ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ryan Zimmerman committed his fourth error in 14 games since returning from the disabled list Wednesday evening and it was a costly one. In 1-0 loss to the Angels Zimmerman’s throwing error, which came on a tough play where he tried to get the lead runner at second base but sent the throw left of second baseman Danny Espinosa’s glove, allowed the winning run to get to third base.
It also showcased Zimmerman’s throwing motion, which has come under scrutiny since he returned and used his rehab to learn a revamped motion that is meant to utilize his legs and core strength more than his old mechanics did.
“It was a tough play,” Zimmerman said of the throw Wednesday. “I guess it kind of ran up into the runner a little bit. Any time you have the second baseman coming to the base and the runner coming to the base, if it’s not right here (chest high), it’s a tough play.”
What the error, or any of the three that came before it, didn’t do was deter Zimmerman from continuing to work on his new throwing motion, which he admits is a work in progress but one he has absolutely no plans to abandon.
“It’s tough, but it’s better,” Zimmerman said. “If I thought that the way it was compared to this wasn’t going to be a big difference, I wouldn’t do it. But because I think it can make me a better player, that’s the ultimate goal. If I didn’t think it was worth it, I would maybe stop it and try to start it in the offseason. I’m so close and I’ve gotten so much better.”
Zimmerman was out to take early grounders on each day of the most recent homestand with infield coordinator Jeff Garber and he said that work has continued. It hasn’t been seamless, though, and Zimmerman acknowledged just how difficult it is to learn something new like this at the major league level — but does find himself thinking less and relying more on instinct now, even after just a few weeks.
“The past few days, the routine plays have been really good,” he said. “Just like any new thing, it’s going to take a little while. It’s obviously tough to learn while you’re at this level but I get better every day. As far as the future and getting more consistent, it’s worth it. It’s something I’m going to stick with and get better at.
“The throws I’ve made the last week (even between innings) have been right there, right there, right there. It’s coming along. It gets better every day. It’s just something that I have to be patient with. I have to stick with it. It’s going to take work, which, I’ve been practicing every day. It’s just going to continue to get better as the season goes on.”