• Today's Game: Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals - 1:05 pm EST - Today's game is available via Gameday Audio on MLB.com. Also on Sirius/XM Channel 186 at 1:05 pm EST. It's also available as a Live Box Score on MLB.com and on your iPhone via the MLB At Bat 11 app...Who's Listening to the NATS?
• Washington Nationals - Starting Lineup: (via @NationalsPR)
- NMISMH - Nyjer Morgan - CF
- Ian "Franking" Desmond - SS
- Jayson Werth - RF
- The People's Champion Michael Morse - 1B
- Rick Ankiel - LF
- Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - C
- Wilson Ramos - DH
- Danny "Spinner" Espinosa - 2B
- Alberto "The General" Gonzalez - 3B
- Jordan Zimmermann - SP
• Jordan Zimmermann Spring Debut Preview: In explaining how he'd arrived at the conclusion that Jordan Zimmermann was the 42nd best prospect in baseball on his "Top 100 Prospects" list for 2009, ESPN.com writer/analyst Keith Law described Auburndale, Wisconsin-born, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point-educated right-hander Jordan Zimmermann as a "classic four-pitch pitcher", while highlighting the Washington Nationals' '07 2nd Round draft pick's "plus command" of his "90-94 mph four-seamer", "mid-80's slider", "tight curve and change." Baseball America's Aaron Fitt had Zimmermann atop his list of the Top 10 Prospects in the Nationals' organization that winter, and Zimmermann claimed the "Best Fastball" and "Best Slider" tags that year too, with Mr. Fitt writing that the right-hander had, "emerged as the clear-cut top prospect in the organization."
Zimmermann debuted with Washington that April. By August he was placed on the DL with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. A little over a year later Zimmermann would return to the mound in the major leagues on August 26, 2010, against the same St. Louis Cardinals he faces today, who put seven hits and five earned runs up on the Nats' starter that night. Zimmermann followed that start up with 6.0 shutout innings against the Florida Marlins in which he struck out nine Marlins' batters, and though he struggled some in readjusting, Zimmermann ended the season with back-to-back starts in which he gave up just six hits and two earned runs in 11.0 IP against the Braves and Mets.
Twenty-three starts into his Major League career, Zimmermann's (4-7) with a 4.71 ERA, 89 ERA+, 4.61 FIP, .314 BABIP, .262 BAA, 8.75 K/9, 2.87 BB/9 and he's worth +1.6 WAR. Zimmermann's 2011 campaign officially starts today with his first outing of the Spring. In a recent appearance on 106.7 the FAN in DC's Overtime with Bill Rohland and Danny Rouhier Zimmermann said he's 100% healthy, "The arm feels great. I'm healthy as ever and I feel real strong."
Zimmermann said that the hardest part of his recovery was when he arrived at camp in 2010:
"...last year when I got down here, kind of similar to what [Stephen] Strasburg's in right now. You're feeling good and you're throwing, but you gotta be limited with everything. You can't do half the drills that everyone else is doing, and things like that. I think that was the hardest part, and then also knowing, you know, I feel that I can go out and pitch in a game, but I really have six more months until I can actually do that."
In describing his own arsenal to the 106.7 the FAN in DC's hosts, Zimmermann said that before undergoing Tommy John sugery his, "...slider was my best pitch and my curve ball was just, okay I guess, but after surgery my slider just went away and I had a hard time throwing it and the curve ball then became [a] better pitch, and it was more of a 12-6, a true curve, and had some pretty good bite to it. But now that I started up again, the slider seems to be back and the curve ball seems to back, so I don't know, I guess that's a [best] case scenario." Nationals fans get their first look (or listen) at Zimmermann this afternoon. The right-hander's being looked at as a top-of-the-rotation arm this season. He was expected to be one before his injury. He's 100% healthy. He's already made his breakthrough at the major league level. Can he become a consistent starter for the Nats this season?