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Washington Nationals roster review: Jordan Zimmermann

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Washington Nationals roster review: Jordan Zimmermann

Age on Opening Day 2016: 29

How acquired: 2nd round, 2007 draft

MLB service time: 5 years, 154 days

2015 salary+bonuses: $16.5 million

Contract status: Free agent

2015 stats: 33 GS, 201.2 IP, 204 H, 89 R, 82 ER, 24 HR, 39 BB, 164 K, 1.20 WHIP, 13-10, 3.66 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 3.0 WAR

Quotable: "I feel like I took the ball every time they asked and did what I could. Some days I didn’t have it. Some days I was good. I’m not saying this is my last start. You don’t know what’s going to happen this offseason. We’ll see what happens.”

2015 analysis: Like many Nationals players, Jordan Zimmermann's 2015 did not go quite as planned. He had a career year in 2014 and finished the season with two dominant outings, but that did not carry over into this season, the final year of Zimmermann's contract with the Nationals.

Zimmermann's biggest issues involved consistency. He had plenty of good outings in 2015, but too often let games slip away from him. He gave up four earned runs or more in nine of his 33 starts this season, which set a career-high.

One thing in particular that Zimmermann struggled with was home runs. Zimmermann allowed a career-high 24 homers this season, almost twice as many as the 13 he surrendered in 2014. Zimmermann also set a career-high for a full season in FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), which further indicates it wasn't bad luck for the right-hander, he just had a slightly down year.

2016 outlook: If Zimmermann had a season similar to 2014, he would have set himself up for a massive payday in free agency. He should still have plenty of suitors, but one has to think he lost himself at least a little bit of money by seeing his ERA go up by a full run from the previous year.

Also working against Zimmermann this winter is the depth of starting pitching expected to hit the market. Zimmermann is a very accomplished pitcher, but he will be behind David Price, Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto. Also available will be Jeff Samardzija, Yovani Gallardo, Mark Buehrle, Brett Anderson, Hisashi Iwakuma, Scott Kazmir, John Lackey and others.

That is an unusually loaded class of starting pitchers. Zimmermann fits somewhere in that mix, perhaps in the top four or five, but it's not like he will be getting the first call from most teams. It will be interesting to see what kind of market finds him given the abundance of options and the numbers he put up in 2015.

Zimmermann is expected to leave the Nationals after spending nine years in the organization. He become a true homegrown star, but the team could not reach agreement on a contract extension and their signing of Max Scherzer to a record contract last offseason all but sealed Zimmermann's fate. Now he will likely find a new team to move forward with as he gets ready for his Age 30 season. If he does leave Washington, he will depart as the best pitcher in team history so far with seven strong years under his belt.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.