Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann ends season with 3.18 ERA

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Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann spent most of the 2010 season recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, so he tallied only 70 2/3 innings between the minor and major leagues.

Because of that low innings total, the talented 25-year-old right-hander entered the 2011 campaign with a loosely-defined innings limit. And he reached it on Sunday afternoon against the Reds.

Zimmermann allowed three earned runs over 4 1/3 frames, surrendering six hits and a walk while fanning six Cincinnati hitters in his final outing of the year. He threw 81 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes.

Despite Sunday’s rough outing, the often underhyped Zimmermann will turn out the lights on his third major league season having posted a fantastic 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124/31 K/BB ratio over 161 1/3 innings (26 starts). He’s likely to open 2012 as the Nats’ No. 2 starter behind 23-year-old phenom Stephen Strasburg.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.