Jordan Zimmermann tosses four scoreless in latest rehab start

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Jordan Zimmermann inched a bit closer to a return to the major leagues today, tossing four scoreless innings during his latest minor league rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.

Zimmermann, who is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery, allowed just one hit while striking out one and walking none. He touched as high as 94 mph on the radar gun, according to the Twitter feed of the Syracuse Chiefs’ radio broadcast team.

Though his first two starts with the Chiefs, the rehabbing right-hander has allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings while fanning four and walking one. Over the course of his entire rehab, Zimmermann has a 1.82 ERA and 23/4 K/BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings. Results aside, the best news of all is that we’ve heard nothing about any setbacks.

Zimmermann is expected to progress to five innings during his next start. As long as he keeps feeling good and maintaining solid velocity, he should rejoin the Nationals in September. 

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.