Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann Appreciation Society Meeting

USA TODAY Sports

On Monday afternoon, Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann had one of those rare outings in which everything went right. He retired eighteen-straight after giving up a leadoff single and got 13 ground ball outs from the hard-hitting Detroit Tigers' lineup. Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell's got today's big story on the Nats' right-hander...

18 straight outs. 13 groundouts. 67 pitches in 6.0 IP. It started with 26-year-old Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann giving up a hit, but everything else went his way in his fifth Grapefruit League outing on Monday at home in Viera against the defending AL East Champs from Detroit. "I had all four pitches working, you know," the '07 2nd Round pick said, cognizant of the fact that it was a different kind of outing. "It's one of those days where you have everything working. You can locate everything any time you want. It's hard to come by. They don't come by often, let's just say that. And when you've got everything working it's a lot easier and I was keeping everything in the bottom of the zone and that's why I got all the ground balls."

"I gave up a hit to the leadoff guy [Andy Dirks]," Zimmermann explained to reporters after the start against the Tigers. "That was a fastball down the middle. I threw a first pitch ball and then I didn't think he was going to be swinging so I just laid one over the middle and then after that I kind of settled in and first time through the order I started everyone with a fastball. And the second time through I started mixing it up, and first pitch curve ball, first pitch slider, and I was setting guys up more than I have been in the previous starts."

"You feel like you can't do anything wrong," Zimmermann said, clearly having enjoyed the experience, "and everywhere you throw the ball it goes where you want it to. And I threw a lot of good changeups today and kept it below the zone and they were swinging at it and getting weak contact and ground balls and got [Ian Desmond] and [Danny Espinosa] some work." It's with the discussion of changeups, or change-ups as the WaPost style guide apparently demands you write it, that the Washington Post's Thomas Boswell picks up the story in today's big story with the best lede of the year so far in Nationals reporting. Links and lots of them, starting with a WaPost Zimmermann feature... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Jordan Zimmermann has a change-up. That sounds innocent enough. But in baseball, that’s like saying a gorilla just learned how to use a machine gun." - "Jordan Zimmermann may be ready for a change for the better" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

VIDEO: Zimmermann Talks:


• [ed. note]: "There's no tv, MLB.tv or radio coverage of today's game, but here's the lineup.":

VIDEO: Washington Post Sports Live: Strasburg Discussion:


• "Bryce Harper is answering phones for the Nationals, so please keep the clown questions to a minimum" - Cut 4, MLB.com: News

Twitter: GET YOUR FEET OFF THE DESK!!!! PUNK!!!:

• "While the team has yet to reach win a championship, one of their players has already reached that 'your money isn't good here' status. At least when it comes to burritos." - "PHOTO: Harper gets free burritos for life" - Chase Hughes, CSN Washington

