Jordan Zimmermann stood on the mound on Friday afternoon in Viera for his third start of a long spring training and fired fastballs at the St. Louis Cardinals hitters. The pitches were within his normal range of velocity, especially for this time of the year. But the pitches were often too high in the strike zone, inviting to the Cardinals hitters. Zimmermann battled, and his manager saw the familiar symptoms of what’s known as “dead arm.”

“It’s about this time of spring,” Davey Johnson said. “All my pitchers go through a little dead arm. He was little dead arm. He got some treatment afterward. Nothing anything to worry about. Probably a little fatigue in there. But I see that third time out, sometimes fourth time out, get that with everybody.”

Zimmermann started Friday’s 16-10 loss with ease: facing three batters in the first inning thanks to a double play. He hung a curveball to Ronny Cedeno in the second inning with two on base and surrendered two runs. The issues, however, really began in the third. He allowed the first five batters to reach, four with solid hits and one on a walk. He allowed two more hits before ending the six-run inning.