UPDATE: Zimmermann has been placed on the 45-day injured list, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck and others (Twitter links). The Tigers aren’t ruling him out for the season yet.
TODAY: Jordan Zimmermann is dealing with the same sort of forearm soreness that sapped him of much of the 2019 season, per Chris McCosky of The Detroit News. If he can stay healthy – a big if – Zimmermann would look to make the most of a short season by proving his arm still plays at the major league level. This will be the final year of the five-year, $110MM pact he signed with the Tigers before the 2016 season.
It’s been a tough couple of years for Zimmermann, who will end his contract without ever making 30 starts in a season after doing so in each of his final four seasons with the Nationals. Despite the precipitous drop in performance, the Tigers were nonetheless turning to Zimmermann as a veteran stopgap in a rotation that will soon be overrun by high-upside prospects like Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Franklin Perez, Casey Mize, and Joey Wentz. The rotation is already without Daniel Norris, who has yet to pitch in camp after testing positive for coronavirus.
In the meantime, the Tigers are scrambling to fill out the rotation behind ace Matthew Boyd. Veteran Ivan Nova was brought in to soak up innings (34 starts, 187 innings in 2019), and Spencer Turnbull figures to slot in somewhere in the middle of the rotation after a mostly-strong showing in 2019. Turnbull went 3-17 last season with a 4.61 ERA/3.99 FIP. He’s done a nice job of limiting long balls throughout his two seasons in the majors, and if he can improve upon some control issues that led to an AL-high 16 hit batters and 3.6 BB/9, the Tigers hope Turnbull can level off his 4.76 career ERA and land closer to his 3.88 career FIP mark.
Beyond those three, the Tigers are working on extending the innings of Dario Agrazal, Shao-Ching Chiang, Hector Santiago, and Tyler Alexander to potentially fill out the rotation. Former Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer also has a chance to get some rotation innings, writes McCosky. Fulmer missed all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Of the youngsters in camp, Mize probably has the best shot of cracking the rotation. Under normal circumstances, Mize would be ticketed for Triple-A after 22 starts with a 2.55 ERA in Double-A last year, but without minor league games to further his development, count Mize among the many young stars with a slightly better chance of breaking into the big leagues sometime during the shortened 2020 season. Seven days on the taxi squad will be enough for the Tigers to secure an extra year of service time, notes McCosky, but manager Ron Gardenhire doesn’t plan on making any official decisions until knowing more about the health of Zimmermann and Norris.
Wentz is not a current factor since he’s out for 2020 and probably a good deal of 2021 due to Tommy John.
Beat me to it.
They weren’t saying he’s a current factor. Just noting that he’s a good looking prospect that should be in the rotation full of other prospects eventually.
As big an infection as any going around right now is the -manufacture an argument by arguing a point that wasn’t made, or just flat out making up something that someone else said-. And the 4 upvotes shows just how quickly people will fall in line supporting a manufactured argument. Such an elegant microcosm of the current landscape in this world.
The Human Rain Delay
Haha, love it Mr Smith….
Ive always said they should somehow make sure people read the articles before they pop down here with their thoughts
This is the ‘ME” age though
Tigers will likely do everything they can to avoid using Manning, Mize and Skubal in the rotation this year. They do not want to start their service time early in a shortened season. Plus Skubul has not been in camp due to his own COVID battle.
They will likely cobble the last two spots in the rotation by bullpenning with Fulmer, Norris and the rest of the group. They have 4 weeks to get arm strength built up in Norris and Fulmer before the roster gets set to 26. Hopefully by then Zimmermann could at least be back and contribute to that type of usage.
What about using Fulmer and Norris in a piggyback situation like they did with Norris and VerHagen last season? It seemed to work well and wouldn’t overwork either pitcher.
The team has its sight on last place and nothing is going to derail them. Will they relocate to Nashville?
They have their sights set on Kumar. Never going to leave Detroit.
Detroit is one of the best baseball towns on the planet. The fans show up in force, including a large fanbase on the road, when they’re going good. Nashville? Probably the Rays next move, really.
Sgt. Friday, why would they deprive Tiger fans of one of the top teams of the 2020s? Oh yeah!
