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Healthy Zimmerman excited to play for Williams

Healthy Zimmerman excited to play for Williams

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman arrived in camp Sunday afternoon and said he is looking forward to playing for new manager Matt Williams.

"I haven't had a chance to meet with him that much," Zimmerman said. "He seems like a really good guy, he was a great player. I think whoever got the job, he was inheriting a great team with a great group of guys. It's going to be a pretty sweet job."

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Zimmerman had a solid season in 2013, hitting .279 with 26 home runs and 79 RBIs. He had problems with his surgically repaired right shoulder for most of the season. However, during the final month, Zimmerman looked like the player who won a Gold Glove Award in 2009. Zimmerman will remain at third base for the 2014 season.

"For confidence sake, it was nice to finish the season on a strong note and become a little bit more comfortable over at third base," Zimmerman said. "I'm excited to continue to work, get better and get back to playing the third base that I know I can play and everyone expects me to play."

This past offseason marked the first time in several years that Zimmerman didn't have to rehab his shoulder or have shoulder surgery.

"I could take my month off and start lifting. It was kind of boring. I didn't know what to do with myself --- baseball wise, at least," Zimmerman said. "It was nice. I had nothing to really worry about -- no injuries. Just a full offseason of getting stronger and doing what I use to do."

There is a possibility that Zimmerman may play first base this spring. He said he is not opposed to playing the position once in a while.

"I've always said I will do what is best for the team [as long as it] helps us win games," Zimmerman said. "I'm not opposed to playing a few games over there. I still think I can be the best third baseman on this team --- that gives us the best chance to win every day. We'll see what happens."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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