Washington Nationals' Cole Kimball's Big Year, Sore Shoulder, Ryan Mattheus' Impending Debut...

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Relief pitcher Cole Kimball #65 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after the Nationals defeated the Florida Marlins 8-4 at Nationals Park on May 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

This was supposed to be a big year for Cole Kimball. The hard-throwing 25-year-old, Brooklyn, NY native, had finished the 2010 season, his 5th in the Nationals' organization since he'd been drafted out of Centenary College in Hackettstown NJ in the 12th Round of the '06 Draft, with an (8-1) record and a 2.17 ERA, 39 walks (4.46 BB/9) and 101 K's (11.56 K/9) in 78.2 IP between Class-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.

After the 2010 season, Kimball traveled to the Arizona Fall League, where the 6'3'' right-hander with the heavy fastball and devastating splitter allowed just one run on eight hits in 11 games and 12.0 IP over which he walked just two and collected 15 K's. Kimball was so eager to begin the 2011 season that according the Nats' PR department on Twitter (@NationalsPR), he couldn't sleep the night before pitchers and catcher reported, and decided to just go to the Nats' training facilities at 5:00 a.m...

Early in Spring Training, Nats' Pitching Coach Steve McCatty told Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore, as quoted in an article entitled, ""Chien-Ming Wang makes a change, Cole Kimball throws heat, Ross Detwiler looks good", that Kimball was, "a monster,":

"You tell them to start warming up, and he throws one 95. He grips it and rips it. He's like the John Daly of pitchers."

Kimball didn't make the Nationals' roster out of Spring Training. In 12 games for Triple-A Syracuse, Kimball walked eight (5.27 BB/9) and struck out 14 (9.22 K/9) in 13.2 scoreless innings pitched, going (1-0) with a 0.00 ERA, 2.91 FIP, .229 BABIP and .163 BAA. In 12 games and 14.0 IP for the Nationals since Kimball was called up to replace Brian Broderick on the roster, the right-hander had allowed eight hits, three runs and eleven walks while recording eleven K's. Last night, however, he was placed on the 15-Day DL with what was described as "right shoulder inflammation", which Kimball admitted had bothered him since April. 

According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article on Kimball's injury and right-hander Ryan Mattheus' subsequent call-up entitled, "Mattheus promoted as Kimball lands on DL", Kimball had an MRI, but the Nationals and the reliever haven't yet received the results. Mattheus, who underwent Tommy John surgery before he was traded from the Rockies to the Nats in July of 2009, will be making his own MLB debut the first time he takes the mound for the Nats. Kimball goes down, Mattheus comes up. The Nats try to find relievers who are willing and able to throw strikes. Time to see what Mattheus has got....

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