eight games with the Nationals this season. He is 10-for-28 [.357] with one home run and four RBIs.

Zimmerman understands Rendon selection

After the Nationals selected third baseman Anthony Rendon with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the question was, what position will he play, since the team already have a third baseman for years to come in Ryan Zimmerman?

There is a strong possibility that Rendon could be switched to second or first base, but the Nationals have not determined their plans.

After playing his second rehab game Monday, Zimmerman said he understood why the Nationals selected a player who plays the same position as he does.

“I better shape up, huh?” Zimmerman asked jokingly. “Obviously the point of the draft is to take the best player available. Whether he’s a shortstop and you have Jose Reyes or he’s a first baseman and you have Albert Pujols, if that’s the best guy, you take him. Talent plays in the big leagues. We’ll see, but I’m sure they have a plan.”

Zimmerman, who is on the disabled list because of an abdominal strain, is currently on a rehab assignment. On Monday, he played for Class A Potomac and went 2-for-3 with a double.

The Nationals are hoping that Zimmerman can be activated from the DL when the Nationals play the Cardinals starting June 14th at Nationals Park.

Hairston: Nats need Zimmerman

The Nationals’ offense has been missing in action all season. Entering Sunday’s game against the D-backs, Washington has a .231 batting average, which ranks 28th in the Major Leagues and is the No. 1 reason its in fifth place, nine games behind the Phillies in the National League East.

Infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. doesn’t have to think twice as to why the Nationals haven’t been able to hit on a consistent basis. They miss third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has not played in a Major League game since April 9 because of an abdominal strain.

The Nationals are hoping Zimmerman can be activated from the disabled list during the next homestand, which starts June 14th against the Cardinals at Nationals Park.

With Zimmerman back, it would mean Jayson Werth would have protection in the lineup. Manager Jim Riggleman plans to hit Werth second and Zimmerman third.

“When you are missing your best player, that can kind of hurt you a little bit,’ Hairston said. “[Zimmerman] definitely takes the pressure off the hitters. Having that big guy in the lineup really makes a difference. … At the same time, we don’t have him. We just have to find a way to keep scrapping.”

Once Zimmerman returns to the lineup, Hairston will be back on the bench. Hairston has been the primary third baseman during Zimmerman’s absence.

It remains to be seen if Hairston returns to the outfield. Hairston originally signed with the Nationals to platoon with Rick Ankiel in center field.

Nats’ Zimmerman ready for rehab assignment

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, on the disabled list because of an abdominal strain, played in his second extended Spring Training game, playing four innings and going 0-for-4.

After the game, Zimmerman went home to Washington DC and will begin a rehab assignment for Class A Hagerstown starting Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET. The news means that Zimmerman will be a teammate of outfielder Bryce Harper for a few games.

Zimmerman has missed more than a month because of the abdominal problems. He is hoping to return to the Nationals during their next homestand, which starts June 14th against the Cardinals.

Zimmerman eyes Tulowitzki-type contract

A few days after Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki agreed to a seven-year contract extension worth $134 million, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said Thursday he would love to sign a similar extension with the Nationals.

However, Zimmerman, who has three years left on a five-year, $45 million contract, said he wants to make sure the Nationals are winning on a consistent basis before considering such a deal. He was not happy that former teammate Adam Dunn agreed to terms with the White Sox.

“[Signing an extension] is something I would want,” Zimmerman said. “I made it clear that I wouldn’t mind playing in Washington for the rest of my career. Obviously, we need to do something to prove that we are going to try win championships here for the next 10 years. I have no doubt that the front office will do that. It’s one of the reasons I signed the first deal. It’s one reason I would sign a deal like Tulo signed.”

Zimmerman, 26, and Tulowitzki were selected fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and have become close friends over the years.

“I’m really happy for Tulo,” Zimmerman said. “We have known each other since college. We played on Team USA together, we were drafted the same year and we are pretty close friends. He is recognized as the best shortstop the last two years.

“It’s funny the deal happened. As soon as it happened, people ask me if it’s going to happen to me. We has similar careers, the numbers are almost identical for our careers. If you ask me if I would take a similar deal, I would say 99.9 percent that I would take that deal.”           

Zimmerman sad to see Dunn leave Nationals

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said Thursday that he is happy for first baseman Adam Dunn, who agreed to a four-year deal with the White Sox. However, Zimmerman acknowledged that he is concerned about the Nationals. How are they going replace Dunn in the lineup?

It was Dunn who protected Zimmermann in the lineup. Zimmerman will be the first to say that he was able to win the Silver Slugger Award the last two seasons because Dunn was hitting behind him in the lineup.

“I’m very concerned. I think these are supposed to be the years we take a step forward and become more competitive,” Zimmerman said via phone. “We are supposed to be becoming a team that goes out and gets more free agents. To not be able to sign the best free agent that was on your team to begin with is tough. … It’s going to be hard to replace someone [like Dunn] that is in the middle of the order. I hope — just like everyone hopes – that the front office has a plan in place in the next week or two when all this stuff goes on. Hopefully, this will all makes sense.”

While no one questioned Dunn’s ability as a hitter, there were questions about his defense. People in the Nationals’ front office believed he was a defensive liability, but Zimmermann argues that that Dunn was better than what people believed. Zimmerman indicated that Dunn improved at first base by the second half of the 2010 season.

“Adam is the most one of the most underrated players in the game,” Zimmerman said. “Defensively, I think a lot of people think back to when he was in the outfield. He will be the first to tell you that he wasn’t a very good outfielder. He moved to first. I think the second half of last year he started to get better.

“My biggest comparison is Ryan Howard, who I love to death, but Ryan Howard had one more error than Adam Dunn last year, You never hear anyone talk about Ryan Howard’s defense. If you put Adam Dunn in the Phillies lineup, his offense is going to be as good as his. All of a sudden, you have the same player and Ryan Howard makes $25 million a year.”

Zimmerman is aware that the Nationals have a plan in place, trying to replace Dunn with free agents such as Carlos Pena or Adam LaRoche. They could even trade for a first baseman like James Loney. But Zimmerman still wonders if it was worth letting Dunn sign with the White Sox.

“I think myself, including the fans and a lot of other people, are wondering and hoping that the plan is there,” Zimmerman said. “If it’s not there, this is something we are going to look back on and think, ‘Why didn’t we take care of [Dunn]?’ “:
                       

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