Zimmermann likely to start on Thursday

Zimmermann likely to start on Thursday

WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg's second trip to the disabled list opens up a spot in the starting rotation later this week, one that Jordan Zimmermann is likely going to fill.

Baseball sources said that Zimmermann is going to start in Thursday's game against the Cardinals. The Nationals wouldn't confirm it, saying they'll give the final information tomorrow, but said that Zimmermann is getting strong consideration.

"Jordan is going to be pitching for us here in the very near future and again, that's a decision that is ongoing here," said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. "As we make a move on the disabled list, we'll bring somebody up, and then we'll need a starter on Strasburg's day, so that could be Zimmermann."

Riggleman, and later general manager Mike Rizzo, both said the team is deciding on what to do. Rizzo said the Nationals will announce their final plans Tuesday.

Zimmermann has recovered quickly from Tommy John surgery that ended his 2009 season with the Nationals after he started 16 games. The rookie finished with a 3-5 record and a 4.63 ERA, but has done very well in rehab.

In addition, Zimmermann is scheduled to pitch Thursday, another sign that points in his direction.

"That's his day to pitch," Riggleman said. "Whether we have him go again in the Minor Leagues or have him pitch here, that will be determined here real soon."