The Washington Times - September 24, 2008, 05:40PM

One of the bright spots in the final weeks of this dismal Washington Nationals season has been the play of Ryan Zimmerman. He was clearly plagued by his shoulder.problems, which caused him to miss about one-third of the season, for quite some time while he was playing.

In the last few weeks, he has appeared healthy for the first time, and has responded, bringing his season numbers up to Zimmerman-like standards — 14 home runs (tied for the team lead) 51 RBI, 51 runs scored and a .281 average in 105 games played.


There is no reason to believe he would not have hit around 24 home runs, driven in 90 to 100 runs and batted a respectable .280 if he had played a full season, even again surrounded by a weak-hitting lineup. And there is still no reason to believe that if Zimmerman does get some offensive help around him, that he can be a 30 to 35 home run and 100-plus RBI guy, and the anchor of this franchise — as long as he is around.

General manager Jim Bowden may have struck out on some decisions, but his number one pick of Zimmerman in 2005 remains one of his best.