Nats' Zimmermann again impressive in rehab outing

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We’ve been tracking Jordan Zimmermann’s rehab from Tommy John surgery all season.  And it’s time for another update. 

The 24-year-old right-hander was activated from the 60-day disabled list by the Nationals this week and sent to Triple-A Syracuse to continue working on his craft.  He made his first appearance for the Syrcause Chiefs on Thursday night, according to the Washington Post, and rattled off three no-hit innings while facing a minimum of nine batters.

Yet another fine performance.  Zimmermann entered the outing with a 2.38 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 19/3 K/BB ratio over 22 2/3 rehab innings.  He’s hit 93 MPH with his fastball and is expected to go four innings next time out.  If the great results continue, the Nats could add him to their starting rotation by early September.

And even if Zimmermann doesn’t make it back this year for precautionary reasons, the Nats have a whole lot to look forward to rotation-wise heading into 2011.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.