VIERA, Fla. (CBSDC) – Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann gave everyone a good scare when he complained of soreness in his arm early in Spring Training, but that fear has subsided after a dominant pitching performance on Wednesday.
The former Tommy John-surgery patient threw four and two-thirds solid innings, proving that soreness was just a routine case of ‘dead arm’ that Zimmermann has no doubt pitched through.
He even got a little love from the crowd for his 4-hit, 1-earned run performance, to which he responded accordingly.
“They were on their feet giving me a little ovation so I thought I’d acknowledge it and just throw my hand out there,” Zimmermann told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny.
Zimmermann has his goals set for the season and should have another pitch in his arsenal to help him meet them in 2013.
“I definitely want to go deeper into ballgames and I want to keep working on this changeup,” Zimmermann said. “That’s a big thing for me. I want to be able to have confidence throwing it 2-0, 1-0, fastball counts I want to be able to throw it. I also want to throw 200 innings this year. That’s one of my main goals.”
In the two full seasons since his 2009 elbow surgery, Jordan has steadily improved his workload, throwing 161 innings and 195 innings respectively. As long of a process as his recovery plan has been, he says the development of his changeup has been just as arduous.
“It’s getting to the point where I feel comfortable throwing it any time,” Zimmermann said. “I’ve been working on it for a few years and last year I barely threw it because I didn’t have any confidence, and now it’s getting right where I want it.”
He says he’s pretty close to feeling ready for the season, nothing a few more starts won’t work out, but joked it’s helped his focus not having Gio Gonzalez around the clubhouse, who’s been away pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
“Yea, it’s actually nice for a change. We can get some words in and get some work in and you don’t have to listen to him all day talking.”
Listen to the full interview below…