Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann Enjoys Quiet With Gio At WBC

USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann talked to 106.7 the FAN In D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier about the peace and quiet he was enjoying with Gio Gonzalez pitching for Team USA in the WBC. Everyone's talking Micah Owings again after Thursday's grand slam! Link time, people...

Shhhh! Would you just. Shhh! Jordan Zimmermann's enjoying the quiet with his team and rotation mate Gio Gonzalez away at the World Baseball Classic. In an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on Thursday, the Washington Nationals' 26-year-old right-hander joked about the peaceful state of the Nats' clubhouse now with Gio Gonzalez in Miami, pitching for Team USA in the WBC. "It's actually nice for a change," Zimmermann said, "And we can get some words in and get some work in and you don't have to listen to him all day talking." I'm sure he's kidding, Gio! Everyone probably misses you!! Zimmermann did talk seriously as well, updating everyone on where he stood after four Grapefruit League starts including Wednesday's outing against the Mets in which he bounced back from a subpar, "dead arm" start against the Cardinals.

"I felt a lot better yesterday than I did the start before that," Zimmermann said, "And the fastball command was definitely good. And the offspeed pitches were there and I threw a few good changeups, so overall it was a good start." Working on making the change more of a weapon has been the '07 Nats' 2nd Round pick's goal this Spring and he told Mr.'s Kushner and Rouhier that he's pleased with the progress. "It's getting to the point where I feel comfortable throwing it any time," Zimmermann said, "And I've been working on it for a few years and last year I barely threw it because I didn't have any confidence and now it's getting right where I want it."

The Nats' starter said he'll continue to work on his change and prepare for the 2013 season and the defense of the Nationals' NL East title. "I'm pretty close right now," Zimmermann said when asked if he was ready to get the regular season going after an extended Spring. "A couple more starts I'll be right where I need to be. It's definitely a long Spring and guys are getting antsy to get up north, and we've got a couple weeks to go yet, but we're all getting pretty close." Opening Day is just a little over two weeks away. There's still work to be done, including this afternoon's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. But Zimmermann sounds like he's ready. Listen to the full interview HERE. And then it's links and lots of them below. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

AUDIO: "Zimmermann Shakes Dead Arm, Hopes to Throw 200 Innings This Season" - Jordan Zimmermann Talking To Holden Kushner And Danny Rouhier

• NATS BEAT:

• "[Jayson] Werth, meanwhile, atoned for his error in the top of the first by hitting his first homer of spring, a shot that flew out over the wall in left-center to tie the game." - "Nationals Pastime: Young's done, Werth homers, Zimmerman continues to impress (Soriano update)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Chris] Young tossed 72 pitches, 43 of them for strikes. His command was sharper, and his lone mistake was a 1-2 fastball up that Marwin Gonzalez smashed for a home run." - "Chris Young improves, opt-out date looming" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Nationals would obviously love for [Chris] Young to stay, go to Triple-A and serve as a security blanket for them, much in the way John Lannan did in 2012." - "Chris Young pleased with progress in second start" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Denard] Span has played often this spring and said he wants more than 50 at-bats before the season starts." - "Span wants same comfort at plate as clubhouse" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

AUDIO: Nats' catcher Kurt Suzuki with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner And Danny Rouhier

• "[Chris] Young is able to opt out of his contract on March 24, and with the Nats having their starting rotation already set, there doesn't appear to be space for him barring an injury." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson on Young and Owings: 'Those are veteran guys who are opening some eyes'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Chris] Young insists he's not approaching these outings any different than he did in previous camps when he was assured of a job, but it must be in the back of his mind." - "Young makes progress in 2nd start with Nats" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

Chris Young talks about start vs Astros. via MLB.com:


• "Manager Davey Johnson was also impressed with the way [Anthony] Rendon played this spring and is anxious to see how he continues to play on the left side of the infield." - "Washington Nationals cut seven players, roster at 42" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

AUDIO: Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. w/ Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier

• "Outside of [Ross] Detwiler and [Gio] Gonzalez, Zach Duke will be the only lefty on the team." - "Nationals Inbox: Gio Gonzalez, Ross Detwiler OK with Team USA?" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "A former pitcher attempting to make the transition to a position player, Owings has really impressed with his bat this spring." - "Nationals Pastime: Owings goes yard, Young happy with his progress (Nats win)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "In nine Grapefruit League games, the pitcher-turned-outfielder is hitting .368 (7-for-19) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI." - "Owings enjoying surprise ride" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Said Manager Davey Johnson: 'He’s shown this spring and had improvements since day one.'" - "Pitcher-turned-position player Micah Owings impressing" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "It was a hard-fought start for Nationals starter Chris Young, who is filling left-hander Ross Detwiler's spot in the rotation while Detwiler is at the World Baseball Classic with Team USA." - "Owings' slam lifts Nats, Soriano allows first runs" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "[Michael] Weiner expects the commissioner’s office to interview all of those players by the end of spring training or early in the season." - "MLPBA chief Michael Weiner hopeful Biogenesis investigation will be completed soon" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

VIDEO: Strasburg and Haren on Nats' rotation. via MLB.com:


