Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Zimmermann’

The Big Unit Wins Number 300

As soon as I went online to check Andrew McCutchen’s line from his major league debut this afternoon, I remembered that today was the day Randy Johnson attempted to cement his place as one of the greatest pitchers of all-time by joining the 300 Win Club (I write that sentence for those of you who hate wins as a statistic).

Johnson left after six innings in which he allowed just one unearned run on two hits, with two walks and two strikeouts thrown in for good measure.  Things would have been so much easier if rookie Jordan Zimmermann had just rolled over, like he was supposed to, and let the legend have his day.  The kid was up to the challenge, however, striking out seven and giving up two runs on three hits in six innings of his own.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals had a chance to deny Johnson his day, loading the bases with two outs as Adam Dunn strode mightily to the plate (I was terrified, and I was sitting at my in-laws dining room table following the Yahoo box score at the time).

But then, there was a thought in the back of my head: what if Dunn decides to let Johnson have this one and strikes out on purpose?  I have no idea why he, or anyone would do this, but I thought it anyway.  And what did Dunn do?  Strike out looking (I highly doubt it was on purpose – that’s not how the big guy rolls).  I’m psychic.  Who rung him up?  Londonderry, New Hampshire’s own Brian Wilson, representin’ for the Granite State, bay-bay!  To celebrate, he’s gonna drive downtown in the rain, 9:30 on a Tuesday night, just to check out late night record shop.

San Francisco scored three in the top of the ninth to give Wilson some breathing room.  He didn’t really need it, striking out the side for the most important save of his life.

So congratulations to Randy Johnson, who is now tied with Early Wynn and Lefty Grove on the all-time wins leaderboard.  Next up?  Recently dissed fellow lefty Tom Glavine.  Go get ‘im, O Mighty Mulleted One.

Update: I should probably watch the games before I start typing.  The MLB Network just showed the replay of Dunn’s at-bat, and let’s just say that the home plate umpire’s call on the final pitch (on a 3-2 count, no less) appeared to be, um, generous.  Dunn was halfway down the line before he realized he had struck out.

The Z-Meter: 4/22/2009 – Another Z Makes the Nats

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted:

Jordan Zimmermann: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) to Washington Nationals (MLB)

Our first promotion of the season came pretty early, as the woeful Nats called phenom Jordan Zimmermann up to the bigs in an attempt to improve their rotation. He lost his first game, but that’s not unexpected. I’ll be replacing him with someone I should have added in the first place: OMDQ discovery Collin Cowgill. He’s in High-A, so that should help restore a little balance to our AAA-heavy early list. 

One major change from last year is that Antonio Bastardo seems to have made a move from the starting rotation to the bullpen at Reading. He’s appeared in three games with no starts and pitched 6.1 innings. Jhoulys Chacin is having a counterintuitive start to his season in Tulsa; his ERA in the one game he’s won was nearing 4.00, and he’s lost two games where his ERA is closer to 1.00. He struck out none in his most recent game, so that’s not a good trend.

In other news, we’re considering changing Shooter Hunt’s nickname to Walker Hunt. We may also have to start calling Stephen Strasburg a bully. The college returnee has eight wins and 121 Ks so far. Leave the poor college kids alone, Steve!


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, waiting for the call that will change their lives.

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .273 AVG – 10R – 0HR – 1RBI – 4BB – 3SB – .500 SLG – .833 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 2 Games – 0W – 0L – 1.13 ERA – 5BB – 9K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – .200 – 7 R – 3 HR – 10 RBI – 12 BB – 0 SB – .444 SLG – .800 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .439 AVG – 12 R – 4 HR – 15 RBI – 7 BB – 8 SB – .878 SLG – 1.388 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF – Columbus Clippers (Indians): .325 – 10 R – 3 HR – 8 RBI – 1 BB – 0 SB – .675 SLG – 1.047 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .275 – 7 R – 1 HR – 5 RBI – 5 BB – 5 SB – .373 SLG – .712 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 2 Starts – 0 W – 0 L – 1.50 ERA – 0 BB – 10 K

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: .182 – 1 R – 0 HR – 0 RBI – 2 BB – 0 SB – .182 SLG – .490 OPS

Matt Wieters, C – Norfolk Tides (Orioles): .292 AVG – 2 R – 1 HR – 1 RBI – 5 BB – 0 SB – .417 SLG – .830 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Buffalo Bisons (Mets): .277 AVG – 5 R – 1 HR – 3 RBI – 3 BB – 0 SB – .532 SLG – .865 OPS

Daniel Bard, RHP – Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox): 5 Games – 3 SV – 1.13 ERA – 3 BB – 13 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .480 – 6 R – 0 HR – 6 RBI – 5 BB – 3 SB – .560 SLG – 1.123 OPS


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 1 Start – 1 W – 0 L – 0.00 ERA – 1 BB – 1 K

