Zim­mer­mann ready to let loose with no re­stric­tions

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports - BY AMANDA COMAK

VIERA, FLA. | Wind gusts blow­ing out around 18 mph greeted Jor­dan Zim­mer­mann as he climbed the mound Wed­nes­day for his first start of spring train­ing. One hun­dred ninety-one days had passed since the Washington Na­tion­als righthander pitched in a game sit­u­a­tion, as an in­nings limit left him in a spec­ta­tor’s role for the last month of the 2011 sea­son.

“Fine with me,” the nor­mally stoic Zim­mer­mann said. “As long as I’m able to pitch ev­ery five days.” with the Na­tion­als and was part of the trade with the Chicago Cubs that brought left-han­der Tom Gorze­lanny to the Na­tion­als in Jan­uary 2011. Zim­mer­mann, mean­while, has a 3.84 ERA in 49 ma­jor league starts the past three sea­sons — in­clud­ing a 3.18 mark and just 31 walks in 1611/ in­nings last year.

“I think he’s a top-of-the-ro­ta­tion guy,” man­ager Davey John­son said ear­lier this spring, com­par­ing Zim­mer­mann’s de­vel­op­ment to that of Ron Dar­ling, who John­son man­aged on the New York Mets. In his third full sea­son, Dar­ling was 15-6 with a 2.81 ERA and threw 237 in­nings to help the Mets win the World Se­ries in 1986.

“I think Zim is closer,” John­son said. “I think, af­ter what he’s done, he’ll be closer this year to be­ing the kind of pitcher we all know he’s ca­pa­ble of be­ing.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Na­tion­als right-han­der Jor­dan Zim­mer­mann posted a 3.18 ERA in 2011, strik­ing out 124 and walk­ing 31 in 1611/ surgery.

in­nings. He was com­ing off el­bow lig­a­men­tre­place­ment

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