Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Zimmerman wins Silver Slugger

By Dave Sheinin

Awarded his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award on Thursday as the best-hitting third baseman in the Nationals League, Ryan Zimmerman used that platform to lobby once again for the Washington Nationals to retain first baseman Adam Dunn, the slugger whose presence behind him in the Nationals' lineup undoubtedly contributed to Zimmerman's excellent 2010 season.

"As much as this award was mine," Zimmerman said in a conference call with reporters following the announcement, "having those guys behind me [was] important. Having Adam come back needs to be a big priority for our team -- for everyone, but it obviously helps me out a lot."

Zimmerman's Silver Slugger came one day after he was denied a second straight Gold Glove for defense by Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen

Zimmerman, 26, led all full-time NL third basemen in batting average (.307), on-base percentage (.388) and OPS (.899) -- all of which also represented career-highs. His primary competition for the Silver Slugger was New York's David Wright, a two-time winner who is also Zimmerman's close friend and former youth-league teammate in the Hampton Roads area. Partly because Zimmerman missed 20 games this season with various ailments, Wright topped him in homers, RBI, hits and runs.

Zimmerman and outfielder Alfonso Soriano (2006) remain the only Nationals players honored with Silver Slugger Awards since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005. Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez won one in 2004, when the franchise still played in Montreal.

Zimmerman's offensive numbers shot up significantly in 2009, his first season hitting in front of Dunn in the lineup, and improved slightly in 2010. In Zimmerman's view, the addition of Dunn and his increased production were not coincidental.

"It changes when [teams] do and don't pitch to me," Zimmerman said. "When there's runners in scoring position, if they're going to pitch around me, they have Adam to deal with. [ellipses] It absolutely helps."

Dunn became a free agent this week, and while the Nationals have said they are interested in re-signing him, they are also exploring other options for first base in 2011 and beyond.

By Dave Sheinin  | November 11, 2010; 6:02 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reliever Bisenius opts for free agency
Next: Nationals sign reliever Tim Wood

Comments

Congratulations to Ryan. He earned it.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 11, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Dave -- are you going to tell us that Dunn is at least partially responsible for Zim's hitting some career highs, or does Adam only factor in on the negative side of the Zim award contention ledger with his ugly glove pushing Zim's fiedling percentage down?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 11, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I cheer for Zimmerman half heartedly today.

Alas, Pete Orr has signed with the Phillies. Its a sad day in Natstown (or at least for me).

Watching Orr 'play' SS in 2008 is one of my all time Nats highlights.

ORR!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 11, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I cheer for Zimmerman half heartedly today.

Alas, Pete Orr has signed with the Phillies. Its a sad day in Natstown (or at least for me).

Watching Orr 'play' SS in 2008 is one of my all time Nats highlights.

ORR!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 11, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

It's a real shame that Zimmerman won this award, because had he lost we would have been entertained by Sheinin's explanation that it was all because of Adam Dunn.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 11, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

unuorf1 -- dead on! - had Wright taken it, DS would be whining about how the voters must have relied on less "advanced metrics" such as Runs, RBI, SB's, HR's, extra base hits and the like. Wright's reputation as a high caliber offensive performer and Adam stinking it up at 1B would be the reasons Zim fell short.

I never realized DS was such a Homer. "Partly because Zimmerman missed 20 games this season with various ailments, Wright topped him in homers, RBI, hits and runs." -- So, DS pretty much presumes there's no chance that Zim would have played poorly over those 20 games he missed, bringing his OPS and BA down and not distinguishing himself in Runs or RBI.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 11, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Are you saying, dfh, that those 20 missed games had no bearing whatsoever on the difference between Wright's and Zim's numbers? The line you quoted actually begins with the words, "Partly because..." To me, this means that that 20 game block was one factor in the difference between Wright and Zim in those categories, not that it was the ONLY factor. Unless you wish to posit that Zimmerman would have hit no home runs, would neither have driven in nor scored any runs, and wouldn't have hit safely in any of the games he missed, than those 20 games DID play a part in that discrepancy.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 12, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, should say, "then," in that second to last line.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 12, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Let's say your a pitcher facing RZ with RISP...2nd & 3rd base. You know the Donk hits .209 with RISP and K's 200 times a year. Watcha gonna do, give RZ something good to hit?

