Jordan Zimmermann nearly ready for return to majors


Yesterday afternoon, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo hinted that Jordan Zimmermann was potentially one start away from returning to the major leagues. Well, the rehabbing right-hander made quite a statement by tossing five shutout innings in his latest minor league rehab start last night.

Zimmermann gave up just one hit while striking out five and walking one. After a first-inning walk, he retired 13 consecutive batters to end his night. Including last night’s start, Zimmermann has a miniscule 1.59 ERA over 10 minor league rehab starts, posting a 31/6 K/BB ratio over 39 2/3 innings. He has a 0.59 ERA over four starts with Triple-A Syracuse. If we don’t see him in D.C. next week, he’ll almost certainly be back when the rosters expand on September 1.

The 24-year-old right-hander went 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 16 starts before undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. While those numbers don’t blow you away, consider that he also managed a 92/29 K/BB ratio over 91 1/3 innings. He has all the makings of a great sidekick to Stephen Strasburg. The Nats will probably limit his workload in September, but we’ll at least get a nice little sneak preview in the weeks ahead.