Heading in to last night’s game in Coors Field, Ryan Zimmerman was 25 for 66 on the year (.379/.431/.788) with six doubles and seven home runs in 19 games.
Dusty Baker made the decision to move his first baseman into the cleanup spot in four the last five games and talked about his thinking before what ended up a 15-12 win in Colorado.
“I started the season last year with Zim there and it wasn’t working,” Baker said.
“I stuck with Zim a long time. There were even people probably wanted me to put Zim on the bench, remember? I remember.
“I spoke to Murph about it, I had been contemplating doing it for a while, but I just wanted to see — Was this Zim for a period of time, or was it a temporary flash?”
“What really made up my mind is when [Daniel] Murphy came to me and he said, ‘Hey, man. Zim is really hot, man.’ And I was like, ‘Okay.’ And he says, ‘It might be time to split up the lefties.’ But it helped to hear it from them, which I’m open to hearing from my players even though they don’t really influence me that much, I kind of do what I want to do, but it reinforces it to be an easier decision if they are thinking it in the first place, you know what I mean? So that was big of Murph and it was big for the team.
“And who knows, like I told you in the beginning, the lineup you start with isn’t necessarily the lineup that you end with and it might change a couple more times between now and then, but it’s working right now.”
Zimmerman went 1 for 4 with a walk in last night’s win, leaving him at .371/.429/.771 on the year.
It’s the first time in his career he’s hit seven home runs in the month of April.
The key going forward, Baker said, is to do what he can to keep Zimmerman healthy and on the field, which has been a struggle for the 32-year-old first baseman in the last few seasons.
“The whole things now it to keep Zim healthy,” Baker said. “That’s the key. As much as I don’t want to, I give him days off, not only to keep him strong, but to also keep [Adam] Lind sharp. And so I’ll probably give him one of these days off here before we get home to face the Mets.”