Jordan Zimmermann tosses four scoreless in latest rehab start

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Jordan Zimmermann inched a bit closer to a return to the major leagues today, tossing four scoreless innings during his latest minor league rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.

Zimmermann, who is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery, allowed just one hit while striking out one and walking none. He touched as high as 94 mph on the radar gun, according to the Twitter feed of the Syracuse Chiefs’ radio broadcast team.

Though his first two starts with the Chiefs, the rehabbing right-hander has allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings while fanning four and walking one. Over the course of his entire rehab, Zimmermann has a 1.82 ERA and 23/4 K/BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings. Results aside, the best news of all is that we’ve heard nothing about any setbacks.

Zimmermann is expected to progress to five innings during his next start. As long as he keeps feeling good and maintaining solid velocity, he should rejoin the Nationals in September. 

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.