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Nationals debate whether to rest Jordan Zimmermann

Jul 5, 2011, 6:12 PM EDT

Jordan Zimmermann AP

Jordan Zimmermann, who had a streak out 11 straight quality starts ended by poor defense in his outing Monday, might be held out through the All-Star break as the Nationals attempt to manage his innings.

Zimmermann made a strong case for a spot on the All-Star team with a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts this season.  He was fifth in the NL at 2.63 when the teams were picked Sunday, and his ERA should have held pretty steady Monday, except neither Roger Bernadina nor Jayson Werth wanted to take charge of an Alfonso Soriano flyball to right-center Monday in Zimmermann’s start against the Cubs.  What should have been a routine out ended up as a two-run single, and it took Zimmermann out of the running for a win.

The Nationals, though, didn’t want Zimmermann on the All-Star team anyway.  He’s at 108 2/3 innings in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery, and the team had been planning to limit him to 160 or so.  At his current pace, he’ll get there in eight or nine starts, which means he could be shut down for the entire month of September.

So, Zimmermann, who was slated to pitch again on Saturday, is likely looking at two weeks off.  The Nationals could hold him out through the All-Star break and then let him return to pitch somewhere between July 17-19.

  1. akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc - Jul 6, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Some Nationals pundits think that Ross Detwiler (called up to make a spot start for yesterday) could stay with the team for an extended period of time and kinda go A/B with Zimmermann’s starts the rest of the way. That would probably help manage the innings limit. Davey Johnson has expressed a desire to have a more flexible long man/spot starter in the bullpen and Detwiler could fill that role for the time being.

  2. trevorb06 - Jul 6, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I’d like to think that all that time off is just going to make things worse. If you go from throwing ~100 pitches every 5-6 days with a side session in betwen to only throwing small side sessions your arm will weaken and if you start throwing sporatic ~100 pitch sessions again that’ll just throw your rhythm and potentially your arm out of whack.

    I am not an expert and I am probably wrong.

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