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .283 AVG – 6 R – 1 HR – 6 RBI – 3 BB – 0 SB – .413 SLG – .733 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 3 Starts – 1 W – 2 L – 2.3 ERA – 4 BB – 8 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .229 AVG – 7 R – 4 HR – 14 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .600 SLG – .941 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .250 AVG – 4 R – 1 HR – 7 RBI – 10 BB – 0 SB – .364 SLG – .745 OPS

These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .167 AVG  – 3 R – 1 HR – 6 RBI – 4 BB – 0 SB – .306 SLG – .556 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .267 AVG – 11 R – 2 HR – 11 RBI – 3 BB – 0 SB – .467 SLG – .779 OPS

Madison Bumgarner, LHP – San Jose Giants (Giants): 2 Starts – 2 W – 0 L – 0.00 ERA – 2 BB – 9 K

Michel Inoa, RHP – not assigned yet (Athletics): Still haven’t seen any news on where this kid will start his pro career. He’s only 16, so we have to figure he’ll be brought along slowly.

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .161 AVG – 4 R – 0 HR – 1 RBI – 4 BB – 2 SB – .226 SLG – .496 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .423 AVG – 5 R – 0 HR – 4 RBI – 0 BB – 0 SB – .538 SLG – 1.003 OPS

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 2 Start – 0 W – 0 L – 6.43 ERA – 11 BB – 6 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .293 AVG – 12 R – 3 HR – 10 RBI – 10 BB – 2 SB – .634 SLG – 1.097 OPS


NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 8 Starts – 8W – 0L – 1.28 ERA – 12 BB – 121 K


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and our trademark irrational sense of whimsy.

Now Pitching For The Washington Nationals…

Off to a 1-10 start, the Washington Nationals shook things up over the weekend, optioning two players (including Josh Bard, who very nearly earned a job as the Red Sox backup catcher this spring) and designating two others for assignment.  Sounds like a desperate response to a hopeless situation, right?

Not completely.

Four pitchers were or will be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, including – drumroll please – Jordan Zimmermann, the team’s second-round pick (out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point)  in the 2007 draft.  A 22-year-old righthander who was the only National on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, he entered the season with a career 15-5 record, 2.74 ERA, and 205 strikeouts in 187 innings.

Zimmermann is making his major league debut as we speak against Derek Lowe and the Atlanta Braves.  He pitched three scoreless innings before allowing two runs in the fourth when Chipper Jones tripled and Matt Diaz homered.  He got out of the inning by striking out fellow phenom Jordan Schafer (ironically, Schafer was directly below Zimmermann on the 2009 list).  The score is currently 2-2 in the top of the fifth.

I’m heading down to Baltimore this summer to see the Orioles play the Nationals.  Camden Yards was initially the main draw, but I have to say that now, I’m just waiting until we get close enough to start figuring out the rotation.  Between Zimmermann and Matt Wieters, it could be a good day.

The Z-Meter: 4/7/2009 – Hope Springs Anew

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted: None

Nobody has accumulated stats yet, so this first edition of ’09 will just introduce you to the players and give you some idea of why they’re on this list. We’ll start keeping a weekly tally of stats and farm-system promotions next week.

Players new to the list are added in green. The rest are holdovers from last year. You’ll also notice that we’ve added the college line. Odds of this being used often are very small. But this year, we have a guy who’s really worth watching.


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, waiting for the call that will change their lives.

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): A mainstay on last year’s list, and very close to being called up for good.

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): Couldn’t quite keep pace with fellow Rays hurler David Price, but came pretty close.

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals: Great Hawaiian name, and plays for my hometown team. Can belt the ball, no doubt.

Mat Gamel, 3B – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): Got a couple of at-bats in Milwaukee last season, striking out once and knocking a double. Odds are, he’ll get a chance to try again, and soon.

Matt LaPorta, CF  – Columbus Clippers (Indians): Former teammate of meter-mates Gamel and Escobar, LaPorta was traded as part of the Sabathia deal. His numbers tailed off after that, but he’s still starting the season in Triple-A, so he’s not far from livin’ the dream at this point.

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): Escobar gets on base (.328 average) and then makes you pay (34 stolen bases). He did plenty of damage at Huntsville, so he gets to start in AAA with Gamel.

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): Added by Will because he throws big-time gas. As Will says “As far as I’m concerned, with the radar gun it’s triple digits or go home.”

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: The switch-hitting shortstop from Mexico was suggested by our bobblehead guru, Eric Marinbach.

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP – Syracuse Chiefs: An Extra P. choice, Zimmermann would like to join the man with the one-letter-shorter version of his last name in D.C. this season. How I kept Zimmermann off of the Z-meter this long, I’ll never know.


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): Jackson is the top prospect in the Yanks organization, according to Baseball America. He played well in spring training, even belting a grand slam, but there’s no room for him in the Bronx right now.

