Zimmermann won't start tonight

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I know there’s obviously a big story going on tonight at Nationals Park, something about the MLB draft and a once-in-a-generation pitching prospect, but there’s also a game to be played against the Reds. And the Nats won’t be sending their originally scheduled starter to the mound.

Jordan Zimmermann has been scratched from this start. The reason is unclear at the moment, but I’ll be sure to pass it on once we’ve got word. In the meantime, Ross Detwiler (who was supposed to go tomorrow) will start instead. Shairon Martis now goes tomorrow, with John Lannan on Thursday.

As best as I can deduce, there are two possible reasons why Zimmermann would be getting bumped:

1) He’s injured. There’s been no reason to believe he was hurt, but you know how pitchers hide these things.

2) The Nats wanted to skip his turn so he can work out some kinks. If that’s the case, this wouldn’t be too big a deal. Because of yesterday’s off-day, the rest of the rotation can still pitch on normal rest, as will be the case with Detwiler tonight, Martis tomorrow and Lannan Thursday.

I’ll keep you posted. Also, check back around 6 p.m. I’ll be providing updates as soon as the draft gets underway. Stephen Strasburg should officially become Nationals property by 6:05 p.m. The 10th overall pick should take place around 6:50 p.m. or so.

In other injury news, the following Nats pitchers are all due to begin rehab assignments tonight…

— Scott Olsen (starting for Class A Potomac against Winston-Salem).

— Kip Wells (pitching in relief for Potomac).

— Matt Chico (pitching for low-Class A Hagerstown at Lakewood).

UPDATE (3:42 p.m.): Turns out Zimmermann does have a minor injury. He experienced soreness in his right elbow after throwing a side session Friday. Zimmermann was told the injury is not serious and is now scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Rays.

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Mark Zuckerman

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