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Nats' Zimmermann hoping to pitch this season

Mar 3, 2010, 9:13 PM EDT

zimmermann throws.JPGThat’s not a deceiving headline, is it?  Sorry.  Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (with two n’s) underwent Tommy John surgery just last August, and yet he told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on  Wednesday afternoon that he wants to pitch this season.

“I really want to get back this year and pitch,” said Zimmermann.  “I don’t want to wait 18
months and not step on a mound and then come to spring training having
not thrown at a big league level.”

It’s a pipe dream.  No pitcher returns from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery within a year and Zimmermann isn’t going to either.  It’s a shame, too, because the 23-year-old righty was on a roll before he got injured last summer.  He finished the 2009 season prematurely with a 4.63 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 92/29 K/BB ratio over 16 starts (91 1/3 innings).  See you in 2011, Jordan.

  1. Jason - Mar 4, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    While it is wildly unlikely that Zimmermann makes an appearance this season, it’s not completely unprecedented: Atlanta’s Peter Moylan had Tommy John surgery in May 2008, and he still began the 2009 season on the active roster.

  2. Drew Silva - Mar 4, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Sure, but does Peter Moylan have the upside of Jordan Zimmermann? He won’t be allowed to rush back like that, even if he swears he’s making great progress. They just won’t let him.

  3. Jason - Mar 4, 2010 at 7:43 AM

    Oh, I agree; the odds of Zimmermann pitching a game this season are roughly on par with the odds of myself doing so. And while I would like to say crazier things have happened … I’m not so sure they have. I was speaking strictly in proof-of-concept terms.

  4. ecp - Mar 4, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Josh Johnson had TJ surgery on 8/3/07 and made his first major league appearance after on 7/10/08. And I presume he had a rehab assignment before that, so he was pitching in well under a year. Oh, and you can’t say he didn’t have the upside of Jordan Zimmermann.

  5. OsandRoyals - Mar 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I was gonna say something similar about Alfredo Simon who apparently is pitching in spring training after undergoing TJ very early last year, but Josh Johnson is a better comp. Even so it’s very unlikely

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