• "The way [Denard] Span describes his childhood, it’s clear he views himself and his family as fortunate." - "Raised by a single mom, Denard Span pays tribute by helping others" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Nats make a 12-year-old’s wish come true at spring training" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Fernando Abad and Jeremy Accardo, as non-roster invitees, seem headed for Syracuse as well." - "Who's left in camp?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Davey] Johnson's only half-joking about the increased workload, and virtually every field player who will be on the 25-man roster out of camp is heading to Jupiter." - "Nationals Buzz: Johnson cracking the whip and Werth is ready (updated)" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "[Wilson] Ramos, 25, made it known recently that he would like to get his job back in 2013." - "Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos wants to claim everyday job" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'For years, I have been working on my defense more than my offense,' [Wilson] Ramos said recently. 'I hope to continue.'" - "Wilson Ramos improving on defense" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "With a better lineup around him -- Jayson Werth was out until August last summer and Denard Span was playing for the Twins -- Harper should have more opportunities to drive in runs." - "How high can Bryce Harper fly?" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "The strength of [Jayson] Werth’s wrist could determine a lot for him this season, particularly when it comes to his power at the plate." - "Jayson Werth will test his wrist this week, impressed by Tigers' Bruce Rondon" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Paul] Menhart said the Nationals as an organization have done a nice job retooling quickly after having traded off the likes of Alex Meyer and others." - "Byron Kerr: Nationals work on goal of getting younger at higher levels" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Hanging on the bleachers behind home plate and watching the game was the Nationals’ top pitching prospect, Lucas Giolito, last year’s first-round pick." - "Catching up with first-round pick Lucas Giolito" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Roger] Bernadina (and the Nationals) did get a scare when he was struck in the wrist by a fastball on March 10 and had to miss two games." - "Bernadina returning from WBC" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "When [Roger] Bernadina returns to camp, likely on Wednesday, Manager Davey Johnson will have a challenge in getting Bernadina enough at-bats to prepare for the season." - "Roger Bernadina, Netherlands end run in the World Baseball Classic" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'What a great experience to play for the Dutch team,' [Roger] Bernadina, whose nickname is 'The Shark' wrote on twitter late Monday night." - "Roger Bernadina headed back to Nationals camp after Netherlands loss" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Over the weekend, a scout pointed out that Span always lines up either a couple steps to the left or right of an imaginary straight line that bisects home plate, the pitcher’s mound and the center of the fence." - "How Denard Span lines up" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "An eight-year major leaguer between 1993-2002, Tarasco made a career out of being a decent hitter and good fielder for the Braves, Expos, Reds and Mets." - "Nationals Buzz: For first base coach Tarasco, focus on preparation leads to new opportunity" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "He might be striking a big shot's pose in the photo, but Bryce Harper actually was doing everyman's work Tuesday on his day off — from baseball activities." - "Bryce Harper takes Washington Nationals ticket orders over phone" - David Brown, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• "Washington Nationals assign another group of players to Syracuse Chiefs" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com

• "The Nationals biggest stars were drafted and developed by the team. Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond are among some of the players who came up through the system." - "2013 Prospect Watch: Washington Nationals" - Chris Cwik, CBSSports.com

• Around SB Nation:

• "The Washington Nationals were thought to still be a year away from contention at the beginning of the 2012 season, but now they enter the upcoming 2013 season as early World Series favorites." - "2013 Team Preview: Washington Nationals" - Lance Rinker, Beyond the Box Score

•"The Nationals led the MLB in wins last season, but still aggressively pursued upgrades to their roster this offseason in hopes of being even better in 2013." - "2013 Opponent Preview: The Washington Nationals are legitimate World Series contenders - Bless You Boys

• NATSTOWN:

• "March 20 - Senators Birthdays - John Joseph Boehling B Mar. 20, 1891 D Sep. 8, 1941" - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Bryce Harper spent his off day answering phones for the Nats, got free burritos for life from Chipotle" - Nats Enquirer

• "Last year, our Nation's Capital had our first winning season. This year, we are coming back with a more powerful lineup. Here is a list of 50 things I love about Opening Day!" - "50 Things I Love About Opening Day" - Matt's Bats

• "With Opening Day less that two weeks away, there is plenty of time to breakdown the 25-man roster..." - "Eight More Must Go" - tomblaz, DC Pro Sports Report

• "Get To Know A Nat: Rafael Soriano" - Nationals 101

• "Storen paying for Davey's mistakes" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "[Charlie] Manuel said he has an opening-day lineup in his mind but would not reveal it." - "Could Domonic Brown bat fifth for Phillies?" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "One staple for the 2013 roster is shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who the Marlins acquired in the blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. Hechavarria will get his first look as an everyday player in the Miami lineup." - "JUPITER: Miami Marlins’ regular lineup is taking shape" - Steph Rogers, MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "With Frank Francisco’s rehabilitation from elbow surgery keeping him from spring training games, Parnell was told from the very beginning to prepare this spring to be the closer." - "NY Mets' Bobby Parnell getting comfortable in closer role, ready to take job on Opening Day" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

Braves: "In his first game since returning from the World Baseball Classic, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel had one strikeout in perfect seventh inning against the Phillies." - "Kimbrel pitches quick inning in return from WBC" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

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