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Zimmermann Placed On DL; Balester Recalled

The Nats played a splendid game Wednesday night. Craig Stammen went 7-1/3 (4 H, 1 ER), picking up where buddy John Lannan left it the night before. Josh Willingham busted out of his post all-star break slump with a 4-for-4, two-double, one-homer night. The Nats are now just 16 games back of the fourth-place Mets. But they also made a roster move following this win, sending Jordan Zimmermann to the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness.

Zimmermann will be "shut down here for a couple weeks," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. To replace Zimmermann (3-5, 4.63 ERA) in the rotation, the Nationals have recalled Collin Balester from Class AAA Syracuse. Balester, who started 15 games for Washington last season, has a 7-9 record with a 4.35 ERA in 19 starts with the Chiefs this season.

Balester will start Thursday against the Cardinals.

What does this mean? Well, by the end of Thursday's game, the Nats will have used J.D. Martin, Garrett Mock and Balester within a five-game span. Before the all-star break, all three of those guys were in Syracuse.

Riggleman called the decision with Zimmermann "ultra-conservative." The right-hander, 23, has thrown 91-1/3 innings this year and was operating -- even before the injury -- on a 150- or 160-inning limit for the season.

"We just felt, Why let him pitch with any discomfort when we're going to limit him anyway?" Riggleman said. "Let's let him get back to 100-percent and let him attain those 150 innings in August or September."

"I'm not really concerned at all," said Zimmermann, who first felt the elbow soreness after his bullpen session on Tuesday. "Just gonna give it a little rest here, I'll come back, have one rehab start and be ready to go. They're going to take a lot of caution. It is what it is. I could go out there tomorrow and pitch, but there's no sense in me maybe hurting it more than what it already is."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 22, 2009; 11:21 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning Reading

Comments

days like this i miss levale speigner

Posted by: formerlylove1 | July 22, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

periculum,

We do need some lefthanded relievers who are effective besides Beimel. I am not so sure Beimel is only here for this year. He seemed to have that nasty curve/slider of his working again tonite, the way he did early in the year -- before he got hurt.

Posted by: bigmook | July 22, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I can only say how thankful I am that Daniel Cabrera isn't in the minors

Posted by: KilgoreQTrout | July 22, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

well folks it sure was fun tonight. Good night all.

Posted by: bigmook | July 22, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Things don't look so good for the starting pitching in August and, especially, September.
But, hey, back in '05 when the Nats actually had shot at the wild card, JimBo let the team go the last 6 weeks with just 3 starters. It was mix and match (remember John Halama? Frank Robby surely does) Hector Carasco bailed the team out by doing a decent job as an emergency starter, but the Nats couldn't salvage that elusive ''winning'' season, even though it wasn't a losing season. Still, in retrospect, what a year.

Posted by: nats24 | July 22, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Something to go with breakfast coffee or double bourbons:


Baseball Prospectus
Dunn was always a trading chip


"When Dunn was signed to a two-year deal for $20 million prior to the season, it seemed obvious that he'd play no role on a good Nationals team, and it seems like the organization was taking advantage of the deflated free-agent market to acquire a talent that could be more easily flipped later. Rizzo's initial statement that Dunn would not be dealt caused a lot of confusion in the industry, but that now looks like posturing for a better package."

- Kevin Goldstein

Posted by: periculum | July 22, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"Splendid game" might be a bit much. First, they were playing the Mets. Second, we had this: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5685293

Posted by: sbiel2 | July 22, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

"Hector Carasco bailed the team out by doing a decent job as an emergency starter, but the Nats couldn't salvage that elusive ''winning'' season,"

Instead they "are bailing out" Syracuse by picking up lefty Horacio Ramirez to start games there ...
to salvage their winning season.

The 2009 Nats have plenty of, albeit very young, starters but lack major league ready relief pitching. That team had plenty.

Posted by: periculum | July 22, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Baseball Prospectus:
Dunn was always a trading chip

Does anybody really believe this? First, if that were so, it would have to span the thinking of two GMs, JimBow and Rizzo, the interim guy. Secondly, Dunn HAS added value to the lineup, probably adding 50 points to Zimm's average just on the number of better pitches he's getting. I don't see Dunn getting moved because, really, I think he's more valuable on a bad team (us) than he would be in St. Louis, Boston, et al.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 23, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

The Cards probably could use another shortstop utility infielder as well ...

Looks like they have some prospects that might interest Rizzo.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Zimmerman being out bites for "hometown" fans looking forward to him pitching at Miller Park next week. Obviously the starting pitchers have to throw their arm off because there isn't anyone in the bullpen capable of preserving a lead.

Posted by: BadgerRed | July 23, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

"Obviously the starting pitchers have to throw their arm off because there isn't anyone in the bullpen capable of preserving a lead.

