While he considered it was worth noting to the press, Johnson didn't appear to be particularly concerned about Zimmermann or his dead arm. The skipper told reporters that considering the time of year, "pitchers are going through a little dead arm." The right-hander is receiving "some treatment," but overall there's "nothing to be worried about."
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Zimmermann was hit hard during Friday's exhibition start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He lasted three innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits, while throwing 39 of his 61 pitches for strikes. St. Louis scored six of its eight runs against Zimmermann in the third inning, when they sent 10 batters to the plate against the right-hander.
Following his appearance, Zimmermann didn't offer dead arm as an excuse. Instead, he attributed his struggles to leaving fastballs up in the zone and facing a "good hitting team."
Zimmermann posted a career-year for the Nationals in 2012. The 26-year-old maintained an ERA of 2.94 over 32 starts with a strikeout-to-walk ratio (SO/BB) of 3.56. Over four seasons in the majors, he owns a career ERA of 3.47 with 3.50 SO/BB.