Tag:Jordan Zimmermann
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 1:16 pm

Strasburg Watch: Rehab start likely Sunday

By Matt Snyder

Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game Tuesday and everything went well, so he's on track to begin a minor-league rehab assignment, likely Sunday. His final hurdle is a side session Thursday. Assuming everything goes well, he'd get the start for Class-A Hagerstown Sunday -- only throwing an inning or two. He would then start in the minors August 12, 17 and 22 as part of the rehab assignment (Washington Times).

This is great news for the top overall pick in the 2009 draft, as it appears he might even return before September -- more likely early September. Remember, rehab assignments are limited to 30 days, so a Sunday start would mean he has to return by the end of the first week in September.

That timing would work well for the Nats, too, because Strasburg could get in some work toward the end of the season and head into the offseason strong. Plus, Jordan Zimmermann -- another young stud pitcher for the Nats who underwent Tommy John surgery -- is nearing the Nationals' self-imposed innings limit for the season. Strasburg could just slide right into Zimmermann's spot in the rotation. Expect the Nats to similarly handle Strasburg with kid gloves when he does return to the hill.

Strasburg, 23, hasn't pitched in a game since last August 21. He had season-ending surgery on his right elbow shortly thereafter. The usual return time for the so-dubbed Tommy John procedure is between 10 and 14 months. He's reportedly been hitting the mid-90s on the radar gun in his simulated games.

Strasburg stormed onto the scene last season, going 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. If he can return to form, he's projected to be one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball. In fact, Strasburg and Zimmermann will form one of the better 1-2 punches in baseball for years to come, if they can remain healthy.

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Posted on: July 10, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 7:59 pm

3 Up, 3 Down: Nats already have ace

By Matt Snyder

Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals. There's plenty of hype surrounding what Stephen Strasburg can be for the Nationals in the future. He easily projects out as an ace. If he stays healthy and becomes one, the Nationals will have two aces. Zimmermann is already an ace. After working 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a victory Sunday over the Rockies, Zimmermann trimmed his ERA to 2.66. His WHIP is now 1.06. And he's only 25. Behind Strasburg, Zimmermann and much more, the future in D.C. is bright.

Andre Ethier, Dodgers. Apparently he wanted to give himself a going-away present before heading to the All-Star Game. The right fielder hadn't hit two home runs in a game since May 2, 2010, but did so Sunday. In fact, Ethier outscored the Padres' offense by himself, as the Dodgers won 4-1.

Marlins. Maybe it's new manager Jack McKeon, maybe not. We have no way of knowing. What we do know is that the Marlins have completely put that disastrous June behind them. A 5-4 win Sunday over the Astros means the Marlins have won five games in a row for the first time all season. They're now 7-2 since dropping a game July 1 and are only six games under .500 for the first time since June 17.

Francisco Cordero/Dusty Baker, Reds. Pick your poison here, I'm going to let the Reds fans decide who to pin this on. Cordero gave up two hits and walked one, en route to allowing two runs, blowing the save and losing the game. Cordero has now blown three consecutive save chances. Of course, when he took the hill Sunday, it was the fourth time in the past five days he pitched and his third consecutive day on the mound. He is 36, so maybe his arm was tired? For what it's worth, Baker brought Cordero in Saturday night with a five-run lead, so there's where you can find a beef with the possible overuse.

Carlos Carrasco, Indians. The young pitcher was in an outstanding groove recently, as he had a 0.98 ERA through his last five starts in June. July, however, has been a different story. Last time out, the Yankees touched him for 10 hits and six earned runs in four innings. On Sunday, Carrasco lasted three innings, as the Blue Jays got to him for seven hits and five earned runs.

Braves pitching: Ouch. Usually a strength for the Braves, the pitching staff was pounded throughout Sunday's 14-1 loss to the Phillies. Derek Lowe gave up 10 hits and four runs in his six innings, but the bullpen made that look pretty good. Cory Gearrin and Scott Proctor were torched by the Phillies' offense, combining for 10 hits and 10 earned runs in the final three innings. The Braves now leave Philly having lost ground and are 3-1/2 out at the break.

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:46 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 9:05 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Mets destroy Tigers' pitching

By Matt Snyder

Mets' offense. What a bloodbath. The Mets put the hurt on the Tigers' pitching staff, again, with a 20-hit, 16-run game. Oddly enough, the Mets hit zero home runs. Only three players had extra-base hits, but they just collected knock after knock. Ronny Paulino and Angel Pagan both had four hits and two doubles. Pagan and Daniel Murphy each collected four RBI. Paulino scored four runs. Pagan scored three times. Scott Hairston had a triple and three RBI. Everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit and the following had two: Jose Reyes, Justin Turner, Carlos Beltran, Ruben Tejada and Murphy. Amazingly, this was the fourth consecutive game the Mets scored at least eight runs, which ties the longest such streak in franchise history (ESPN New York). Also, the 52 runs in the four-game stretch was a franchise record (ESPN New York). All this without David Wright or Ike Davis. They'll get to try their hot offense against none other than Justin Verlander Thursday. Something's gotta give.