Posted by: BadgerRed | July 23, 2009"

Help might be on the way with this 1 game series. This looks like it may be Rizzo's last opportunity to do something before he has to put most of his focus on the Strasburg negotiations.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

There is no doubt that Dunn is valuable at the plate to any team in the majors. But is he more valuable to a dead, historically bad, last place team or to a first place team heading into the playoffs, weak in outfield hitting (except for their recently promoted top prospect), at third base and shortstop?

The really kind of scary part of the Cardinals as a potential trade partner is that when all is said and done what they really need is Ryan Zimmerman and perhaps Guzman to get to the next level.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Periculum,

How old do you think Guzman is? At 31 he has taken it to the next level.

When I read your posts I get the feeling you have never seen a Nats game in person or on TV. How many times a day do you post? Your posts astound me with their naivete. Were you not listening the other night when Dibble was talking about how JD Martin doesn't belong at this level. Oh yeah, you were probably busy posting one of several hundred meaningless diatribes.

Posted by: WashOut | July 23, 2009 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Man, it is just nice to be able to enjoy reading a gamer and looking at the box score two days in a row. What I missed most over the 33 years that baseball was gone. It this too much to ask?

Posted by: truke | July 23, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Re. the gamer, I particularly enjoyed the background info on how Stammen prepared for the game, and on his friendly competition with Lannan. Thanks, Chico.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

"Secondly, Dunn HAS added value to the lineup, probably adding 50 points to Zimm's average just on the number of better pitches he's getting."

A rather eurphoric reading of Dunn's value. If this were true every major league club would be bidding on Dunn's amazing ability at this very moment. A second corollary to this thinking would be to bat Dunn second, right behind Morgan--instantly transforming Morgan into a OBP dynamo. And then if Zimmerman hits behind Dunn wouldn't that raise Dunn's average by about 20%? Ahh, how the mind hurts at such convolutions.

Posted by: driley | July 23, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks glennpc!!

Posted by: misschatter | July 23, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Nats best trade bait: 1B Nick Johnson.
Boston needs a 1st baseman.
Result: Bosox trade with Pittsburgh, acquiring Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche.

Looks like Nick is a Nat for a litle while longer. Or until he gets hurt. And the Nats FO failed to pull the trigger gain.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | July 23, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Excerpt from an item in the OP: According to major league sources, the Cubs have expressed interest in Beimel, and the Nationals have responded by sending two of their top scouts to get a firsthand look at some of Chicago's top prospects.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

The Chicago Tribune has a Beimel item here:

http://tinyurl.com/kvzpkj

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm probably guilty of second-guessing as much as anyone but we need to be fair here.

First: "Obviously the starting pitchers have to throw their arm off because there isn't anyone in the bullpen capable of preserving a lead.

Posted by: BadgerRed | July 23, 2009"

I thought we were complaining that they weren't keeping the starters in there LONG ENOUGH? That they needed to stretch out these arms and teach them how to finish games?

Second: Nats best trade bait: 1B Nick Johnson.
Boston needs a 1st baseman.
Result: Bosox trade with Pittsburgh, acquiring Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche.

Looks like Nick is a Nat for a litle while longer. Or until he gets hurt. And the Nats FO failed to pull the trigger gain.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | July 23, 2009

Did you ever think that the Red Sox decided not to make a trade for a 1B that would cost them some of their better prospects? They apparently didn't give up much to get LaRoche (and in my opinion, didn't get very much). You can't force them to make a trade with you.

We all know this team has made more than its share of mistakes but let's be fair here.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, 1a. Actually, the Cubs could use a lot of what we have to offer. Beimel, yes but Willingham and even Nick. I was wondering about Hoffpauer (sp?) just the other day as a potential 1B prospect for us.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

1a, I wonder what the other 1.5 Nats scouts are doing?

------------------------------------
Excerpt from an item in the OP: According to major league sources, the Cubs have expressed interest in Beimel, and the Nationals have responded by sending two of their top scouts to get a firsthand look at some of Chicago's top prospects.

Posted by: natsfan1a1

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Am I reading the pitchers' roster correctly? 1/2 the staff are guys brought up from the minors this year, and it's only July? Who is left to bring up in September? Thoughts...?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why everyone is in such a rush to trade Beimel, who seems stable and sometimes even effective.

That would mean Villone would be our only lefty in the pen--and he's no youngster. Isn't Storen a righty?

Do we have some other LH relievers we want to bring up to replace Beimel?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Good one, NatsLady. See you in the new post!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Is Martis persona non gratis now? Wouldn't he be a more logical (and promising) callup than Ballestar?

Posted by: mvm2 | July 23, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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