Jordan Zimmermann just suffered his worst season ever in 2016. The real question at this point is how much of it was injury-related and how much was a degradation of skills? His 3.66 ERA in 2015 might push you closer to degradation, but his strikeout and walk rates that year were completely in line with his 2011-13 seasons while his 2014 stands out as a career year. The one key change in 2015 was his career-worst home run rate (1.1 HR/9) and it was even a tick worse in 2016 at 1.2 HR/9. Neck and lat injuries might have been at play in the career-low 15 percent strikeout rate and the spike in walk rate to six percent, his highest since 2009. Zimmermann had a 3.24 ERA through 13 starts, before he allowed 11 earned runs in 9.2 innings in two starts before the neck injury and another 15 earned runs in 9.2 innings the rest of the way with a second DL stint mixed in. A healthy Zimmermann should yield something close to a 4.00 ERA in his age-30 campaign.
Zimmermann (2-1) gave up five runs on 11 hits -- including three homers -- over six innings Tuesday, but he benefited from a 19-run outburst by the Tigers' offense to gain a win over the Mariners. He may have a winning record, but the early returns have been quite bad for Zimmermann, who's now given up five runs in three consecutive starts. Never the most prolific strikeout artist, he's seen his ability to miss bats fall off a cliff -- with just one whiff Tuesday, he has only 11 in his first 22.2 innings. It's hard to own a guy who's giving up that much contact.
Zimmermann (1-1) went six innings in a no-decision against the Rays on Wednesday, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits. He struck out four. Zimmermann wasn't fooling Tampa Bay hitters, but he was spared the loss by an offense that scored seven runs. Zimmermann has now allowed five earned runs in consecutive starts, which isn't helping to ease concerns following a 4.87 ERA in 2016. He'll look to turn things around Tuesday against the Mariners at home.
Zimmerman (1-1) allowed five runs on four hits while issuing five walks over 4.2 innings in the Tigers' loss to the Twins on Thursday. After beginning the game with two scoreless innings, things started to spiral downhill for Zimmerman shortly after. The 30-year-old right-hander explained some of his struggles after the game by stating that he had trouble gripping the baseball all day, per Matthew B. Mowery of The Oakland Press. Zimmerman will look to regain the form he showed in his first start of the season when he allowed just one run in six innings.
Zimmermann went six innings and earned the win Saturday against the Red Sox. He allowed four hits and just one earned run, while striking out three. After posting a 4.87 ERA and career-worst 1.37 WHIP last season, this is certainly an encouraging start. Zimmermann had a rough spring, but he did say he felt healthy after injuries derailed him in 2016. His next start is scheduled for Thursday at home against the Twins.
Zimmermann is scheduled to start Saturday against the Red Sox. The Tigers have decided to shuffle things around a bit in the rotation following Wednesday's postponement, rather than simply moving everyone back a day. Matt Boyd is now scheduled for Thursday, and will be followed by Michael Fulmer, Zimmermann, Daniel Norris and Justin Verlander (in that order). Zimmermann struggled to a 9.42 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in spring training.
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