After Error, Zimmerman Practices Fielding
Ryan Zimmerman was the Washington Nationals' lone all-star, and he has shown why this season with a host of highlight-reel plays in the field. But he has also been prone to throwing errors, which is why he has recently focused on sharpening his work defensively.
Zimmerman is perhaps the Nationals' best fielder with his range at third base - he often snares drives at the foul line or charges in for balls near the mound - but frequently making plays on the move might have affected his delivery on more routine, third-to-first throws.
"You can get yourself in a position where you're throwing a lot balls on the run because that's the only thing you can do by the time you get to them, and he's outstanding at that," Jim Riggleman, Washington's interim manager, said before tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs. "But somewhere in there, he lost his arm slot on the basic play. The ball's not coming out of his hand as good as he knows it can and we know it can."
Zimmerman has committed 13 errors this season, many of which have resembled his airmailed throw Thursday that allowed the Cubs to score in the third inning. In an effort to return to a more natural throwing motion when fielding the ball, Zimmerman, along with the other infielders, practiced taking ground balls before tonight's game.
"He's got a real good arm," Riggleman said. "And we just want to display that a little more often, with a little more consistency, instead of being concerned about the arm slot and taking something off the ball and throwing it over there."
Olsen, Guzman Scratched
Pitcher Scott Olsen, scratched as the starter for tonight's game because of tightness in the left side of his back, is scheduled to make his next start Monday against the New York Mets. But that is subject to change pending the results of a doctor's exam he had yesterday.
"If Olsen couldn't go," Riggleman said, "then we would have to pull someone out of the bullpen or make a roster move."
Also scratched from the lineup was shortstop Cristian Guzman, who complained of tenderness in his feet. Guzman was said to have struggle struggled with sore feet in past seasons. He is considered day to day.
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