Monday, August 23, 2010

What's next for Zimmermann, Maya?

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.


bgib said...

It seems to be taking them an awfully long time to come up with a good spin for yesterday's MRI results.

Sue Dinem said...

Maya looked like he was tinkering out there yesterday, but a couple of other things ought to be taken into consideration:

1) He was facing the best-hitting team in the Carolina League
2) This was his third start after a long layoff from facing pro hitters

JaneB said...

Bgib, I was thinking the same thing. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

How about tandeming Zimmermann and Stammen for the rest of the season as Zimmermann has a 5 inning limit?

What is the prognosis on Maya and his blister on his thumb? I know some pitchers can get sidelined for awhile with such a problem.

Anonymous said...

re Strasburg--no news is probably bad news. Every time a Nats pitcher goes down, and it is often, the story always unravels to the worst possible scenario. John Patterson, Shawn Hill and on and on.

Anonymous said...

1) He was facing the best-hitting team in the Carolina League
2) This was his third start after a long layoff from facing pro hitters
3) He couldn't throw two his best pitches (changeup and splitter) because
of the huge blister on his thumb. Big enough to impress AK who saw it.

Anonymous said...

John Patterson, Shawn Hill and on and on.

Looks like a complete recovery for JZimm? And Olsen did battle back from the shoulder surgery. Really have to wait until next year to see if he's back. He is pitching for the $100,000 bonus per game now.

It seems like Rizzo does a better job handling pitchers than Bowden did. In spite of Bowden's opining at Rizzo to shut Stras down.

Anonymous said...

I happened to agree that SS should just be shut down but for Bowden to have any opinion on anything Baseball is laughable. You forfeit your right to be listened to the minute you give Dimitry Young, Belliard and Guzman contract extensions; never mind the stupid trades for Guileen etc. and all the shinanigans in the Dominican.

NatsFan2005 said...

The front office's wall of silence surrounding Starsburg is deafening. The team needs to add physicians to its scouting staff, witness:


Steve M. said...

Isn't Rizzo waiting on the Doctor to evaluate the MRI. What time was that supposed to be?

Lineups are already out. Michael Morse not in the lineup.

Steve M. said...

I hear the Doctors are discussing what to do with the injury and not great news.

Mark said...

Was that Mark Lerner doing a header off of the roof of Nationals Park?

Anonymous said...

Hear from whom? C'mon, man.

Sunderland said...

One reason why the Nats do not want to shut Strasburg down is their guidline of a 20% increase in innings year over year.
He has 123 innings behind him this year, which would limit him to 148 innings next year.

I really think he needs and deserves a rehab start before coming back. He got hit pretty good after his last lasyoff. By his next start, he'll have only tossed 14 innings in the previous 40 days. He needs to get some time on the mound where command and control is more important than winning.

One rehab start, and if he does well, then back up here 9/5 against Pittsburgh. That's what I'd prefer.

Steve M. said...

Yah, I am hearing elbow which may be better than a ruptured forearm tendon.

Anonymous said...

Hearing from whom? Name your source.

Mark said...

Elbow as in Tommy J? Get it done now and back to 100%. Hope your sources are wrong!

Steve M. said...

Lets wait for Rizzo. I don't want to give out any incorrect information.

I know Dr. Yocum in California is a great elbow specialist so quite possibly they are waiting on him.

Wasn't the actual MRI yesterday?

alexva said...

Pitch Zimmermann Wednesday and bump Marquis, I don't care whether he was already announced. And yes I have tickets Wednesday, so what.

Ken said...

If Strasburg gets shut down, which seems like a possibility, the chances of his pitching a full season in 2011 will be non-existent. If, after seeing Dr. Andrews, he's allowed to continue pitching (probably skipping his scheduled Thursday start) he could easily pitch through to the end of the season, even if he was able to average 8 innings per start.

If Strasburg is deemed fit and ready to pitch, they need to stop babying him or he will never toughen up to be a staff ace.

natsfan1a said...

Ladson is reporting SS to 15-day DL:

Steve M. said...

natsfan1a - With respect to Ladson who usually is wrong, I hope this time he is right.

Jordan Zimmermann is proof that great Doctors can get you past what sounds like horrible news. Keep in mind that JZim didn't use Dr. Andrews as he used Dr. Yocum.

Again, I hope Ladson is correct on this one.

natsfan1a said...

No offense, Steve M., but I'd be inclined to put more faith in Ladson than in an anonymous commenter who does not name a source.

mark said...

I agree with natsfan1a as you aren't giving up your source. Why was Strasburg able to throw a baseball yesterday?

Give up your source. Why would it be his elbow when clearly it was his forearm.

Anonymous said...

Kenz afan

If we don't protect him this year; next year won't be relevant; if they stop babying him he won't be around long enough to be the staff ace (ref. Mark Prior). Let's stop with the stupid macho stuff; the next meaningful Nats game is not until April.

Steve M. said...

natsfan1a - aren't you an anonymous commenter? Who are you? I at least use my youngest brother's name and my daughter's middle initial!

What are we in High School? I came on here to post what I knew as I have all season.

I hope Ladson is correct. I remember the same thing and you can follow it with Jordan Zimmermann. He was put on the DL with elbow tightness and then 2 days later, BAM, surgery.

I am not a Doctor so I won't speculate on what the course of action is. I am sure Dr. Wiemi Douoguih has looked at the MRI and knows immediately what it is.

Like everyone else, I was hoping to hear forearm strain of the brachioradialis.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, natsfan1a and Mark... No source, no news.

natsfan1a said...

Yes, I am an anonymous commenter, but I did not claim to have insider information and not source it. Rather, I posted a link to a related story on the blog of the Nats beat writer.

natsfan1a said...

Kilgore of the Post's Nationals Journal is also reporting the DL for SS:

natsfan1a said...

As is Mark ^

Anonymous8 said...

The world of the internet natsfan1a I remember you said you were a female, is that part true?

All I can say is Steve M. gives good insight and knows the game so we will see if he is right as nobody is talking elbows, surgery, long-term. 15 day DL sounds like a strain which probably means they are just shutting him down for the season.

Why is Steve M. the only one with this revelation so either he has the hot lead that nobody else is close to or he is jerking us around.

Riggleman said "a less-encouraging outlook" not a bleak outlook that would require surgery.

Steve M., I have to throw you under the bus. Sorry. I am going with the anonymous natsfan1a on this one which is the safe route.

natsfan1a said...

Yep, I'm female (though I'm not sure why that's relevant). I wasn't trying to throw Steve M. under the bus, but wanted to get the facts. We're probably all a little edgy given the uncertainly.

natsfan1a said...

And, to be clear, I was not questioning the man's baseball acumen. I was looking for a source for the medical hearsay.

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