Zimmermann staying patient in rehab from Tommy John

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- The day following his third rehab start for Potomac, Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann says he was most pleased with how well his changeup was working Wednesday against Kinston.

Jordan went four innings, scattering six hits, allowing one unearned run, no walks and striking out four. Jordan threw 53 pitches, 40 for strikes.

"I thought it went pretty well. I threw a lot more changeups then I usually do. I have been working on that with (pitching coach) Paul (Menhart). The change up was really good last night."

Zimmermann was leaving the ball up a little more than he wanted early on but then he settled down.

"In the first inning I was throwing a lot more fastballs. They were pretty much sitting on that. After the first inning, I mixed in a lot more breaking balls and kept them off balance the rest of the game."

The most important part of the rehab process for Zimmermann as he recovers from Tommy John surgery from last August is how the pitching arm feels the day after each start.

"The arm feels good. It is just the normal soreness, nothing out of the ordinary. I will throw a bullpen tomorrow and get ready for my next start."

Zimmermann told me the plan is four more innings for Potomac on July 19 and then five innings for Hagerstown July 24.

The start is likely in Hagerstown because both Potomac and Harrisburg are on the road July 24.

Zimmermann says the biggest step in the last ten days is how well his changeup is getting guys out.

"(I see) big progress, I have kept the changeup down, a lot slower than the one I had been throwing. That is good. That has been the big thing. Everything else is going fine. I am locating my fastball well. All of my off-speed pitches are good."

Jordan knows there is a measured pace to his rehab and he is staying patient and making sure he does everything he needs to do to get ready for his next start.

"I would like to take it up to Harrisburg and see what I can do up there. The time will come. You have to just take the ball every five days."

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