Jordan Zimmermann took advantage of the time he had to work on his game after he was shut down in late August of 2011 in his first year back following Tommy John surgery, to try to add a changeup he had confidence in to his repertoire. The then-25-year-old right-hander said he'd found a grip he liked and explained how it would give hitters something else to think about when they faced him. "Every pitcher needs a changeup," the Nats' '07 2nd Round pick said, "I think, unless you're coming out of the bullpen, but every starter should have one and I was lucky enough to get away with not really having one this year." Zimmermann threw the pitch 6.7% of the time over his first 16 starts and 91.1 innings in the majors following his MLB debut in 2009. That was down to 3.3% in 2010 in the 31.0 innings he threw at the end of the year after recovering and rehabbing from the surgery late in his rookie campaign.

In his first season back following the procedure it was down to 2.2% in 2011. "I hope I can figure it out come this offseason," Zimmermann said, "I found a pretty good grip that I feel comfortable with the last month here, and I'm excited to start throwing all offseason." The point of adding it to the mix on a more regular basis was just to give hitters one more thing to think about when they prepare to see the 6'2'', 220 lb hurler. "When you're facing a team and they go over a scouting report," Zimmermann explained, "'He's got a fastball, curve ball, slider, you don't have to worry about his changeup,' and if I can just be able to throw a changeup and have that in the back of the hitter's mind that I have a changeup that's halfway decent, it will make me that much better."