Filtering by Tag: Jordan Zimmermann

The Case Against Extending Jordan Zimmermann

With how much love role players like Michael Morse and Steve Lombardozzi have garnered from Nats fans as they've left town it will be amazing to see what happens when the Washington Nationals lose a legitimate star player. With Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann both two years away from free agency there is a high likelihood that that day is soon approaching. The Nationals have made several overtures to Jordan Zimmermann but no deal has been reached or even come close. Zimmermann wants fair market value which is understandable but what is fair market value for a pitcher like him?

Zack Greinke with a career 3.65 ERA and one Cy Young under his belt set the record for free agent pitchers with the $147 million contract he signed last off-season heading into his age 29 season. Jordan Zimmermann doesn't have a Cy Young and will be heading into his age 30 season when he hits free agency but with 4.00 ERA 200 inning starters getting between $10-15 million this off-season one can only imagine what Jordan Zimmermann would get as a free agent if he can pitch 400 innings over the next two seasons and maintains his career 3.40 ERA. When looking at this from Jordan Zimmermann's perspective and seeing the amount of money handed out to sub-par pitchers this off-season, free agency is awfully tempting.

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Deleting the Adjectives: Explaining Zimmermann

Before we begin let me apologize for not being able to write last week, assome of you may know I am still a student and with that comes exams, so my attention was elsewhere. Alright let's get on with the show.​

Jordan Zimmermann has elevated his game this year. This is probably the truest true fact about the 2013 Washington Nationals. He currently possesses a 1.69 ERA and .87 WHIP, while going 7-1 in eight starts. He is going deeper into games too, pitching seven or more innings six times already, two-thirds of his 2012 season total of nine. This is known. What we want to know though, is why has he been so good?

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The Nats Ceiling is Scary

...the blackness of space illimitable; unimaginable space alive with motion and music, and having no semblance of anything on earth. --H.P. Lovecraft The Music of Erich Zahn 

​Welcome to 2013 where Washington Nationals fans can stare into the void of unimaginable heights. Nats fans stand at the base of the mountains of madness ready to ascend in search of some forbidden knowledge. For the Washington Nationals on paper are the best team in baseball, but that is if everything goes according to plan, and all the Nats players play to their career averages. There are of course other options. Frightening and scary options. Options that should lift the spirits, but instead bring great fright. It is a siren's call. Beautiful music from an unknown source to lure us to stare at the sky and attempt to discover where it ends. 

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Jordan Zimmermann and the Myth of Run Support

Yesterday Jordan Zimmermann spun six shutout innings against the DetroitTigers, retiring 18 batters in a row after giving up a leadoff hit. That in and of itself is remarkable; but what really stood out was that Zimmermann went on to earn a no decision due to his teammates only scoring a run in support of him. This lead to what has been a constant refrain in Natstown since 2011; that Zimmermann is criminally unsupported by his teammates. Many have joked that the team must have it out for him. All of this overlooks the fact that Zimmermann isn't lacking in the run support department and in fact does pretty well.

The Rodney Dangerfielding of Zimmermann began in 2011 when he got a paltry 3.2 runs per game on average of support. That year Zimmermann had a legitimate gripe as it would be difficult for any pitcher to amass a number of wins with an offense that only scores about three runs a game for them. Even then though, the idea that Zimmermann was being singled out was overly dramatized as the other two Nats pitchers who had more than 25 starts had less than 4 runs of support as well. John Lannan averaged 3.59 runs per game and Livan Hernandez averaged 3.92. The Nationals that year just did not have a good offense, but Zimmermann still seemed to get the short end of the draw.​

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Storen's Deep Thoughts and Detwiler's Change-Up

There is still not much going onaround Natstown along the slow crawl to the Spring Training finish line. The two biggest bits of news from this weekend have to do with Drew Storen thinking too much on the mound as Davey Johnson said and Ross Detwiler talking about adding a change-up. The first part about Storen can be addressed quickly and easily. It is Spring Training. Now is the time to be thinking on the mound. This is practice. Now is the time for pitchers to be working on stuff and trying to figure out new grips, new pitches, and new ways to get batters out. When the season rolls around that is the time to throw what the catcher puts down.

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Another Possible Shutdown: Jordan Zimmermann Edition

The main point of discussion over the past few days, namely from the national media, has been the Stephen Strasburg shutdown. Ultimately, as has been reported multiple times, he will be shut down and there will not be a discussion, although the conversation about it will continue well into the offseason. There is however, another Nationals starter who could use a shutdown. One who has been an absolute rock this season and would be sorely missed during a run through the playoffs[1]: Jordan Zimmermann.

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Jordan Zimmermann and the Art of Pitching

Pitching is an art form and Nationals fans this season are luck to watch Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez put on display masterpiece after masterpiece, and while Jordan Zimmermann lacks the natural talents of Strasburg or the refinements of Gio he has still done well. He has some flaws to work out, but that is the art of pitching and the plight of the artist as a young man. 

There are a couple ways to look at Jordan Zimmermann's win/loss record. There is of course the easy way which is to say that a pitcher with an ERA under 3.00 shouldn't have a 3-6 record. The other way is to look back through those games and realize than in three of Jordan Zimmermann's six losses the game was tied or the Nationals had the lead as late as the fifth inning, and each time Jordan Zimmermann gave up to deciding runs. 

None of this is to say Jordan Zimmermann isn't a good pitcher, but it is to say that to find him blameless in his losses is faulty. Part of the reason for his 3-6 record is the poor run support he has received of 3.26 runs a game, but it is also important to remember that the Nationals are as a team are only averaging 3.80 runs a game. It isn't as simple as the Nationals can't score with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound. The Nationals have trouble scoring no matter who is on the mound. 

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EJax Lacks Wins...But Why?

Edwin Jackson - 2009 All Star, member of the No Hitter Club, master of Kung Fu, and a model American, even if he was born in Germany*. A man of many pitches, and many, uh, outcomes to those pitches. As many a writer has eloqently put it, our man EJax can be a bit statistically absurd.

One of the more absurd stats coming out of Jackson's maiden Nats voyage this year is the overall record of the club while Jackson is toeing the rubber - 2-8. Overall, he has a 1-3 record after 10 solid starts, one of which was his complete game win over the Cincinnatti Reds back in April. This little stat got Nats-centric Twitter feeds in a bit of a frenzy, with supporters and detractors of EJax coming out in equal numbers. While the season is still young, I think there's no better time to have a peek under the statistics 'hood' of Edwin's car, to see how he's faring, and see if some of the virtriol towards him for a subpar team record in his starts is warranted.

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