The Lerners are comfy with losing, Dunn is comfy with losing (having never played on a winning team), and now RZ is comfy with losing too...as long as his buddy gets paid.

What a franchise.

Posted by: howjensen | November 12, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Good job MR. Z

I'm glad i don't like baseball the way some do in this country.

Posted by: shamken | November 12, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Cav83 -- I am saying that those 20 missed games are 20 missed games. I posit that Zim DID hit no HR's nor did he score any runs in the 20 games he did not play in. The Silver Slugger is not an award based on a per game ratio of stats. DS pretty much says that Zim would have out paced Wright in counting stats had he played more, which may be true, but could not Zim have stunk it up or maybe even just reverted to something closer to his norm (instead of career highs) and maybe the race would have not been won by Zim? In any event it is pure speculation and DS's statement gives Zim the benefit of the doubt that he does not deserve for having been healthy enough to play. The use of "partly because" does not save the sentence from being homerish.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 12, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Great for Zimmerman to win the award. I think it's even greater that he lobbied the Nationals to re-sign Adam Dunn. I'm a big Nats fan, but the owners have made it hard for me to continue being one. They are more interested in making money than having a competitive team.

The real reason the Nats are not signing Dunn is the owners don't want to spend the money for what he's worth. Dunn is worth a whole lot, as Zimmerman pointed out.

Also, Dunn has only played first base one season; a new position is hard to learn. Dunn did very well, for his first season, as a first baseman, and he continued to improve, throughout the season. Dunn is the best value, as far as money for productivity, for the first basemen who are available.

The Nats needed to score more runs, last season. Dunn is a huge help, as Zimmerman pointed out, in doing that. For the sake of the Nats, I hope the owners stop being such cheapskates and sign Dunn. The GM, who is speaking for the owners, can give all the excuses he wants, like there are other prospects to sign, but Dunn wants to be with the Nats. Not many high-quality free agents do; they would rather be on a contending team and have a chance to get a World Series ring. Dunn wants to stay here. I really hope the owners will open their tight wallet and let him.

As Zimmerman said, the team needs him. When you have "the voice of the franchise" saying that, it's powerful. I think it also means that Zimmerman probably won't stay, with the Nats, when his contract expires, if the Nats don't sign Dunn. Zimmerman is starting to realize the chinciness of the owners; that's why he advocated, for signing Dunn. He shouldn't have to do this, but the owners' priority is making money, not fielding a competitive team.

Too bad, we, the fans, can't decide whether or not to keep the owners. If I could, they would have been long gone.

Posted by: mcjr | November 12, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Great for Zimmerman to win the award. I think it's even greater that he lobbied the Nationals to re-sign Adam Dunn. I'm a big Nats fan, but the owners have made it hard for me to continue being one. They are more interested in making money than having a competitive team.

The real reason the Nats are not signing Dunn is the owners don't want to spend the money for what he's worth. Dunn is worth a whole lot, as Zimmerman pointed out.

Also, Dunn has only played first base one season; a new position is hard to learn. Dunn did very well, for his first season, as a first baseman, and he continued to improve, throughout the season. Dunn is the best value, as far as money for productivity, for the first basemen who are available.

The Nats needed to score more runs, last season. Dunn is a huge help, as Zimmerman pointed out, in doing that. For the sake of the Nats, I hope the owners stop being such cheapskates and sign Dunn. The GM, who is speaking for the owners, can give all the excuses he wants, like there are other prospects to sign, but Dunn wants to be with the Nats. Not many high-quality free agents do; they would rather be on a contending team and have a chance to get a World Series ring. Dunn wants to stay here. I really hope the owners will open their tight wallet and let him.

As Zimmerman said, the team needs him. When you have "the voice of the franchise" saying that, it's powerful. I think it also means that Zimmerman probably won't stay, with the Nats, when his contract expires, if the Nats don't sign Dunn. Zimmerman is starting to realize the chinciness of the owners; that's why he advocated, for signing Dunn. He shouldn't have to do this, but the owners' priority is making money, not fielding a competitive team.

