In his first appearance at Nationals Park since joining the Detroit Tigers, Jordan Zimmermann reflected not only on his tenure in Washington, but his time as a free agent this past winter.
The 29-year-old right hander was long expected to leave the Nats after last season to presumably pitch in the Midwest, closer to his home state of Wisconsin. But despite posting good numbers over seven seasons — he was 70-50 with a 3.32 ERA in D.C. — he said prospective suitors were still weary of signing him because he underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2009.
Zimmermann inked a five-year, $110 million contract with the Tigers — a lucrative deal, for sure, but perhaps not as much as some were expecting given his production.
"There's plenty of teams out there that were scared of the Tommy John through the free agency process, which I wasn't expecting," he said before Monday's game.
If Zimmermann was had at a somewhat-discount rate because of his Tommy John surgery, will the same fate await Stephen Strasburg, who underwent the procedure in 2010?
"I'm sure he's going to go through the same thing," Zimmermann said of his former rotation mate. "Teams are going to shy away. But I feel like if you do your work and keep everything strong, there should be no issue."
Strasburg, nearly six years removed from the surgery, is off to the best start of his career at 5-0 with a 2.36 ERA. If 2016 is the year he finally puts it all together, it's hard to imagine a scenario where teams would avoid signing him because of his history.
"They got that surgery down to top notch," Zimmermann said. "Recovery time is getting shorter and shorter. I don't see there being an issue in the future with Tommy John guys that hit free agency."
Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.
Dancing is not.
On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor.
With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch."
Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.
While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."
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It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.
While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle.
106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here.
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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