Ryan Zimmerman got the day off in last night’s series opener with the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park, but Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker said he planned on putting the veteran first baseman back in the lineup for the next two of three in CBP.
Baker said it was a “work day” for Zimmerman, who’d cooled off after a strong start when he returned from the Disabled List.
“We just want to work on his timing and vision,” Baker told reporters including MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“Because when you’re seeing the ball, you’re usually hitting it, you’re not missing it. We just want to get him back in the zone and increase his odds to help us.”
With Zimmerman out, Clint Robinson got the start at first.
In the 20 games Robinson started before last night, he was 21 for 75 (.280 AVG) with a double, three home runs, seven walks and 11 runs scored, with hits in 15 of those 20.
Robinson went 2 for 4 with a run scored in the Nats’ 4-0 win, leaving him with a .244/.308/.363 line, four doubles, five home runs, 16 walks and 28 Ks in 183 plate appearance on the year.
Baker talked after the game about the contributions from the bench bat and backup first baseman, who’s managed to impress even in limited action.
“It’s hard, but it’s necessary,” Baker said of the job Robinson does, though he’s not surprised by his success.
“Here’s a guy that was 30 years old as a rookie. And he knows, he works hard and he stays ready all the time and you need Clint and some of these guys to come off and do that for you and this is a big part of our success, how guys have stayed ready, how they work hard, and how they come off the bench ready.
“And like I told you the other day, every time I look down there, Clint has a bat or he’s looking at me, and I’m trying to look around him, which is tough to do. So no I’m not surprised. He comes to play. He’s a serious ballplayer.”