Early Friday morning, Jordan Zimmermann sent Nationals General Mike Rizzo a text message, saying that he felt better after a bout of the flu forced the Nats to scratch him from his Thursday start. His fever broke Thursday night after he rested and chugged fluids.
Even though Zimmermann had improved, Manager Matt Williams still wanted the right-handed starter evaluated before Friday’s home opener against the Atlanta Braves. If Zimmermann couldn’t start, the Nationals would turn to a combination of relievers and likely start long reliever Craig Stammen. But nearly 90 minutes before game time, the Nationals believed that Zimmermann was going to start the game. “He is feeling good,” Rizzo said.
Williams said that Zimmermann told him Friday he was “100 times better” than he was Thursday, but the manager still wanted Zimmermann to warm up and see how he felt then. “If Jordan can go, he’ll go,” Williams said. If Zimmermann starts as expected, he will be monitored during the game and potentially restricted if the flu symptoms return.