Zimmermann set to return to Nationals' rotation Thursday

Leave a comment

The Nationals are going to have to shut Stephen Strasburg down for the next few weeks, if not the rest of the season, due to a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm.  It’s disappointing news because the young ace is incredible to watch, but there is a bright side.

Replacing Strasburg in the Nats’ starting rotation will be 24-year-old Jordan Zimmermann, who missed parts of 2009 and has missed all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery.  Now healthy, and with 10 solid rehab appearances under his belt, the right-hander is all set to return on Thursday against the Cardinals.  This according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.

Zimmermann made a name for himself one year ago when he opened the ’09 season with 92 strikeouts over his first 91.1 major league innings.  He also compiled a respectable 4.36 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over that span.

The righty is throwing with good velocity and movement yet again and should do well upon returning to the big leagues.  Even if he falters, Zimmermann and Strasburg will lead a much-improved Washington rotation heading into 2011.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.