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J-Zimm at Potomac tomorrow

Jul 2, 2010, 2:55 PM EDT

Here's some encouraging news about one of several injured Nationals pitchers, this one actually taking a significant step in his recovery: Jordan Zimmermann will make his first rehab start tomorrow night for Class A Potomac.

Zimmermann, who had Tommy John surgery last August, is slated to throw two innings against Wilmington at Pfitzner Stadium. It's the right-hander's first appearance in an actual game since he faced the Cubs on July 18, 2009, after which he was shut down with elbow pain.

The Nationals have had to hold Zimmermann back some in his rehabilitation, not wanting to push him to return sooner than the 12-month period generally reserved for pitchers coming off elbow ligament replacement surgery. He will likely spend the full allotment of 30 days on the rehab assignment. By the beginning of August, the Nats will have to decide whether he's ready to pitch in the majors or whether to option him back to the minors for some more seasoning first.

Zimmermann, 24, was a second-round draft pick in 2007 from Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, but he quickly became the organization's top pitching prospect. In 16 starts last season beforeRead more ยป

  1. WillC - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    If Stammen, Martin, and Atilano continue to pitch well in July, there are really going to be difficult decisions to be made. Since at the least Detwiler and Zimmermann will be ready by early August. When Olsen, Marquis and Wang are ready around the same time frame and somehow Lannan finds his form in the meantime… boy… it's going to be tough for Rizzo.Unless, Rizzo uses Atilano or Martin as trade baits before the trade deadline to perhaps get a power hitting outfielder (Carlos Quentin?). Mark, what do you think are the chances for any of the starting pitchers being traded away in July?

  2. Nate - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    You might, might be able to use Atilano or Martin as trade bait to upgrade your backup catcher, but none of our pitchers are going to be major pieces in a trade for a legitimate starting position player.

  3. Steve M. - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    WillC – Those are the tough decisions you want to make. All hopes and prayers for Jordan Zimmermann who last year for the 1st 2 months was dominating most of the time. Good moving fast ball and great breaking ball.Go JZim!

  4. natsfan1a - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Glad to see that things are coming along for J-Zimm, and I wish him well in his recovery.btw, I believe that the Pfitz will feature fireworks after the game on both Saturday and Sunday. We'll be there on Sunday (have had tix for some time).

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    For every Brian Lawrence snafu, every John Patterson-is-improving delay, every Chad Cordero setback and every Shawn Hill's arm-is-not-turning-to-jelly propaganda piece and for every trip one of our lame-armed hurlers took to Dr. Andrews in Alabama, this bit of encouraging news about J-Zimm'nn is actually worth all that heartburn and headaches. Throw nice and easy, J-Zimm'nn, we'll all still be here in 2011. And how do you feel pitching in the rotation following Jesus?

  6. Sec3MySofa - Jul 2, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    It seems unlikely Olsen, Marquis, OR –nevermind AND — Wang will be ready by early August, based on what's been written most recently (Yes, I am too lazy to give you a link). I'll be pleasantly surprised if we see 2 quality starts out of the three of them put together anytime in 2010.***************************"If Stammen, Martin, and Atilano continue to pitch well in July, there are really going to be difficult decisions to be made. Since at the least Detwiler and Zimmermann will be ready by early August. When Olsen, Marquis and Wang are ready around the same time frame and somehow Lannan finds his form in the meantime… boy… it's going to be tough for Rizzo."

  7. Sec3MySofa - Jul 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    And since Detwiler is, at best, no improvement Stammen, Martin, or Atilano in the long run, and since Z'nn is coming off a really unpredictable surgery, and they're unlikely to get a position starter for any of them anyway in trade, I'd keep the abacus out of the henhouse for the time being.

  8. natsfan1a - Jul 2, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    So, did anyone else ever think of this when people talk about the cavalry coming later this season? No? Just me, then? :-)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKMNt4iHMB0&feature=related

  9. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Mark, was the 'jump' really necessary? ;)

  10. David - Jul 2, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    Sec3MySofaLivo will be traded if they can get anything of value in return. Capps will also most likely be traded because the Nats will not be able to afford him next year. Other moves that are at least 50/50…Dunn moved if they can get anything better then the 2 type A draft picks, and Willingham because he is cheap enough that every contending team can afford him. Dunn could stay if he agrees to a below market 2 year deal. As for Z'nn I'm sure they will be very cautious with him both with innings and pitch counts.

  11. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    >>>Livo will be traded if they can get anything of value in return. Capps will also most likely be traded because the Nats will not be able to afford him next year. Other moves that are at least 50/50…Dunn moved if they can get anything better then the 2 type A draft picks, and Willingham because he is cheap enough that every contending team can afford him.<<<You're wrong on every account with the possible exception of Livan.First, this team's payroll is already among the lowest in baseball (23rd of 30 teams) and $8 million of that is dropping off because this is the last year of Guzman's contract. Capps is certainly affordable and you never have too many bullpen arms, see last year's Nationals bullpen if you have any questions.Dunn counts for $12 million of payroll this year so what he'd count for next year would likely be just a few million dollars over that. Willingham is a very good player under team control. There's no way you let players like that go.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    Forget Wang. The got better than "Wang" and his shoulder in LIvan Herandnez. You ought to be grateful. instead of wistfully thinking about another guy, like Olsen, with an artificially reconstructed shoulder.

  13. David - Jul 2, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Anon 12:56Its hard to be wrong on a 50/50 proposition ;).It will depend on what is offered but usually players like Dunn who have expressed an interest in staying with a team and that team has not signed him midway through the season they will be shopping him pretty hard. It does depend on what is offered and he could sign for below market making it easier for the Nats to trade him next year. As for Willingham, teams will contact the Nats and make offers. Again it will depend on what is offered. As for Capps I will be quite surprised if he is not traded because he will never have more value than he does right now. I don't think the Nats will have a fire sale and I don't think that it is purely a team payroll question more one of how Rizzo will want to develop "his team". Just to let you know I like all of these players and I will be sad to see some of them go its just the way a mid-payroll team must operate in order to someday be competitive.

  14. We Need a Bat - Jul 2, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    I agree with David. Payroll should not be an issue at the price points we are talking about with any of these guys. Dunn is feasible if they want to re-sign him. I think Capps and Dunn are a little better than 50/50 to go. Livo could be traded, but prospective buyers are aware just as we are about his tendency to fade in the second half in recent years. I have trouble figuring out what reasonable value on Livo would be. I'm sure Rizzo would listen to offers for a guy like Willingham, or even Pudge, but I doubt he's actively trying to trade them. Given the uncertainty/delays with Wang/Detwiler/Zimmermann/Marquis, I doubt you'll see them part with Atilano, Stammen or Martin. You're not going to get an average or above Major League position player for those guys anyway.

  15. Kevin Trainor - Jul 2, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Actually, if we can find a backup catcher that hits better than Wil Nieves, that might be worth trading one of our young pitchers while the iron is hot. Post linked at Beltway Baseball.

  16. Joe Seamhead - Jul 3, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    I don't get most of the trade speculation mentioned here. Rizzo loves Josh Willingham and defensively he's the most improved player on the team. Capps could be expendable for a price, but I wouldn't give him up cheaply. Zimmerman, Dunn and Willingham should be 3-4-5 for a long time.I hope that they sign Dunn for an extension. Chris Marrero is still looking pretty iffy, as in spite of an improved bat, he has 10 errors. Good luck as far as getting a back up catcher. The Red Sox are desperate for a catcher too. We need quality outfielders, and of course another catcher. Maxwell seems to be finally getting some confidence back in Syracuse. I say give him one more shot if he continues to be hot for another month.

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