What Jordan Zimmermann's Injury Means For The Nats Future

Mike McNameeContributor IAugust 10, 2009

WASHINGTON - JUNE 04:  Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park on June 4, 2009 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Until the seventh game of the Jim Riggleman era, Nats fans had essentially nothing to cheer for besides Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game hitting streak, a few John Lannan gems, and some mammoth shots by Adam Dunn. The news in Nats Town recently has been dominated by the success of the team under Riggleman. Could baseball's most unlucky team finally see their rainbow at the end of the storm?

The offense was running like a well-oiled machine, churning out leads and comebacks as if they had been doing it all year. The starting rotation was keeping the team in the game most nights. The bullpen realized that they were not supposed to lose every game that they could. Everything was going right.

But this is the Nationals, everything can't go right for too long before the baseball gods realize what is going on.

Today, Dr. James Andrews' got back to the Nats and Jordan Zimmermann about his MRI, and Dr. Andrews did not like what the Nationals team doctors had seen either. Zimmermann will get a third opinion, but will almost definitely require Tommy John Surgery and be out for 18 months. 

The Nats pitching staff has been loaded with young pitchers this season, but no pitcher besides John Lannan has shown as much promise and talent as Zimmermann. 

The team recently drafted wunderkind, Stephen Strasburg, but they only have a week to meet Scott Boras' excessive demands. With the injury to J-Zimm, look for Boras to exploit the Nats desperate situation and try to drive up the price tag on Stephen.

Christian Guzman looked to be going to Boston; which would have cleared up $8 million dollars for next year, but he is going to stay put now. 

Guzman staying put gives the Nationals just that much less money to deal with Strasburg, and with the loss of Zimmermann, the team will need another pitcher in the off season. Jason Marquis Rich Harden Eric Bedard and Ben Sheets are some options, but by signing Strasburg can you really see the Lerners opening their checkbook again?

This really isn't all that surprising, it sadly just comes with being a Nats fan.