• "'I thought I did really well [in Spring Training],' Rendon said. 'I wanted to come here and make an impact on the team and make them remember me.'" - "Rendon, Skole, Karns among roster moves" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Davey] Johnson said he believes [Chris] Young can help a major league rotation, but would like to have the 6-foot-10 right-hander in the organization for starting pitcher depth." - "Werth homers as Nationals top Astros" - Carl Kotala, AP/WTOP.com

• "[Matt] Skole, who finished the spring hitting .250 with two doubles, six walks and six strikeouts, also impressed the Nationals. He’ll continue to play first and third base." - "Nationals notes: Anthony Rendon among 7 players sent back to minors" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Craig] Stammen, 29, a former high school quarterback and shortstop from tiny North Star, Ohio, essentially is the Nationals’ fixer in the middle of the game." - "Craig Stammen ready to shoulder as heavy a load as Washington Nationals want to give him" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "This, as Marlo from 'The Wire' once said, 'sounds like one of them good problems.'" - "Nationals Pastime: More on the catching competition" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com Quoting Marlo From The Wire

• "'I'm going to be smart whichever way I go,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'I'm not concerned with that. It's the least of my worries.'" - "Davey still unsure who will catch on Opening Day" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

AUDIO: Dave Jageler talks to Holden Kusher And Danny Rouhier on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.

AUDIO: Charlie Slowes talks to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier

• "This year, because of the World Baseball Classic, spring training started earlier than normal and, as a result, lasts longer." - "Nationals pacing themselves through long spring training" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "We'll see if [Ross] Detwiler sees any action in a must-win game for both Team USA and Puerto Rico, with the winner taking the final spot in the WBC semifinals out in San Francisco." - "Nationals Pastime: Some of this, some of that" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Right-hander Paul Demny has come to the accelerated development camp looking good and ready to pick up where he left off following his play in the Arizona Fall League." - "Nationals pitching prospects Demny, Clay, Treinen, Encarnacion and Pineyro updates from camp" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

What's A "Man Card?":

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Not that it really makes any difference who starts the first game. But Gio Gonzalez did pitch brilliantly last season..." - "Stephen Strasburg draws Opening Day start for Nationals" - Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation

• "Washington, an enormously fun team to watch, deserves all of the accolades and respect. But they are overshadowing a Braves team that is poised to be extremely strong..." - "The Braves fight to reclaim baseball's best division." - Emma Span, SportsonEarth.com

• "The Washington Nationals had excellent pitching in 2012. The same five arms made 150 of the team's 162 starts, with a 3.40 ERA in a league in which the average starter put up 4.04." - "Can the Nats rotation repeat its 2012 performance?" - Marc Normandin, SportsonEarth.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "March 15, 1944 In accordance with wartime travel restrictions the Washington Senators train at the University of Maryland." - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Hidden 'weaknesses'" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "When I first started writing about the Nats’ new Ultimate Ballpark Access cards, I noted that this year’s season ticket holder gift would be an Opening Day commemorative display ticket with an acrylic holder." - "The Nats commemorative season ticket gift" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog

• "Jordan Zimmermann rebounded from the worst outing by any National this spring to return to his old self, quietly allowing just a single earned run over 4.2 innings of work while striking out six." - "Big Names, Big Games" - Curly W Live

• "The Nationals have made another round of moves as they continue to reduce their roster with an eye on Opening Day..." - "Rendon And Three Others Sent Down" - tomblaz, DC Pro Sports Report

• "Ian Desmond revoked Tyler Moore's Man Card" - Nats Enquirer

• "[Stephen] Strasburg has always had plenty of confidence in his ability, and he showed the guys on ESPN’s 'Mike and Mike in the Morning' yesterday just how confident he is." - "Strasburg Set To Start Opening Day And Talks About Who He’d Least Want To Face, Sort of" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "What Am I Looking Forward To With The Washington Nationals In 2013" - Ryan Sullivan, NatsGM

• "Owings Blast Powers Nats Past Astros, 6-3" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "With Ross Detwiler away at the World Baseball Classic, Chris Young got the start for the Nats. The 6’10″ righty went four innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks, striking out three." - "Washington Nationals Spring Training: Owings slam lifts Nats over Astros" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Holding Court: How To Fix The World Baseball Classic" - Nationals 101

• "Starting Pitching Quality in the WBC" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Dillon Gee pitched terribly Thursday. And he knew it." - "NY Mets hurler Dillon Gee tosses terrible outing against Detroit Tigers" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

Braves: "'I’m throwing a lot of changeups down, but that’s a good thing for me,' Minor said. 'I’ve just got to work on starting it a little bit higher — but not too much, because you don’t want to hang it.'" - "Braves’ Minor sharp until four-run 5th inning" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "One scout who has watched [Roy] Halladay in a couple of Grapefruit League games said his concern stems from the fact that he has often seen Halladay at his best even at this relatively early stage of spring training." - "Dubee says Halladay's bullpen was fabulous" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "Truth is, [Christian] Yelich has earned the Spring Phenom designation while showing he may be ready for more than the planned step up to Double-A this season." - "Miami Marlins: Is Yelich ready for the Show?" Craig Davis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

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