Scott Baker, Twins. If not for the Mets, you'd see Baker's picture above. The right-hander has long had great stuff but lacked consistency the past two seasons and early this year. Of late, though, he's kicked things into another gear and is probably headed for his first All-Star Game (I mean, who else are you going to send from the Twins?). Wednesday afternoon, he spun a gem against the Dodgers, working 7 1/3 shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing just six hits and one walk. In Baker's last seven starts, he's 4-2 with a 2.11 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 46 strikeouts against just nine walks. It's pretty safe to say Baker's the Twins' top pitcher at this point, and he started the season as the No. 5 starter.

Ricky Nolasco, Marlins. Here's another pitcher who seems to have great ability but can't stay consistent -- only Nolasco is more extreme on both fronts. I believe he has better stuff and he's far less consistent than Baker. Nolasco had actually been pretty bad of late, too. Heading into his Wednesday start against the A's, he was 0-3 with a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts. Throw that out the window, though, because Nolasco threw his second career shutout Wednesday. He carved through the A's lineup and only allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three. He left the bases loaded in the first, but settled in after that and cruised. Meanwhile, the Marlins picked up their fourth win in June.

Jordan Zimmermann's support. The young pitcher was brilliant Wednesday in trying to help the Nats to give Davey Johnson his first victory as the new Washington manager. Zimmermann pitched eight innings of four-hit ball. He only walked one. The only run he allowed came on a double play and was unearned due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error. Meanwhile, the Nationals' offense was handcuffed, accruing just five baserunners all game. So Zimmermann's ERA is down to 2.63, but he's 5-7. The Nats have now scored two runs or less in seven of Zimmermann's 16 starts. Don't pay attention to the record, the 25-year-old Zimmermann is developing into a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. 

Red Sox in interleague play. The Red Sox are 8-1 against the Yankees and have a 39-26 record against the American League. After losing to the Phillies again Wednesday night, the Red Sox are now 6-8 against the NL, including having lost two of three to the Padres and Pirates and face a sweep at the hands of the Phillies Thursday. Small sample size? Of course. Interesting? You bet.

Zach Duke, Diamondbacks. After a promising beginning to his Diamondbacks' career, Duke has been pretty bad. Wednesday, Duke lasted five innings, allowing nine hits, two walks and four earned runs. He took the loss and the D-Backs have now lost four of five, but the bigger issue is where things appear to be headed. In his last four starts, Duke is 0-2 with 9.47 ERA and 2.26 WHIP. As the D-Backs try to hang with the Giants in the NL West, this is simply not going to cut it.

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:56 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 7:57 pm

On Deck: Battle in the Bronx


By Matt Snyder

Five days games Wednesday, but that leaves 10 for the night time. We've heard -- and will continue to hear -- plenty about the Red Sox-Phillies series, so let's mix it up and check out three different games.

Division Leaders Square Off: Yeah, the Red Sox are actually in second place, so there's only one game between two teams in first place Wednesday, and that comes to us from the Bronx. The Yankees enter Wednesday night with a three-game winning streak and a 1-1/2 game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. The Brewers have a two-game lead in the NL Central, but will be looking for a measure of revenge after being pummelled 12-2 by the Yankees Tuesday evening. Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.95) gets the nod for the Brewers, and he's 0-4 with a 6.62 ERA in his last eight starts at Yankee Stadium (including both old and new). The Yankees send A.J. Burnett (7-6, 4.15), but the true draw in this game is the power on each side. Of the six players in the majors with 20-plus home runs on the season, three are playing in this game -- and that doesn't include Ryan Braun, A-Rod or a host of other sluggers. Milwaukee at New York (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Looking for No. 1: Davey Johnson took over as the Nationals manager Monday and he's lost his first two games. This comes after a stretch where the Nationals won 13 of 15 games and pushed themselves into the Wild Card picture. Wednesday, they'll look to get their new skipper his first victory against the Angels, who are 1-1/2 games out in the AL West. Upon first glance, the pitching matchup should favor the Angels, as it's Dan Haren (7-5, 3.05) against Jordan Zimmermann (5-6, 2.85), but look deeper. Zimmermann is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA, 23 strikeouts and only six walks in June. Haren, on the other hand, is 3-3 with a 5.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his last six starts. Washington at Los Angeles (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Picking Up Steam: Don't look now, but the hottest team in baseball is the defending World Series champions. The Giants have won seven games in a row. They've outscored opponents 34-16 in that span. Things shouldn't change much Wednesday night in Chicago, as the Giants send ace Tim Lincecum (6-6, 3.16) to the hill against the 32-48 Cubs. Lincecum scuffled a bit earlier this month, but looked just fine last time out, as the tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 12 in a win over the Twins. Ryan Dempster (5-6, 5.31) takes the hill for the Cubs, who are in fifth place in the NL Central and 12 games out of first place. San Francisco at Chicago (NL), 8:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans

While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:08 pm

On Deck: Britton aims to keep flying high


By Evan Brunell

There are only four night games on Thursday so the pickings are slim... that said, there are still plenty of interesting storylines.

