Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann made his third rehab start with Single-A Potomac on Thursday. The 24-year-old right hander allowed one unearned run over four innings while striking out four and walking none. He scattered six hits on the night.
Zimmermann is currently rehabbing from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last summer after putting up a 3-5 record in 16 starts as a rookie. He also posted a 4.63 ERA to go with 92 strikeouts in 91.1 innings pitched.
Zimmermann was sharp considering it was only his third start since Tommy John surgery, and essentially only the third time he's pitched in the last year. So far through three starts Zimmermann has pitched nine innings, allowed nine hits, no earned runs, and struck out nine without walking any.
This is good news for the Nationals. While he is pitching down several levels, the high strike out totals indicates that he still has the stuff that made him arguably the best pitcher on the Washington Nationals staff last season, despite being a rookie. His low (or non existent) walk total indicates that he still has control over his pitches, which is often hard to maintain immediately after having your elbow reconstructed.
His high hit total (9h/9ip) is likely a sign of rustiness. He's probably missing spots trying to re-learn how to pitch. The good thing is that they are small inconsistent problems which are resulting in singles, and not bunches of walks and random homers.
Zimmermann is expected to be up by early August which is a good thing for the Nationals organization. If Zimmermann, Strasburg, and a healthy Marquis can showcase their potential before the season ends, it may serve as a good example for potential free agents of just how talented this young club is, and how much potential Washington baseball possesses.