The Washington Times - March 4, 2009, 05:08PM

Just a few notes to wrap up Wednesday at Space Coast Stadium:

—Team president Stan Kasten learned on Wednesday morning — shortly before announcing Mike Rizzo would assume most of the day-to-day major-league operating duties — that his mother, Sylvia, died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Kasten left the team Wednesday to attend to family matters.


Jordan Zimmermann was again impressive in his three innings, throwing 25 of his 34 pitches for strikes and lowering his pitch count every inning. Pitching coach Randy St. Claire had several nits to pick with Zimmermann’s mechanics, but otherwise raved about the 22-year-old prospect:

“He’s got to come in here and compete, so you’ve got that mental aspect of it going on, too. How does he handle that? How does he handle competing for a job? He’s trying to win one. Does he go harder, and harder, like a lot of young kids do, and stuff, which I think a lot of our bullpen members are doing right now? They’re trying to make the team. All these young guys that pitched for us last year, I see them going harder and harder. They’re trying too much. When they came up last year, they just weren’t worried about it. With Zimmermann, you don’t see that. You didn’t see any of that. You see a guy (that goes) out there and just pitches. All he’s concerned about is pitching. And he executes everything. He’s special.”

St. Claire compared Zimmermann’s mental toughness to John Lannan’s — only Zimmermann throws harder.

—St. Claire and Manny Acta weren’t unhappy with the way Collin Balester pitched. The two home runs he gave up were on fastballs up in the zone—including a Ramon Castro shot that cleared about a 35-foot wall in straightaway center. Other than that, they said, he was strong. Balester was also happy with the outing, other than the homers. “I was just missing away a little bit,” he said.

—Dmitri Young is day-to-day with a stiff back.

That’s all from here. Talk to you tomorrow from Lakeland.