Jordan Zimmermann Takes First Step Toward Return

Posted by Dave Nichols | Sunday, July 04, 2010 | , , , | 0 comments »

Jordan Zimmermann warms up before his rehab start for Single-A Potomac. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

Washington Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann, on the DL recovering from Tommy John surgery, completed another important step in his journey back to the major league roster last night, making his first rehab appearance for the Single-A Potomac Nationals.

Zimmermann delivers against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

Zimmermann, 24, threw two innings for the P-Nats.  He allowed two base hits, but did not walk a batter.  He struck out two in the appearance.  He threw a total of 25 pitches, 16 for strikes.  After two innings, he went to the bullpen and got a little bit more work in.

He worked in the low 90s with his fastball and according to Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman, "threw the ball well."

The team has not specified his next start as of this post, but it's expected he'll make a couple more starts for Potomac as he builds his arm strength. 

The Nationals have said previously that they hope Zimmermann returns to the majors in 2010, but will be extremely cautious with his rehab.  He's been ahead of schedule the entire time, but recovery from Tommy John surgery is a tricky thing and usually takes between 12-18 months.  His surgery was August 2009.

Zimmermann throws to first base against Wilmington. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

Zimmermann is an important part of the Nationals near future.  The organization considers him the No. 2 starting pitcher in the organization behind Stephen Strasburg, and hopes the duo will be the foundation of rotation for many years to come.

(Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

In 2009, Zimmermann started 16 games for Washington.  He threw 91 1/3 innings, compiling a 3-5 record with a 4.63 ERA.  His WHIP was 1.358 and struck out 92, good for 9.1 per nine innings.  His K/BB rate was 3.17.

(Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)