Too bad, we, the fans, can't decide whether or not to keep the owners. If I could, they would have been long gone.

Posted by: mcjr | November 12, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Dave -- nice re-write on the piece to give Dunn some credit.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 12, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

dfh--I guess we'll just agree to disagree on the homerish-ness of the statement.

I understand what you mean about regressing to his averages, but if that is the case, than you could also say that his RBI, hit and home run numbers are higher by his per game avg x 20.

It really just doesn't seem like any of the bloggers, be it Sheinin or Kilgore or any other guest blogger, can catch a break on here. I think that statement is actually pretty factual--Wright did out "number" Zim in all of those categories, in part, because Zim missed those games. If you wish to attack the Silver Slugger voters, then do so. It just seems to me to be a bit much to attack Sheinin for making a factual comment.

As I said, the comments about the gold glove were a bit much, and I agree with you there. I just think that this is a different situation.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 12, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

>Too bad, we, the fans, can't decide whether or not to keep the owners. If I could, they would have been long gone.

Posted by: mcjr

You're new here, aren't you? Well, if the Nats were really all that concerned about getting a great fielding first baseman 'because that's what contenders have', then they wouldn't be letting Desmond kick the ball all over the place at the most important defensive position on the field. That whole ruse about SF and 'pitching and defense wins championships' - they would have been lagging in 3rd place the way they have the last 5 years unless they had picked up Huff, Uribe, Renteria and Ross. And had Posey come up. Top-notch starters are great for going deep into the playoffs, everybody wishes they had them, but if you want to GET to the playoffs, you still need to score some runs. The Nats are so far from admitting that they'll probably never get around to it because it costs money like you say. The whole world knows what's going on with this franchise. I personally don't think that Rizzo has any idea how to put a roster together. That's the other elephant in the room.

Posted by: Brue | November 12, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

See, what Zimm doesn't appreciate is that Adam is not really an offensive threat and he's never played for a winner. Zimm just doesn't know as much about the game as he should And he definitely caught a break with the injured days off cause there is no doubt he would have played so badly that they would have taken some of his homeruns down.

Posted by: markfromark | November 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Imagine! Adam Dunn was the one and only reason the teams he previously played for didn't have winning records. It wasn't the pitching or defense. It wasn't the managing. It wasn't anything but Adam Dunn. Using that logic, the Nats will instantly become winners if he doesn't come back. Yep.

Posted by: fpcsteve | November 12, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Zim! And I hope the owners listen to him.

I don't get the negativity of some commenters here regarding the blog posts. Some folks complain when there isn't enough coverage, then complain about the content when there is. With a nod to Honest Abe, I guess you just can't please some of the people any of the time.

In this down time of the year, I am just happy to get some posts. Don't always agree with them, but always enjoy getting them.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 12, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

av83 -- points well made. I read the DS stuff moe broadly than I should have. You are right. Thanks

Posted by: dfh21 | November 12, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"I personally don't think that Rizzo has any idea how to put a roster together. That's the other elephant in the room."

Well said. What I heard from Phil Woods (?) on the Tom Davis MASN show last Saturday is that Rizzo has his minions putting out the line that Dunn is not competitive enough for the Nats; he takes losses too easily; seems not to care.

Boy, this is Dan Snyder territory. I also agree that Zimmerman will have had it by the time he's eligible for free agency and by then the Nats probably will be bad mouthing Zimm, too.

Posted by: JohnRDC | November 12, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I think it's too early to make any decision about Rizzo. Between the Lerners and Stan K, we have no idea how much his hands have been tied.
Did he try and trade Dunn in July? Maybe.
Did someone above him veto the deal? Maybe.

Based on the summer draft and subsequent signings, it could be that Rizzo is making progress with the powers above him.

Hard to say for sure either way.

One specific concern is that Rizzo seems too comfortable with Nyjer in CF and batting leadoff. He seems to be betting a lot on Nyjer. Because whether we have Dunn or not, if we get nothing from the top of our order like we did most of last year, it kinda doesn't matter who's hitting 3 & 4.

