The Washington Nationals' Buzzkill

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IAugust 10, 2009

Finally, after months of playing horrible baseball, the Washington Nationals are finally showing signs of life.

The team has won eight-straight games and has played much better baseball under new manager Jim Riggleman.

So all is right is Nationals land, right?

Wrong. Enter the elephant in the room, Jordan Zimmermann:
Before going forward, a caveat: It's possible orthopedist James Andrews will take a look at the MRI of Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann's right elbow, the one that acting general manager Mike Rizzo said showed "concerning facts," and find nothing to suggest the promising right-hander's career arc is about to smack into a brick wall.

Zimmermann pitched in a rehab start at Class A Potomac last week with whatever's going on in his elbow, striking out six in three-and-one-thirds innings. Before that, he was able to do some throwing while on the disabled list, and the Nationals have maintained all along that if they had been in a pennant race instead of last place when the rookie went on the disabled list July 22, he would have pitched through it.

But all that said, put together three key phrases—Dr. James Andrews, right elbow, and "concerning facts."
This figures, as soon as the Nationals start playing good baseball, something bad is bound to happen.
Losing Zimmermann for the foreseeable future would be painfully bad for this organization. Perhaps no other organization in baseball has as a few high end talents as the Nationals and losing one of them, especially Zimmermann, would be a crushing blow.

Let's hope that the news is good for both Zimmermann and the Nationals because if there's a franchise that's in dire need of good news, it's the Washington Nationals.