Zimmerman says outfield work just for conditioning

Williams doesn't rule out using third baseman in outfield if situation arises

Zimmerman says outfield work just for conditioning

WASHINGTON -- Before Monday's game against the Reds, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was seen working out in left field for the second time in a week, leading to speculation that his future is in the outfield.

However, Zimmerman said he was working in the outfield for conditioning purposes. He can't take ground balls because of his fractured right thumb. None of the coaches have told him to do outfield drills. The Nationals don't want him to take ground balls in the infield because the thumb is not 100 percent.

"It's fun to get outside … do something, run around be out there with my teammates," Zimmerman said.

On the other hand, manager Matt Williams didn't rule out Zimmerman playing the outfield in a Major League game one day.

"I cannot [rule it out]. I wouldn't say the same thing about Kevin Frandsen or Zach Walters, who hasn't played out there since college," Williams said. "I'm not going to say that we are definitively not considering [Zimmerman in the outfield]. I think he is a wonderful athlete. If there is a point during the game and we have nobody left and he has to play left field or right field or center field, he can do it. That's where we sit."

Zimmerman could play a different position by next year. The team is seriously considering making him its first baseman and Anthony Rendon its third baseman, a position he is playing since Zimmerman went on the disabled list.

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.