Nationals Notebook: Zimmermann Scratched From Start
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Rookie right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was scratched as yesterday's starter against the Cincinnati Reds because he experienced elbow fatigue after throwing a bullpen session on Saturday. He said he would rest until tomorrow and make his next scheduled start on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays. He also said he received treatment yesterday for his elbow.
Ross Detwiler, originally scheduled to go tonight, pitched in Zimmermann's place and took the loss.
The news was tempered by the Nationals' much-anticipated selection of Stephen Strasburg, a right-handed pitcher from San Diego State, as the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft. And neither Zimmermann nor Manager Manny Acta expressed much concern over Zimmermann's setback.
"Not concerned at all because he's fine; there's no problem with him," Acta said, adding that he would rest some of the other young arms in the Nationals' rotation. "This is something we're anticipating doing with a couple of those guys anyway because we're going to have to monitor their innings and possibly shut down a couple of them later in the year, when they hit their innings and we think it's enough."
Viewed as the top young pitcher in Washington's system, Zimmermann, 23, has shown promise this season. He last started Thursday against the San Francisco Giants, pitching a brilliant six innings in which he allowed two runs on three hits, but was overshadowed by Randy Johnson's 300th victory. Washington's pitchers typically throw a bullpen session two days after starting.
"It's always a little sore when I'm throwing my bullpen session," Zimmermann said of the sensation in his elbow. "It was just tired ."
The Right Move
After battling a viral infection for the last week, Josh Willingham is expected to be in the starting lineup tonight. But he will be playing in right field, not in left field.
With Acta announcing that Adam Dunn would remain in left field, Willingham will compete with Austin Kearns for the starting role in right. Over the past few days, Willingham has been working out in right field and getting acclimated to playing the different angles on that side.
"I've never played there before," Willingham said. "It'll be a challenge. Looking forward to it."