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Jordan Zimmermann back on track

After the roughest outing of his minor league stint, Jordan Zimmermann rebounded Saturday night with a performance in line with the dominant string of rehab starts he began with. Pitching at Class AA Harrisburg for the first time in his rehab, Zimmermann allowed Portland no runs in 4 2/3 innings on one hit and two walks, striking out three. He also threw a wild pitch and hit a batter.

Zimmermann may need as few as one more rehab start before making his first Nationals appearance since last July 18, when elbow pain led to Tommy John surgery. The Nationals have targeted Zimmermann's 2010 debut for some time in the first half of August.

In six rehab appearances, Zimmermann has allowed six earned runs in 22 2/3 innings. He has yielded an earned run in just one start, the clunker that came before Saturday night. With Class A Hagerstown, Zimmermann six earned runs in five innings and gave up two home runs. In his first chance, Zimmermann proved the struggles an aberration.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 31, 2010; 11:55 PM ET
 
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Comments

No reason to think JZimm won't be just as good as hoped. With Dunn still here, Stras and JZimm pitching, it could be a very, very nice couple of months of Nats baseball.

And I'm starting to come around to the lets-see-what-Morse-can-do camp. It's hard to argue with .350.

(this got new posted)
Some jerk columnist on Yahoo sports doesn't even think the Nats will be willing to offer Dunn $15 million for one year in arbitration, and thus, would lose the 2 comp draft picks. That's utterly ridiculous. It seems likely the issue has been more length of contract than amount.

The Lerners would earn more in good will (and probably ticket sales) than it would cost them to give big Adam four years and $60 mil, and that's assuming he wouldn't produce as expected.

I just hope he'll take what now might be a home team discount

Posted by: nats24 | August 1, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Good quotes from Jayson Starke and "one executive"...

"There will be those who look at the Nationals' "inability" to move Adam Dunn as some kind of major black mark. But we'll withhold judgment on that front because the Nationals could still move him in August or sign him to an extension. In the meantime, they wind up in our winners column for turning Matt Capps, a man who was nontendered by the Pirates just last winter, into one of the best catching prospects in baseball, Wilson Ramos. "That was a big, big piece to add," said one executive. "They needed a catcher to grow with a very good young pitching staff, and they got him. That team's going in the right direction."

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Why only 4 2/3 innings? He should be able to go longer than that before being declared major-league-ready.

Posted by: tailwagger | August 1, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

@ tailwagger

I suspect that has more to do with him being on a very strict pitch count than it does him actually needing to come out of the game. Many rehabbing pitchers are on low counts of 70-80 pitches, which may only get you through 3 or 4 innings. Since they are not trying to actually win the game -- but rather get the pitcher back in his groove before he heads back up to the bigs -- they will pull him after he exceeds the count, regardless of whether he is struggling. I suspect that having allowed one hit through 4.2, Zinn would never have been pulled, and could have continued to pitch. No reason to waste pitches or innings in the minors. Hurry back Zinn!

Posted by: HenryStin | August 1, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

No one is going to want to play the Nats in September. This may now be especially true, since after they need to shut down Stras, they can come back with Ramos2.

BTW, do we now have the only staff with a Zimm2 & a Ramos2?

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | August 1, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Jayson Stark was on point with his assesment of the Nat's situation, the fact that the Nats turned Capp's into the top catching prospect in MLB means that Rizzo was on his game with respect to filling a large hole on this team and with the lingering problem of Jesus Flores injury and subsequent rehab the aquisition of Ramos was huge.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 1, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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