Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jordan Zimmerman 2009

There seems to be a lot of buzz around Jordan Zimmerman the past few days. The release of Shawn Hill along with Zimmerman's excellent spring performance appear to have given him a role on the Nationals for 2009, and he may start the season as part of Washington's starting rotation. A lot of the buzz is being driven by Zimmerman's 16 strikeouts and 2 walks in 12.1 innings pitched. While that is excellent, good spring training stats should be taken with a grain of salt, since we can't easily determine the level of competition those were actually compiled against. At AA last year, Zimmerman was very good, but not dominant. At 22 years old, sudden improvement is certainly possible, but given a normal progression of his skills, he belongs at AAA this year. I'm all for bringing young pitchers up to the major league team as soon as they're ready, but Zimmerman may not be ready. I will say that he's a LOT closer to ready than Rick Porcello who I wrote about a few days ago.

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