Monday, Apr 20, 2009, 7:05 PM EDT
Zimmerman(n) Day at Nationals Park
Mostly cloudy,rain. Game time temperature around 60.
?'s For The DC Faithful...
1) Who's Watching Zimmerman(n)???
2) We Want Bergmann!! Or Did You Want Someone Else?
3) Will Garrett Mock be the Nationals' New Closer?
4) Is There Any Chance Of Another Mid-Game Rainstorm To Get Lowe Out Early?
(ed. note - "I was going to start by talking about the new deal Ryan Zimmerman signed with the Washington Nationals, affirming his status as the Face of the Franchise©, but I was told not to care about payroll.")
When the decision was made to send Jordan Zimmermann to Triple-A Syracuse at the end of Spring Training, since only four starters were needed in the first weeks of the season, DC Manager Manny Acta told MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as quoted in an article entitled, "Martis, Zimmermann round out rotation", that he wished:
"...that we didn't have the days off that we have, so we can have him in the big leagues right away, because he has shown in this camp that he is one of our best pitchers, period..."
The Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann out of Auburndale, Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, with the 67th pick in the second round of the '07 MLB Draft and the the 6'2'', 200 lb, right-handed hurler was ranked as the 7th best prospect in the Nationals' organization just six months after having been selected and signed, having pitched in just 13 games, 11 as a starter, in the New York-Penn League with the Vermont Lake Monsters, where he was (5-2) with a 2.38 ERA in 53.0 IP in which he'd given up 45 hits, 14 ER's, 2 HR's and 18 walks while collecting 71 K's.
In '08 with the Potomac Nationals, Zimmermann was (3-1) with a 1.65 ERA in 5 starts and one relief appearance, with 31 K's in 27.1 IP, and when he jumped to Double-A Harrisburg, Zimmermann was (7-2) in 20 starts, posting a 3.21 ERA and 103 K's in 106.2 IP. Following his second professional season, Zimmermann jumped to the top of both Baseball America's Aaron Fitt's and ESPN.com's Keith Law's lists of the top prospects in the Nationals' system, with Mr. Fitt stating that in the last season Zimmermann, "emerged as the clear-cut top prosect in the organization."
Before Spring Training, when asked by Washington Post writer Chico Harlan in an article entitled, "The Season Ticket Holder Luncheon..." which Nationals' prospects might have an impact on the major league-level this season, then Assistant GM Mike Rizzo told Mr. Harlan that he saw Jordan Zimmermann, as Mr. Harlan wrote, "...as somebody who could be major league ready as soon as this spring training."
Zimmermann was (1-1) in 3 starts and two relief appearances this Spring, giving up 13 hits, 2 walks and 5 ER, while collecting 20 K's in 14.1 IP, and the Nationals named the 22-year-old right-hander to the rotation at the end of camp. The Nationals' "Acting" GM Mike Rizzo was quoted yesterday by MLB.com's Bill Ladson in an article in anticipation of today's start entitled, "Zimmermann set for major league debut", saying that he thinks Zimmermann is ready for the jump:
"'I don't think he will be intimidated by a Major League stadium or Major League hitters. I'm looking forward to him having a successful outing and really kick-start(ing) his Major League career.'"
Zimmermann Coverage On Federal Baseball.com:
Zimmermann's Opponent In His Debut - Derek Lowe...
Derek Lowe received no decision in his second start of the season, which was against the Washington Nationals, pitching only 3.0 innings in a game interrupted by a long period of rain. In his 13-year MLB career, the 35-year-old right-handed starter is (5-1) with 3 saves in 7 starts and 6 appearances against the Nationals/Expos, having given up 42 hits, 14 walks and 16 ER's in 51.2 IP, with 45 K's, a 2.79 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and .221 BAA.
The Washington Nationals vs Derek Lowe...
Alex Cintron - 4 for 11, .364 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.
Adam Dunn - 1 for 13, .077 AVG, 5 K's.
Jesus Flores - 1 for 7, .143 AVG.
Alberto Gonzalez - 3 for 10, .300 AVG, 1 2B, 5 RBI's.
Nick Johnson - 5 for 22, .227 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
Austin Kearns - 2 for 17, .118 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
Josh Willingham - 2 for 9, .222 AVG, 2 HR's, 5 RBI's.
Ryan Zimmerman - 4 for 20, .200 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's, 8 K's.
The New DC Bullpen...
As Washington Post writer Chico Harlan reported last night in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "The Bullpen Gets Blown Up", the Nationals sent C Josh Bard and reliever RHP Saul Rivera to Triple A Syracuse and designated left-hander Wil Ledezma and righty Steven Shell for assignment to make room for tonight's starter, Jordan Zimmermann, and relievers, Jason Bergmann, Garrett Mock and Kip Wells. Asked by Mr. Harlan if Garrett Mock will be the Nationals' new closer* , "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo responded:
"I think that's to be determined. He's going to come in and be a member of the bullpen. I'm not sure where the bullpen will kind of all map out right now. It's a brand new bullpen, really. We've got some unanswered questions."
(ed. note - "When Mock was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse in early April, "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo was quoted in several publications, including a USA Today article by AP Sports writer Howard Fendrich entitled, "Nats cut Bergmann, Mock, keep Tavarez, Bard", stating that Mock would have a new role in Syracuse, "'We're grooming him as a closer,' Mr. Rizzo said.")
The New DC Bullpen:
LHP - Joe Beimel (SU), Mike Hinckley.
RHP - Jason Bergmann, Kip Wells, Julian Tavarez, Garrett Mock, Joel Hanrahan(CL).
The Braves vs The New DC Bullpen...
Braves vs Bergmann...
Matt Diaz - 5 for 10, .500 AVG, 2 2B.
Jeff Francoeur - 2 for 24, .083 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Kelly Johnson - 3 for 15, .200 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.
Chipper Jones - 6 for 20, .300 AVG, 2 2B, 2 HR's, 8 RBI's.
Brian McCann - 8 for 20, .400 AVG, 3 2B, 4 HR's, 7 RBI's.
Braves vs Mock...
Kelly Johnson - 1 for 1, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B.
Martin Prado - 1 for 1, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B.
Braves vs Wells...
Garret Anderson - 4 for 10, .400 AVG, 2 RBI's.
Chipper Jones - 3 for 24, .125 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Brian McCann - 3 for 4, .750 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Here's A Way To Start The Day...
Check out Yahoo! Sports' writer Kevin Kaduk (aka 'Duk)'s take on the situation involving Elijah Dukes being benched Saturday in an article entitled, "Nationals bench Dukes after Little League-related tardy note", in which 'Duk wonders aloud about the team's decision to discipline Dukes, goes through the list of recent embarrassments, from SMILEYGATE, to the former DC GM's resignation, Stan Kasten's Philadelphia-based outreach efforts, and the more recent "Natinals" affair...it's all so funny, right? Until Mr. Kaduk gets to the end and writes:
"No wonder their potential top draft pick might want $50 million to join them."
DC Starting Lineup...(As Soon As Someone Posts It.)...
Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...(ed. note - "There are rumors of late game showers...")
Who's Watching The Nationals? Who's Watching Zimmerman(n)?