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.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”