YOUNG BIRD FLYING HIGH: It sounds strange to say, but the Orioles are not that far below .500. Rookie Zach Britton will aim to inch them two games closer to the benchmark when he takes on the Mariners and Jason Vargas. Vargas for his part has found a niche in Seattle and somehow has fared better on the road thus far, so could take down Britton. In a battle of lefties, Britton has so far been the more impressive pitcher with a 5-2 record and 2.93 ERA. He's assured himself of sticking in the rotation upon Brian Matsuz's rotation, so unless he is demoted at some point in the next few years, will hit free agency after 2016. Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET

I knew the Royals were playing well, but did a bit of a double-take upon really noticing that their record is 19-17. I mean, really? They'll attempt to keep the good times rolling against New York, who will offer up Ivan Nova and his 4.08 ERA. Nova's performed better than many expected, but is he pitching over his head? Answer: probably. Sean O'Sullivan certainly is with his 3.41 ERA and is due for a crash back to reality, so New York should walk away with this one although at this point, you just never know. Royals at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET

: It seems like lately all that's been talked about here On Deck is teams fighting to reach or stay above .500. That's because 11 teams are within three games of .500. The Nationals are right smack at .500 and would love to inch one game closer to third place, which the Braves currently hold with a 20-18 record. Washington will have to get past Derek Lowe, whose 3.22 ERA is putting him in shape to be the best starting pitcher on the trade market this summer as Atlanta searches for a hitter. The Nats will offer up Jordan Zimmermann and his 4.10 ERA as he continues to move past his Tommy John surgery and is poised to pair with Stephen Strasburg for an exciting tandem next season. Nationals at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: May 1, 2011 12:05 pm

On Deck: Mish-mash in the Central


By Matt Snyder

Upside-Down Central: Coming into the season, the AL Central was said to be a three-team race between the Twins, White Sox and Tigers. Go grab a look at the standings as we head into May, though. They appear to be almost completely upside down from what we've seen in recent years. The Indians have won five straight and a franchise-record 18 in April. They don't appear to be going away. Meanwhile, the Tigers, Twins and White Sox have lost a combined 14 consecutive games. The Twins and White Sox are already nine games out of first. The Royals have won two straight after it appeared they were coming back to Earth. Does the turning of the calendar to May bring a complete reshuffling? Ozzie Guillen is ready to forget about April and I'm guessing Jim Leyland and Ron Gardenhire have the same feeling. I do expect the three bottom teams to get better in the coming weeks, but the Indians don't look like pretenders. This could actually be one of the most exciting divisional races. Or, if things don't change, the most boring. We'll see.

Still Streaking: Andre Ethier's 26-game hitting streak (an April record) is the talk of baseball. He's hitting .400 with a 1.059 OPS, 10 doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI and 15 runs during the streak, so he's not just squeaking by with a single per game. Dustin Moseley is the opposing hurler Sunday. In three career at-bats, Ethier has three hits, including a home run, against Moseley. That's far too small a sample to make any judgements, other than to say that he certainly won't be feeling anything less than confident when stepping into the box. That matters. Expect the streak to be at 27 come Monday.

Underrated Pitching Matchups: On a day when we're treated to Jered Weaver (update: nevermind, he's out ), King Felix and the surprising Justin Masterson, there are quite a few pretty solid, yet under the radar, pitching matchups. Jordan Zimmermann has not pitched nearly as bad as his record (1-4) or ERA (4.55) would indicate and he's facing an anemic San Francisco offense with Matt Cain opposite him. Expect a low-scoring affair. How about Jaime Garcia against the recently-arrested Derek Lowe? Dustin Moseley only has a 1.99 ERA to this point, and he takes on Jon Garland, who hasn't been bad. Ricky Nolasco against Bronson Arroyo is another pretty good match. Cliff Lee squares off against Chris Young (1-0, 2.65) in Philly. Over in the AL, young gun Zach Britton toes the slab against the White Sox -- who trot out Gavin Floyd (3-1, 3.60). Matt Harrison is looking to get back on track against the A's and Gio Gonzalez (2.70 ERA). As I said, lots of good pitching matchups that wouldn't necessarily immediately turn heads.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:22 pm

Young Zimmermann overshadowed by dominant Lee

By Matt Snyder

Last year at this time Jordan Zimmermann was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Thursday night, the 24-year-old right-hander had a perfect game through five innings against the first-place Phillies. He ended up allowing two earned runs on five hits through seven innings -- lowering his ERA to 2.95 -- and heads home with the loss.

It's hard to really blame Zimmermann's Nationals teammates for not giving him any run support. When Cliff Lee is locked in like he was Thursday night, he needs very little help. So much for the last outing when he couldn't get through the fourth inning. That wasn't him, especially since only four of the 22 hitters he faced hit line drives.

Thursday night was vintage Lee -- just as I predicted .

He walked only one. He threw a complete game. He was so efficient he only needed 99 pitches. The 12 strikeouts were one shy of his career-high, set July 27 of last season. The Nationals only managed a mere three hits and only one man made it past first base.

Lee deserves all the praise for this masterpiece, even if he made it look so effortless -- but Zimmermann deserves some credit, too. That's a quality outing for an up-and-coming pitcher. He just happened to run into a man who has long since arrived.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com