Jordan Zimmermann, who had a streak out 11 straight quality starts ended by poor defense in his outing Monday, might be held out through the All-Star break as the Nationals attempt to manage his innings.
Zimmermann made a strong case for a spot on the All-Star team with a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts this season. He was fifth in the NL at 2.63 when the teams were picked Sunday, and his ERA should have held pretty steady Monday, except neither Roger Bernadina nor Jayson Werth wanted to take charge of an Alfonso Soriano flyball to right-center Monday in Zimmermann’s start against the Cubs. What should have been a routine out ended up as a two-run single, and it took Zimmermann out of the running for a win.
The Nationals, though, didn’t want Zimmermann on the All-Star team anyway. He’s at 108 2/3 innings in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery, and the team had been planning to limit him to 160 or so. At his current pace, he’ll get there in eight or nine starts, which means he could be shut down for the entire month of September.
So, Zimmermann, who was slated to pitch again on Saturday, is likely looking at two weeks off. The Nationals could hold him out through the All-Star break and then let him return to pitch somewhere between July 17-19.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.