Rehashing Zimmerman's struggles
So if you picked up the $.50/.$.35-edition this morning (or if it landed with that sweet thud on your front stoop), you saw our story on Ryan Zimmerman's slow start. This is obviously something we've gone over here time and again, and some of the items in the story (scouts' takes, etc.) you loyal Journal readers may have read before.
I realize there are other young would-be stars (Troy Tulowitzki, for example) off to slow starts. And I realize that there are other Nationals (hello, Austin Kearns) who are slumping as badly as Zimmerman. But I still think, for this team at this time, Zimmerman is an interesting case because so much is being asked of him, so much is expected -- now and in the future.
Here are Zimmerman's stats from the three Aprils of his young career:
2006: .242/.324/.411, 4 HR, 17 RBI
2007: .236/.288/.337, 1 HR, 8 RBI
2008 (with two games left): .222/.256/.324, 2 HR, 10 RBI
Let's look at Zimmerman month by month in his career:
March -- .125 batting average/.111 on-base percentage/.500 slugging percentage
April -- .236/.293/.348
May -- .272/.329/.498
June -- .260/.296/.446
July -- .322/.395/.480
August -- .288/.355/.553
September -- .304/.367/.467
October -- .250/.400/.375
Which of those stat lines do you think will most represent Zimmerman's career numbers in four or five years?
Think about it a bit. I'll give you my answer at the end of this post.
* John Lannan is speaking at Lafayette Elementary School in Northwest DC today as part of the Nationals' community outreach program. Lannan's 14 shutout innings and two wins last week weren't enough to win National Leauge player of the week honors, which went to Houston's Lance Berkman (four homers, 12 RBI). Not enough strikeouts? Not sure what else Lannan was supposed to do.
* Washington Post Wednesdays at the ballpark: Just noticed this promotion in this morning's paper. If you want to go to a Wednesday home game, grab the Post in the morning and rip off the masthead. That'll save you $5 on tickets priced at $24 or more. You need one masthead from that day's paper for each ticket you buy, I believe. (Plus, you might want to -- oh, I don't know -- read Nationals coverage in the dead-tree edition.)
* Six more games of the homestand -- two with the Braves, four with the Pirates. This will be another interesting attendance guess. It's cool out today, and the Braves have been here a bunch. They don't tend to draw very well either, and the Pirates certainly aren't a marquee team (sorry, Nate McLouth). Really strong crowds for the Mets and Cubs last week -- an average of 33,333 fans per game.
* Rehab assignments: Paul Lo Duca and Elijah Dukes were wiped out at Class A Potomac last night by rain. They'll try again tonight. Lo Duca is supposed to catch.
All right, back to Zimmerman. I'll take his line for August -- .288/.355/.553 -- even if I think the slugging percenage is a bit high. Let me know what you think.
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