Jordan Zimmerman has scorched through the minors at an unexpected rate and will have the opportunity to earn a spot in the Major League rotation this spring. We've seen this happen many times before in baseball; a young pitcher breaking into the bigs at a very young age and far ahead of schedule. Sometimes its positive (Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett) sometimes it's negative (Edwin Jackson and Bobby Witt), and sometimes they just burn out (Dwight Gooden, Dontrell Willis).
But the proverbial question stands, should Zimmerman be brought up to the bigs in 09 if her earns it in camp, or should he be forced to spend more time in the minors developing?
There is a lot to be said for rewarding the kid if he comes out and has a great showing in spring training. If he can succeed in the spring against top talent, why wouldn't he be able to in May, June and August?
I urge the Nats to realize however that pitcher development is such a long process. The minors allow pitchers a place to learn under fire. It allows them develop skill during in game situations where in the majors they would just be relieved at the first sign of trouble. Don't we want our young pitchers to work through their problems? Not avoid them?
It's been said by many scouts that Zimmerman right now has very good stuff, but no great go to pitches. It seems to me that you can get minor league hitters out at a high rate without a go to pitch, but in order for a pitcher to be truly successful at the big league level he will need to have sharpened his pitches just that much more. A year more in the minors wont hurt anyone, certainly not Zimmerman.
But what do YOU think??