While all of NatsTown awaits the results of Stephen Strasburg's forearm MRI, it's worth noting a couple of other pitchers who could be in the running to take his rotation spot: Jordan Zimmermann and Yunesky Maya.
Zimmermann has thoroughly dominated the minor leagues in his rehab from Tommy John surgery — 1.59 ERA in 10 starts, 31-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio — and after tossing five innings of scoreless, one-hit ball Friday night for Class AAA Syracuse, there doesn't seem to be much reason to keep him down there any longer.
Mike Rizzo said as much before that outing, declaring: "If there's no need for another minor-league start, developmental-wise or to get him ready to pitch up here, then we would bring him up here."
If Zimmermann stayed on a strict, five-day schedule, he'd be lined up to start Wednesday. But Jason Marquis has already been named Wednesday's starter, so that's not happening. But Zimmermann could very easily slide into Strasburg's spot Thursday if the rookie is held out (which, I think, is the safe assumption at this point).
It should also be noted that Rizzo said yesterday any decision on Zimmermann will be made solely on his performance development. He won't be affected by Strasburg's status.
Now, what about Maya, who yesterday made his first start for Class A Potomac? That was a bit of a ragged outing for the Cuban right-hander. He put just two men on base in his first three innings, then crumbled during a five-run fourth. A blister on his right thumb didn't help matters.
The Nationals, though, remain committed to having Maya pitch in the majors this season. First, he'll head to Class AAA Syracuse for his next start. The Chiefs' season continues through September 6, so I wouldn't be surprised if he makes another start there, then gets the call-up after that.