Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals are off to one of the best starts in baseball, despite early-season injuries to Jesus Flores, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmermann, because their starting pitching has been phenomenal.
Not only have they stayed healthy (their original five-man rotation has made every start this year), but four of the five have ERAs under 3.00. The one outlier, Edwin Jackson, has a 3.71.
Gio Gonzalez is 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA, Stephen Strasburg has 56 strikeouts in 48 innings, and Ross Detwiler has the highest WHIP on the staff at 1.093, which is still great.
Zimmerman, meanwhile, has a 0.971 WHIP and a 2.14 ERA in seven starts.
If the Nats are going to continue to compete in the NL East, the rest of their rotation beyond just Gonzalez and Strasburg will have to stay solid. The offense's injuries has made it hard for the team to score runs, so the pitchers will have to keep scores low.
Gonzalez and Strasburg are great pitchers and Jackson has great stuff, but Zimmermann first has to stay healthy, then has to prove he can stay reliable over the course of a full season, which he never has (the most starts he's made in one year is 26).
Without Zimmermann, and with a regression probably coming at some point from Detwiler, the Nats would be in trouble.