Will Jordan Zimmermann make his 2010 debut next Sunday?

jordan-zimmermann-197x300Ben Goessling of MASN.com suggests that the Washington Nationals may recall 24-year-old Jordan Zimmermann to make an emergency start in place of recently injured J.D. Martin:

“The Nationals’ rotation will get yet another new look later this week, this one coming in light of the strained lower back that will send JD Martin to the disabled list on Sunday. In the short term, Martin’s injury means Collin Balester will stay in the majors for a few more days, at least until the Nationals need another starter.

That will likely come on Friday against the Phillies, when Martin would have been scheduled to pitch next. The Nationals could bump it back to Saturday, pitching Ross Detwiler on regular rest. But they’re using him on short rest tomorrow, so it seems likely they’d give him an extra day to make up for this week’s workload.

From what I can see now, there’s one reason the Nationals could have Detwiler pitch on the 30th: so they could bring Jordan Zimmermann back on the 31st against the Phillies. Zimmermann has a rehab start at Single-A Hagerstown on Monday, so he could make the start on regular rest. But the Nationals likely will want to wait until early August to bring Zimmermann back, giving him a little extra time in his Tommy John surgery rehab.”

Goessling goes on to suggest that Scott Olsen and Jason Marquis could be ready to make their return, but wont be available as they are scheduled to pitch Thursday and Friday respectively.


I tend to agree with Goessling here when he says that it might be a bit too early to bring back Zimmermann. Yes, he has been dominant in Potomac during his Thommy John rehab,  posting 0.00 ERA and striking out 13 batters in 13 innings. However there is no reason to rush an arm that the organization which the franchise is counting on for the future.

Zimmermann has a long history of injuries, as well as a history of recovering from them quickly. Perhaps in this season which is turning out to be a wash, the Nationals should give him something he hasn’t had in his young lift, a chance to fully recover.

I think the wiser choice is to have one of the minor leaguers skip a start in order to be at full rest for a major league call up next weekend. A good choice could be Matt Chico, who is scheduled to start on Tuesday for Triple-A Syracuse.

In 14 starts for Syracuse, Chico has a 5-4 record with a 3.58 ERA.