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Zimmerman impressing in outfield play

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Nationals outfielder Ryan Zimmerman is doing better in the outfield than any baseball expert thought. He has been catching balls in the gap and has made some nice running plays while running in on the ball. Manager Matt Williams has been impressed by what he has seen from Zimmerman so far.

"He has gone to each gap. He has gone down the line. He is coming in on line drives right at him. He has fielded everything cleanly with ease. That part of it has been a pleasant surprise," Williams said. "He seems to be enjoying it."

Although Zimmerman is playing well in left field, it does not mean he will stay there for the rest of the season. Once Bryce Harper comes back from his thumb injury in July, Zimmerman will return to third base, while Anthony Rendon returns to second base. Second baseman Danny Espinosa will be back on the bench.

"We have a pretty good outfielder [in Harper]. Hopefully, he comes back real soon," Williams said. "The perfect world is that Zimmerman will go back to third, where he has played for a long time. He won a Gold Glove. When Harp is ready, he will play left. By that time Wilson [Ramos] returns, we'll be at full strength. That is the plan."

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

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