When the Nationals return from the all-star break on Friday, Manager Matt Williams will start Stephen Strasburg in the first game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Strasburg will be followed by Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister, Williams said. The rest of the rotation, however, will hinge on the state of Jordan Zimmermann’s right biceps.
Zimmermann has rested since he exited Friday’s game early and an MRI revealed revealed a biceps strain and no structural damage. The right-hander, who pulled out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game because of the injury, will rest over the next few days and likely throw in Thursday’s team workout. How he feels after that will determine if he can slide into the back of the post-break rotation or need to be put on the disabled list. Tanner Roark’s spot in the rotation is also up in the air as a result.
“We have to see how [Zimmermann] reacts over the next few days,” Williams said.
If Zimmermann stays off the disabled list, his latest likely start would come July 22. If he does land on the DL, he would be eligible to return on July 27, and the Nationals would only need to use a fill-in once.
“I feel good,” Zimmermann said after Sunday’s game. “I haven’t thrown. The real test will be when I throw the baseball for the first time on Thursday.”