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.
 

Report: Christian Yelich’s relationship with Marlins ‘irretrievably broken’

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Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.

Longo said,

They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.

This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.

Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.