Jordan Zimmermann is on the comeback trail

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Jordan Zimmermann, who underwent Tommy John surgery last August, threw 35 pitches in a two-inning simulated game at Nationals Park on Friday, according to Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com.

“I have been throwing 100 percent for a while now. I haven’t had a
setback, knock on wood. Everything is going perfectly.”

Willie Harris was one of the batters who faced Zimmermann and he provided some rave reviews to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

He looked good,” Harris said. “He was Jordan Zimmermann, man. He was
nasty. Live arm. Breaking pitches were good. He’s way of ahead of
schedule. It shows how hungry he is.”

So the big question, of course, is when will he join Stephen Strasburg in the starting rotation? Well, it could be sooner than you think.

Zimmermann said he hopes to join High-A Potomac in early July, while Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Kilgore that the 24-year-old right-hander is on track to return to the majors sometime between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15.

The Nationals might not stick around much longer in the National League East, but with these two arms, Nationals Park will be a pretty exciting place well through September.
 

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves