Zimmermann ready to let loose with no restrictions
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.”
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