Nats' Zimmermann hoping to pitch this season

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zimmermann throws.JPGThat’s not a deceiving headline, is it?  Sorry.  Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (with two n’s) underwent Tommy John surgery just last August, and yet he told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on  Wednesday afternoon that he wants to pitch this season.

“I really want to get back this year and pitch,” said Zimmermann.  “I don’t want to wait 18
months and not step on a mound and then come to spring training having
not thrown at a big league level.”

It’s a pipe dream.  No pitcher returns from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery within a year and Zimmermann isn’t going to either.  It’s a shame, too, because the 23-year-old righty was on a roll before he got injured last summer.  He finished the 2009 season prematurely with a 4.63 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 92/29 K/BB ratio over 16 starts (91 1/3 innings).  See you in 2011, Jordan.

Report: Phillies place Justin Bour on waivers

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.

Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.

Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.

If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.