Nationals Notebook

Zimmermann's Elbow Situation Worsening

By Zach Berman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 9, 2009

The news worsened for Washington Nationals rookie pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, whose elbow discomfort has caused enough concern that the Nationals sent film from Friday's MRI exam to orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., according to acting general manager Mike Rizzo.

"There was some concerning facts in our MRI when it was read by our team doctor," Rizzo said. Andrews is "going to read [the MRI images] Monday and we'll have a more definitive answer on Monday."

Up until Friday, the Nationals still expected Zimmermann to pitch 150-160 innings this season. Depending on the diagnosis, Zimmermann might not near that total. Zimmermann said the decision is in the hands of the Nationals front office, but that he would not object to being shelved for the remainder of the season if it's in the best interest of his future.

"It's ramped up since the last week," Rizzo said of his concern about Zimmermann's injury.

Clubbing Cavaliers

Both Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds hit home runs on Friday night. The pair leads the majors with nine home runs each since July 24.

Zimmerman and Reynolds formed the left side of the infield at Virginia in 2003 and 2004. Reynolds played shortstop; Zimmerman played third base. They have a combined 58 home runs this season, which is the most among a duo from the same college. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, both Long Beach State products, are second with a combined 43 home runs.

Zimmerman, the Nationals' first-round pick in 2005, has had expectations of stardom seemingly since the day he was drafted. Reynolds was a 16th-round pick in 2004.

"To their credit, they came to the University of Virginia, developed, got stronger and continued that right onto professional baseball," Virginia Coach Brian O'Connor said in a telephone interview. "Both have a great work ethic."

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