Zimmermann will be coming off a strong performance Sunday against the Rockies. But his season-long pattern of hard-luck pitching continued Sunday as he allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings, but came away with a no-decision in a game the Rockies won, 4-3.
In 17 first-half starts and 110 1/3 innings, Zimmermann had a 2.61 ERA, but only a 5-6 record to show for it.
Tapping Zimmermann to start the first game after the All-Star break was about the only easy decision for Johnson when it came to his pitching plans going forward. Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez both pitched an inning for the National League team managed by Tony La Russa in the All-Star Game.
The plan is to have Gonzalez start the second game against the Marlins, with Strasburg and Edwin Jackson to follow.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will have to come to terms with the fact his team will be without its most productive hitter, All-Star Giancarlo Stanton, and how to proceed until the slugging right fielder is able to return.
Guillen said Sunday's procedure to remove a loose body in Stanton's knee went well and there isn't a timetable yet for his return, but earlier, the Marlins manager speculated the 22-year-old slugger would be out at least a month.
Stanton is the Marlins' leader in home runs with 19 and RBIs with 50, and he is hitting .284 with a .554 slugging percentage.
Justin Ruggiano is expected to get the first chance to replace Stanton in right field.
The Marlins went a man short in their final game before the All-Star break, and will activate center fielder Emilio Bonifacio from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game. Bonifacio has been out since May 20 with a sprained left thumb.
Marlins president David Samson said there will be a sense of urgency for his team when the season resumes.
"Our focus has to really be getting back to .500 as quickly as we can after the break," Samson said. "We have four games against Washington, and that's an important four games.
Nationals: Injured Desmond still productive
Shortstop Ian Desmond, who was named to the All-Star team, but withdrew because of a left oblique strain that has been bothering him for nearly a month, is still getting the job done. Desmond hit is 17th home run of the season Sunday against the Rockies and is leading all Major League shortstops in homers. Houston's Jed Lowrie is second, with 14.
Marlins: Johnson to start Friday
Zimmermann's mound opponent Friday will be right-hander Josh Johnson. Johnson has bounced back nicely from shoulder inflammation problems that caused him to miss most of the 2011 season and has made all 17 of his scheduled starts and logged 102 innings. His results have been spotty, as reflected in a 5-5 record and 4.06 ERA.
Third baseman Hanley Ramirez had to leave Sunday's game against the Cardinals with a right finger laceration. It is unknown if the injury will affect his availability for the start of the second half of the season Friday.
The Marlins' Logan Morrison enters the second half riding an 11-game hitting streak.