Zimmermann strong in spring training debut

Zimmermann strong in spring training debut
February 24, 2013, 5:30 pm
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VIERA, Fla. -- Just as pitchers don't want to put too much stock in a bad outing to start spring training, neither do they want to give too much credence to a good appearance in late-February.

Jordan Zimmermann, though, couldn't find much of anything to be disappointed with after his Grapefruit League debut this afternoon.

"I thought it went well," the right-hander said after allowing one run on two hits in three innings to the Marlins. "I threw strikes. I was attacking hitters. And I mixed in a few changeups, which were mostly good ones. I'm happy with a first outing."

Zimmermann was far more efficient than Stephen Strasburg yesterday against the Mets, completing his first two innings on only 23 pitches and thus getting the opportunity to return to the mound for the third inning. He wound up throwing 26 of his 43 pitches for strikes, several of them well-placed changeups (a point of emphasis this spring).

Those changeups were clocked at 83-84 mph, a full 10 mph below his fastball velocity.

"That's perfect," he said. "Right where I want it."

Zimmermann also got good movement on his sinker, keeping the ball down in the strike zone and inducing eight groundball outs to go along with one strikeout.

"For the most part, I was getting groundballs, getting early contact," he said. "That's what I was trying to do."

Zimmermann's only hiccup came in the third, when Chris Valaika roped a leadoff double to right field, Bryan Petersen drew a walk and Chris Coghlan drove home the afternoon's first run with an RBI groundout.

Otherwise, the 26-year-old was sharp as ever, getting his exhibition season off on the right foot.

"Zim threw the ball really well," manager Davey Johnson said. "Really pleased with what he did, getting three innings in. Very impressive."