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Healthy Zim will change throwing motion

Feb 15, 2013, 9:48 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — His right shoulder nearly 100 percent following offseason surgery, Ryan Zimmerman plans to tweak his throwing mechanics this spring, going back to a more natural motion now that he’s no longer restricted.

Davey Johnson’s reaction upon learning that news from his star third baseman: “Hallelujah.”

“That sounds great to me,” the Nationals manager said. “I want [him] to do things naturally and not think them through.”

Zimmerman’s awkward mechanics — they seemed more like a series of gears shifting into place rather than one fluid motion — led to 19 errors last season, 12 of them on throws, and became a source of frustration for him.

“Obviously, sometimes it didn’t look so good,” he said. “It was probably the first time I ever felt uncomfortable on a baseball field at any time. But we battled through it. The training staff and all those guys did a great job helping me get through. Having that in the past and being able to work now, kind of starting fresh, it’s refreshing.”
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  1. baseballswami - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Some days it looked like his body just would not do what he asked it to do. I can't wait to watch a veteran, motivated, healthy Zim play this season. He was good when he was not healthy. Plays of the Week look out!

  2. sjm308 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Swami – agreed – I am guessing that each throw probably came with some sort of pain.Thanks to Tony & MicheleS and others. I hate being so backward with technology but I am learning.

  3. baseballswami - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Sjm, me, too with the techie stuff. Auto- correct is the worst. I think Zim was not only in pain, but sometimes the joint would not move. Must have been terrifying for him down the stretch not being able to trust it.

  4. LoveDaNats - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Is it my imagination? I could swear that the discussion over Zim changing his throwing mechanics last season was to protect his abdominal muscles after his muscle tear. I thought he was working on that new throwing motion while still denying his shoulder was bothering him. Does anyone remember anything like that?

  5. sjm308 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Swami – to use auto-correct, you have to have an electronic device made sometime after 2005 I am guessing. Since my phone was purchased before then it barely lets me answer calls much less type on it. All of my kids and even my spousal equivalent have these iphones which talk to you, take pictures and its like a miniature computer. I will stick to this wonderful laptop where I can at least make out the screen.

  6. Section 222 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Ok, this is what I hate about Spring Training. So much feel good stuff. Even when a guy is coming off an injury and surgery, everything looks good, he's going to be fine, yada yada yada. I prefer to wait until someone actually sees him whip the ball across the diamond like at least 95% of the guys who play third base in MLB can do before pronouncing him back to normal. Otherwise, he's a great a hitter (hopefully cleanup this year behind Harp) and our 1B of the future.

  7. baseballswami - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Apparently there is a deal with JZim, avoiding arbitration. No details yet.

  8. MicheleS - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    222.. Best Shape of there Lives!!!!

  9. Gonat - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    baseballswami said… Apparently there is a deal with JZim, avoiding arbitration. No details yet. February 15, 2013 5:39 PM _________________________________Great news!

  10. JD - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Gonat, Let's hope it's the long term deal we have all been hoping for.

  11. Steady Eddie - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    JD – No, one year deal for now. That's what JZimm said was going to happen first in any case, before he would consider a long-term offer.

  12. baseballswami - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I am seeing on twitter that it 's only one year. But I did hear all the parties say that had to happen first. No numbers- probably split the difference.

  13. Steady Eddie - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Yaaah, swami — I think we owe each other one.You for the one year and "had to happen first", me for the "no dollar amount"?

  14. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Even playing hurt, Zim was a stud last year. A healthy Zim, this year, hitting behind Werth and Harp, and ahead of La Roche and Desi, would be the best possible news to come out of ST for the Nats. And he'd be right up there for a gold-glove at 3rd, too.For once, I'd like to see Zim get through another year, while still in his prime, without being hampered by injury, just to see what he could really do.

  15. baseballswami - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Steady- great minds always think alike!!! And Lah—– can you even imagine what a stud Zim could be this year? You know he has been frustrated. Let it fly, Zim!!!

  16. natsfan1a - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Carrying forward, for sjm:natsfan1a said… sjm, I don't have a Tweeter either, and my phone is of the not-so-smart variety. What I do is bookmark the "Tweeter home pages" of Mark and other beat writers and navigate to them that way. Here's the one for Mark: February 15, 2013 6:18 PM

  17. baseballswami - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    My phone is smart- me…… Not so much.

  18. natsfan1a - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I also seem to recall seeing something to that effect.LoveDaNats said… Is it my imagination? I could swear that the discussion over Zim changing his throwing mechanics last season was to protect his abdominal muscles after his muscle tear. I thought he was working on that new throwing motion while still denying his shoulder was bothering him. Does anyone remember anything like that? February 15, 2013 5:17 PM

  19. Steady Eddie - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Laddie — thanks for returning the conversation to Zim. I've seen a couple of the fantasy mags also speculate that this could be a career year for him. If he stays healthy.Though the best part of the JZimm signing — regardless of whether he or Desi now does a long-term deal — is that we enter ST with no salary distractions or edge of disagreement to create even under-the-surface tensions between the team and management, or within the team. All clear to focus on "World Series or bust"!

  20. D'Gourds - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Love Da Nats–You are right. The original story was the shoulder issue affected his swing but had nothing to do with his throwing problems. It was obvious there was something wrong. I'm still not convinced the problem is over by any means. Seeing is beleiving. I think there is a mental component to the throwing problems (the Yips). I think that is why Rizzo was so adamant that ALR was only given two years so he could move Zim to 1B and Rendon to 3B in the future.

  21. Tony - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Zimmerman's story is the same as Detwiler's. They thought he would have problems if he kept throwing the way he always had since he started playing ball. So they made him change his mechanics. It didn't go well. First he got the yips, then he got hurt – which didn't help with the yips. So now that he's healed, they're letting him go back to his original mechanics, the ones that felt natural to him and always worked.I'm surprised the geniuses here aren't clamoring for them to fire the mechanics changers on the coaching/training staff.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Go back to St. Claire on Det.

  23. baseballswami - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Having ALR at first is huge. No one has to be perfect to get the out.

  24. JaneB - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    I remember Zimm getting cortisone shots for the shoulder and being awesome afterwards. Maybe now we get all awesome, no drugs. It would be great if he were 100% this whole season.

  25. Tony - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Still say having Morse at first instead of ALR would have been better. Let's see what their respective numbers look like at the end of the year.

  26. Tony - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Zimm still wasn't awesome with the throws after the cortisone shots. They were still making him use the new mechanics, which he was never comfortable with. Pain had nothing to do with it.

  27. baseballswami - Feb 16, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    He could hit, but throwing was painful, stiff and unpredictable. Hope they brought lots of bubble wrap to Viera!

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Man, Tony….your inner Feel Wood really comes through with the MM post.

  29. BigCat - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    I wish Zim would just go back to throwing underhand to first. He is very comfortable doing this and did it his first few seasons. While it looks scary, the throws are normally right on the moneyI think the Nats replay game on tonight is the Zim grand slam walk off. At least thats what Manassas Nats Fan says and he is rarely wrong

  30. sjm308 - Feb 16, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    NatsJack – I was thinking the same thing as I read Tony wishing for Morse

  31. Section 222 - Feb 16, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    You guys just figured out that Tony is Feel Wood?

  32. Rabbit34 - Feb 16, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Zimmerman believes he will be well. Johnson believes he'll be well. I'll believe it when I see it.

  33. ehay2k - Feb 16, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    lol rabbit, i'll believe THAT when I see it. 😉



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