Posted by: Sunderland | November 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland, you wonder if Rizzo and the powers that be were so enamored by Morgan's season two years ago that they are writing last season off as an abberation; personally, I've never been sold on Morgan. Unfortuantely, he's one thing Rizzo does like; he's signed on the cheap.

As for Dunn, debate on whether we should sign him or not is moot until he leaves and we see who replaces him. Sure, his towering HRs are cool, but it's not like he's a perrenial allstar who is without peer.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 12, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and according to MLB trade rumors...

Nationals Interested In Bloomquist, Miles, Cairo

If Kennedy had not played for us last year he'd be on that list too.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 12, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe at this point, with arb offers not going out yet, it makes sense for Rizzo to be thinking about the utility and bench guys, but I gotta hope that there's a lot more to be excited about on Nats hot stove than Willie Bloomquist.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 12, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Got a call from a Nats season tickets rep today. Told them I was just tired of the owner's unwillingness to invest in this team (citing failure to sign Dunn as most distressing evidence of cheapness) and was tired of them expecting me to pay to watch a poor product while they retire their debt and play in a publicly built stadium. Not that what I said matters, of course. The owners saw the standing ovation given Dunn when they didn't trade him (which fans mistakenly assumed meant they wanted to sign him) and yet they refused to offer more than a 2 year contract when 3 would (if Boz is right) have secured him in July. I will still go to some games next year, because I love the game, but just no longer see why I should shell out for ST for these bozo owners.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 12, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

SCNats -- I think that Dunn is a guy without peer. Well, in terms of guys reasonably available on the market that is. 40 HR/100 RBI guys are very rare, add in his relative young age, good health, no drama personality, improving skills in BA and with the glove (as bad as he was, others were worse), add it all up and he's basically in a league of his own in 2010. He is not Pujols or Gonzalez, who are not reasonably available, but he is pretty damn close to being a Fielder or Howard -- also not avialble -- and he is better than Pena, Konerko, Berkman and LaRoche by a long shot.

If it takes something north of $50M to ink him, the Nats should jump at it. 3 years at $15-16M per with an option year at $16-18 with a $5M buy out? If that gets Dunn (though it may very likely take more with big market clubs in on him and the premium on power being what it is), that is a bargain for the Nats.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 12, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

@SCNatsFan: MLBTradeRumors makes for good lunchtime reading, but that's about all it's worth, imo. They serve as a clearinghouse for all the baseball-related stuff that gets floated by both the nation-wide columnists & 'beat' writers, that's all; It's just throwing stuff against a single wall & hoping that 10% of it sticks.

How much trust do you really put in what guys like Ladson, Olney, Rosenthal & others write about the team? They all speculate, but how often are they right?

Posted by: BinM | November 12, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"How much trust do you really put in what guys like Ladson, Olney, Rosenthal & others write about the team? They all speculate, but how often are they right?

Posted by: BinM "

More often than you are.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 12, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Derrek Lee had a torn thumb ligament this past season and now that he's had surgery. should be good to go by spring. IF the Nats can't sign Dunn, I'd much rather take a shot at Lee that Pena, despite Lee's age. (Two-year deal, maybe?)

And how about Nick Johnson as a backup? Just being provocative here, but hey, why not a spring training invite if nobody signs him?

Posted by: nats24 | November 13, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Funny that people like to point out that Dunn can be counted on to hit 40 home runs when he hasn't done that here.Also,I think he probably does take losing too easily,and I believe Zimmerman wants him back because they're buddies.If and when the Nationals become more competitive,it will be players like Desmond and Espinosa who make the difference.

Posted by: seanmg | November 13, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

"How much trust do you really put in what guys like Ladson, Olney, Rosenthal & others write about the team? They all speculate, but how often are they right?
Posted by: BinM "
-----------------
More often than you are.
Posted by: nunof1 | November 12, 2010 8:02 PM

-------
Well played, sir.

Posted by: BinM | November 13, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Pudge gets 1st Annual 'Radbourn Award' for combined grit and greatness:

http://www.tvpredictions.com/radbourn111310.htm

Posted by: swanni | November 13, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company