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.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.