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): The lefty was flying up the meter last season until he got hurt, ending up playing in just 19 games all year long.

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): Being hailed as a god in Charm City, and was the top overall prospect of last year, an honor previously held by Jay “The Deal” Bruce. Hit well over .300 in a season split between A and AA. Expect to see him in Camden some time this year. 

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): This guy kind of embodies the frustration of playing for a championship-winning organization. He’s playing really well, but there’s no room above right now.

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): Started in center for the International side in the MLB Futures Game. I can’t currently figure out where he’s been assigned, but I’ll update his status as soon as I know.

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): My favorite fireballer from last season. Had the most wins of any pitcher in the minors, with a total of 18. Struck out 160 batters as well, so, you know… holy crap.

Daniel Bard, RHP – Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox): Another of Will’s heat-throwing selections. He went 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA for the Sea Dogs last season.

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): Started 2008 in the Dodgers organization before being swapped to the Indians as part of a deal for Casey Blake. Has been destroying the minors, once getting seven RBIs in a single game, and carrying a .999 OPS throughout the season.


These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): Gac! has almost become a standard salutation between OMDQ and I. The man practices economy of name, and he doesn’t waste at-bats, either. Gac! hit 32 homers last year, and drove in 109 runs.

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): Moustakas struggled in the first half of his debut season, but grew steadily stronger and more disciplined in the second half. Ended up with 22 homers and a pile of doubles.

Madison Bumgarner, LHP – San Jose Giants (Giants): Bumgarner was added to the meter late last season, so we hardly got to know him before it was all over. He went 15-3 at Augusta as a rookie, with a 1.46 ERA, and will begin the season in A-Advanced as a result.

Michael Ynoa, RHP – not assigned yet (Athletics): OMDQ wanted to see the man of many names in our countdown. Given how highly sought-after the Dominican righty has been, he’s bound to make a splash.

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: MVP for the International side of the MLB Futures Game last season. My (Extra P’s) choice to add because he’s awesome, and because he’s playing close enough to my home for me to go see him.

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): Another Extra P. selection, Vitters had epic 25- and 15-game hitting streaks at short-season Boise before spending a very brief four-game stint at Peoria to end his first pro season. Hits for average and legs out some doubles.

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): Shooter’s here for a few reasons. One, he went to Virginia, as did the man I named this meter after, and I live in Charlottesville, so I watch Virginia often. Second, his name is Shooter Hunt, for god’s sake. That shit is like catnip to me.

Justin Smoak, 1B – Hickory Crawdads (Rangers): BA’s Prospect Handbook compares Smoak favorably to Mark Teixiera, and that’s good enough for us. He had a record-setting career at the University of South Carolina and was a teammate of Matt Wieters in high school.


NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State:  Has shown 100+ on the radar gun, and was the only college player to make the Olympic team last year. He’ll clearly be a top pick when he declares, so OMDQ says “no shame in tracking his stats right now.” Consider it done.

7 GS – 6W – 0L – 1.49 ERA – 10 BB – 94 K


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and our trademark irrational sense of whimsy.

We Haven’t Seen This Many Zimmermans Since Bob Dylan’s Family Reunion

It’s no secret that the Washington Nationals have struggled a bit since their move from Montreal. One bright spot is the presence of former Virginia star Ryan Zimmerman on the roster. His 2008 campaign hasn’t lived up to the promise of his near-ROY 2006 season, but the kid’s young – he’ll bounce back.

But no team can win on offense alone, so the Nats have been looking for some quality pitching to revive the team’s sagging fortunes. And the buzz from the farm system says they may have a fair expectation of help, soon. 22-year-old Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is currently with the AA Harrisburg Senators, and some scouts say he may be ready to make the leap.

They noticed how Zimmermann’s fastball hit 94 mph, and how it brushed the plate’s edges. They noticed how his wind-up depends on a driving lower-body push, mechanics that make Harrisburg Manager John Stearns think of Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. They noticed how he cleaned up a first-and-third, no-out mess with a popup and a double play. When scouts see something that cannot be measured, they become most convinced of talent.

‘When you need to get somebody out, can you do it?’ said Washington scouting director Dana Brown, who watched the game from behind home plate. ‘You see that, like with Zimmermann, you see somebody very close to being major league ready, if not right there scratching at the surface.’

[Washington Post]

That will be confusing, if he gets called up, though. Too many Zimmerman(n)s on one team can wreak havoc. Not like too many Dukes or Youngs would, but still.

Since the nearest MLB club for me is the Nationals, I hope this is true. I’m one of those suckers who will go to a ballgame even when the team blows, but I’d much rather take my son up to see a contender if I’m going to drive 2 1/2 hours and deal with D.C. traffic.

Hat tip to Brian Foley from The College Baseball Blog.