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Jordan Zimmermann Worth Stashing?

Jordan Zimmermann had a strong rookie debut for the Nationals last year, whiffing more than a batter per inning with good control.  However he went down for Tommy John surgery on August 12th, 2009.  As he nears the end of his minor league rehab work, should mixed leaguers have him stashed?

Zimmermann's recovery has been on the short end of the typical period for Tommy John, but he's had no setbacks and the Nats have used him carefully.  He's already made nine rehab starts in the minors, though he's averaged fewer than four innings per game.  His numbers are strong, though I wouldn't mind a K/9 higher than the current 6.8.

Zimmermann's rehab plan calls for at least one more five-inning start at Triple A, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  If that goes well, he could make his season debut August 25th against the Cubs.  Five starts from Zimmermann is appealing in any fantasy league, but there's a catch: Kilgore says he will throw a maximum of five innings per start.  That figures to limit his chances at wins.

Even with the inning limitation, I think Zimmermann is worth stashing in mixed leagues - unless you use quality starts as a category.  His SIERA last year was 3.37, and an ERA under 4.00 this year will probably help the back-end of your rotation for the season's final month.  Who knows, maybe the innings limitation will allow Zimmermann to go full blast moreso than usual.



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