Florida Marlins v. Washington Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman has a wonky throwing arm. This we all but know. His shoulder was all but rebuilt this winter and now, despite protestations that he’s fine, his throwing continues to be a problem. He’s making errors and looks awful at third base.

Getting Blanked probed this issue earlier this month, wondering aloud how much more time Zim has at third base. The Nats mediasphere took to this problem this week, as his poor throws became the elephant in the room. It’s a complex problem with no easy solution. For most people.

Luckily, internet commenters of the world are not most people. This is an open and shut case, like just about everything in the world of the kind of person who takes time to comment on news articles on the website of major newspapers. These brave men and women are not lacking in ideas for how Zimmerman can get right. Let’s dive in and see if we can’t lick this thing, you know?

The good people of the Washington Post’s readership just want Zim to get right, you know?

Take Nationals Journal reader, Jorgarth, for example.

He developed bad instincts when his shoulder was injured. His arm strength was weaker, even when the cortisone dulled the pain – and it may also not have had as much feeling as usual. So he had to put more effort to get the same distance.

Now that his arm’s healthy again, he’s occasionally still using the amount of effort for a given distance that he needed when it was weakened. Which causes him to airmail it, or throw it off line because he holds it longer, etc.

Positive mental attitude, homeboy!

Taking ground balls daily and positive reinforcement from Desi and ALR will help but at the end of the day it’s RZimm who has to adjust, its mind over matter.

Elsewhere at the WaPo, commenter lp_lodestar calls a spade a spade:

He’s not adjusting to new mechanics. He’s throwing the way he always has and it has always been wrong. You throw from your ear from third base like a football. That underhand heave is sissy.

Overthinking muscle memory – Ryan Zimmerman is the duality of man.

Zim got to the pros with that loopy underhand throw…now he’s attempting to change his throwing motion and lacks the muscle memory to be consistent. Watching him (even in warm ups) it looks like he’s over thinking.

Over at Nats Insider, “nats guy” wants to keep our focus on what really matters:

Say after me!! The problem is in the bullpen. Ignore Zimmerman. The problem is in the bullpen.

Unless that is fixed it doesn’t matter about all the other things.

This guy, well this guy actually makes some sense.

I don’t understand how he and the ball club have let it deteriorate like this. Like pitching and hitting mechanics they must have video they can look at from 2007 or so when he could plant and throw overhand with authority. Right now, he has a serious hitch with his wrist during his arm circle. That causes a motion that is hard to repeat, hence the errors.

Um, what greater authority is there than MR BASEBALL? (who actually seems on point, to his credit)

Zim’s throwing is not mental, it is physical! He is throwing the same way over handed as he does under handed (palm and fingers under the ball). When you throw over handed and the ball is in the cock position the palm and fingers need to be on top and ball facing back. Also, you don’t rotate your hand, you keep it still and when the chest opens your hand rotates.

Ghost of Steve M wants the headshrinkers on the case

Now the Nats are attached to him long-term. I think the better solution is hypnotism and sports psychiatrist. I’d be surprised if they hadn’t done this in the past. Again, this problem has been brewing for years.


This is simple science. He got married in the offseason. He’s in a honeymoon slump. Look at Ovechkin. Got married in the offseason. Went through his honeymoon slump. New wife finally kicked him in the butt, and he’s now leading his team and the league in goals. And the list of past stars goes on … Carmelo, Tony Romo, Agassi. Give RZ time … he’ll shake off the honeymoon slump and be better than ever

Seems logical. I’m mostly wary of the seven year itch. Nobody wants to go through this again with an even older player. Just trouble, really.