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Zimmermann Done

Jordan Zimmermann today did something he hadn't done in his first two spring outings: Pitch with men on base. But he did so effectively, surviving his 3-1/3-inning stint unscathed -- in part because lefty Gustavo Chacin got the final two outs of the fourth, stranding two runners.

Thus, Zimmermann's line:

3-1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. (I had him for 62 pitches, 40 of them strikes.)

So his spring numbers now: 8-1/3 IP, 2 BB, 10 K -- and a nice little ERA of 0.00. There are plenty of Nationals decision-makers who want this kid to make the team. Will there be rocky points? Sure. But his stuff plays right now.

Also: Brad Eldred, who won last night's game with a two-run homer in the 10th, hit an impressive three-run shot to the right-center field gap (the opposite way for him) that put the Nats up 5-0 through three-and-a-half.

Also, Part II: There is a dude wearing a Nationals T-shirt in the front row at HSCS today. Not strange, until you consider that the back of it says, across the shoulder blades, "Strasburg."

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 10, 2009; 2:03 PM ET
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Careful with your headlines Barry, you're going to give somebody a heart attack with this one!

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Just to reassure nunof1, Chacin also got down an excellent sac bunt, following the lead of Zimmermann.

Posted by: faNATic | March 10, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, when I wrote the entry above, the headline said "Zimmermann Likely Done," which for some reason elicits a more alarming reaction than "Zimmermann Done." I've calmed down now.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Amen, BobL - the headline reminds us that Barry was not with us through most of last season when it was a weekly post.

Posted by: lowcountry | March 10, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

My heart skipped a beat (and not in a good way) when I saw the original headline, BobL.

To the fellow with the Strasburg tee: well played.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Attaboy, Mack!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It's a Post decision, not a Chico decision.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 2:28 PM

1a, I read that.

I'm talking about Chico's tendency to go all day not posting anything original or new on this blog and when we finally get something, it's his finished story for the next day. No running observations, or comments or interesting tidbits, nothing. It's infuriating.

I guarantee, anyone reading this blog is going to find his story, no matter where it's posted. It's the other stuff that this blog is for. You know, DMTP stuff.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 10, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

>Sorry, BobLHead, not following your snark here. Am I supposed to be insulted?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 10, 2009 2:28 PM

Ummm, no, that was supposed to be a peace offering. Maybe I need to sharpen my own pencil.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying, NatsNut. I was thinking specifically of the feature story connection because the web/paper news was fresh in my mind.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I's early, but the starting pitching has been looking pretty good thus, if only the bullpen could learn a thing or two.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 10, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

As far as the Nationals go, the Post has not published a word in the print edition for several weeks now that did not already appear on the web the day before. Not a word. Makes me wonder why I bother buying the paper at all any more. Seems to me that until they figure out how to get by without all the money they take in from subscriptions and newsstand sales, they ought to be worried about that. Because although I'm slow, I'm not stupid. Pretty soon I'll be canceling my subscription, as will probably most of their other subscribers. Who will pay Chico's salary when that money goes away?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 10, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to the Brad Eldred topic, he was a well-regarded power hitting first base prospect for the Pirates a few years back, but he turns 29 in July and has well outgrown prospect status at this point.

Back in 2004, when he was 23, he hit .301/.356/.606 across high-A and AA, with 38 dingers. He also struck out at a .307 clip, which is a lot, but with that power and OBP, it's tolerable (basically Adam Dunn territory).

He followed that up with a .297/.352/.674 line at AA and AAA in 2005, while slugging 28 homers in just 279 ABs.

I guess he was hurt for most of 2006 since he only appeared in 18 games, but I don't know exactly what was ailing him.

By 2007 he was suddenly 26 and still stuck in AAA, batting a forgettable .209/.275/.399 in 311 ABs (he still managed 15 dingers). Maybe he was hurt for part of that season as well.

In any case, last year he went from the Pirates organization to the ChiSox, still in AAA, and hit .244/.305/.546, with 35 dingers in 427 ABs. And he struck out more than a third of the time (144).

Still, with that kind of power it's somewhat surprising that no MLB team has ever found a home for him, or at least, given him an extended major league tryout. His hands and feet are supposed to be decent for a big guy, so I don't think it's defense that's been holding him back. Suffice it to say that it would have been nice to have him last year when we were playing Belly and LoDuca at first. This year, we're probably too crowded at the corners for him to get a real shot. Unless he mashes all through Spring Training and leads us to make a trade or something.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I came across the following while skimming through SoSH. Sorry it is a Newsmax link, but there actually is honest reporting / speculation in Time they reference. Time speculates about the 10 newspapers most likely to fold or go online only in the next year. The WaPo is not on the list (the BosGlo is), but it looks like a major trend is to abandon ink. What will we wrap our fish (or use to safely wrap our breakables when we move)?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 10, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Subscriptions are going away regardless of if the content appears online on in fish wrap.

What the WaPo is trying to do is find a new revenue model online to make up for the lost subscription dollars (and ad revenue that corresponds to that subcription total).

The profit margin for online vs printed advertising is much higher, but likely won't provide enough revenue to sustain the size of paper the old business model created.

So the WaPo has a great "brand name" but declining sales (and profit), I heard the sports reporters suggest they turn off the website to protect the content in the fish wrap, this would work well for a while, but eventually the printed paper will go the way of the buggy whip (go watch other people's money staring danny devito), so if they want to survive they need to parlay that brand into a workable business, primarily online, that be successful long term. The Washington Times is a different story since it never was, and never was intended to be, a for profit paper, it's "paid for" by the owners who use it as a distributer for a conservative ideology, not as a money making business.

Posted by: estuartj | March 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking he is Nelson Cruz 2.0, without the ability to run. Recall Cruz has always mashed in the minors and flubbed in the majors due to susceptibility to Ks. Curz was dropped from the Rangers roster last Spring, tore up AAA at Oklahoma City, earned a call up in September, continued to rip, and is penciled in as their #4 hitter this year. Syracuse may be his proving ground. If he can just get his K/BB to 3:1 or less, then he may have a career, or at least squeeze into a window between Johnson / Willingham / Dunn and Marrero.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 10, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

he being Eldred

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

BobL, I thought exactly the same thing.

Next time, Barry, please add "For the Day" at the end, just so you don't cause multiple simultaneous heart attacks in the DC area. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | March 10, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the fish wrap/dead trees medium, nice picture of AK this morning. Is it my imagination, or does he look to be in much better shape than last year? (Apologies if this is already common knowledge among the cognoscenti.) If so, it may be one of the first positive outcomes of the change made in strength coaches over the offseason.

Posted by: CapPeterson | March 10, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey BobL - thanks for the post about Eldred as you know I've been wondering about the "whodats" lately.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 10, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to estuartj and jca for the thoughts on print newspapers. Truth be told, I'd have moved to the online-only world some time ago but haven't been able to talk my husband into it. The incredible shrinking paper and increasing cost of subscription may convince him where I couldn't.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Please, be careful what you wish for if you favor hastening the demise of newspapers. I'd pay for online access -- even to this -- if it means keeping real journalism alive. God forbid that we had to rely on Ladson for coverage.

Posted by: nats24 | March 10, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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