Manning is in a different situation than Skubal or Mize, since he would be Rule 5 eligible in November. So if he is brought up and not optioned, they save an option. Not that it’s a big deal because you gotta hope he sticks once he is called up- but he’ll be on the 40 man roster in November anyway. Mize and Skubal have more time before they start burning options and service time.
The Tigers should just move on from Zimmermann at least in the rotation, IMO, and give the time to players who might be relevant going forward. Fulmer and Norris should be starting games in a regular rotation. If they can only go once through the order to start, fine- then hand it off to Alexander or Rony Garcia or another long man.
Boyd, Turnbull, Norris, Fulmer are the guys who are relevant.
Alexander won’t stick in the rotation long term because he’s too hittable and doesn’t have the stuff to withstand the onslaught of talent that is coming up.
I thought Ivan Nova was out of the league. Tigers must be in a tough position to have this guy hanging around a bit.
lets get some Shao innings!
“It’s been a tough couple of years for Zimmermann…”
Yeah, poor guy. He’s been cashing $22 million paychecks while doing little else. A fairer statement would be, “Watching Zimmermann has been rough on Tiger fans.”
“Watching Zimmermann has been rough on Tiger fans.”
Yeah, poor guys. They sit there with their hot dog and a beer, while doing little else.
Most teams refusing to play a guy in the Major leagues to delay service time is crazy. Such a cheap way. Fans want to see top prospects ASAP.
im sure the fans would trade a week or two of the prospect now for a whole year later on
The Human Rain Delay
Amen Darkside !!!!
Ask REAL cubs fans if they wish to get that 2.5 weeks back of Bryant in 15′ or have him all of 2021
Watching Zimmerman HAS been a nightmare! Paying a pitcher that much money to do absolutely nothing but give up runs (that’s when he’s healthy, which ain’t often) is brutal and that’s just another misstep by GM Avila who continues to botch this rebuild. Our farm is on the rise but it’s hard NOT to be when you pick as high as we have the last half decade! Look at the White Sox and that’s how you rebuild. They have their young core signed and extended for years to come so they don’t have to worry about service times and such. Not to mention signing the right free agents at the right times. We are STILL years away and it won’t get any prettier with Avila in charge. Gonna be a long “short” season in Dtown!
You actually expected the Tigers to complete, even in a short season like this?
Avila should have been gone a couple years ago.
I wonder if Cubs and Astros fans were complaining during their rebuilds?
Tigers have been rebuilding since 2015.
Could be the worst signing in Tigers history.
It’s certainly up there on the list.
Avila made more bad free agent signings in his first winter than Dombrowski made in 15 years with the Tigers. Zimm, Pelfrey, Aviles, Lowe- only Upton worked out, and he was traded for nothing.
Not really sure how you can classify pelfrey aviles and Lowe as bad signings. None of them were signed to long, expensive deals and none of them were really expected to perform all that amazing. They were just some low profile, low risk signings.
I was referring to the group of free agent signings that winter, but yeay- I’d call all of those bad signings.
Pelfrey, 2 years, $16 million
Lowe, 2 years $11 million
Aviles- $2 million, but they were going to start him in left field before Mr I stepped in and started talking about Chris Davis. To his credit, Avila steered them to Upton instead.
The Tigers were eliminated from the playoffs the following season on the last day. If ANY of those signings had produced instead of hurting the team, they’d have another post season shot.
I’ve defined a bad contract as one that you could not unload to any team, even for free, and all of these fit the bill. They’re not catastrophic, but they’re bad.
Dave Dombrowski had an excellent track record with free agents. Very few of them turned out bad. Where he was terrible was in signing extensions. Very few turned out good.
Hard to walk with four balls
Dontrell Willis’s extension is call for you.
That contract was a JOKE! Who signs a player to that type of extension when they haven’t even pitched a single inning for you? Ridiculous….
It’s official. Jordan Zimmermann has been placed on the 45 day injured list with a forearm strain. He gone.
We have teams not even hiding the fact they’re tanking, their roster construction is just abysmal. I get they are rebuilding but wow.
Hard to walk with four balls
If you are going to do it… then DO IT right.
Edwin Jackson is available….
He’s already played for the Tigers twice in his career. He needs to find another team to extend his streak.
Might as well release Zimmerman, They will need the spot on the 40 man roster to replace him. Label him done as a Tiger.
They’ve got the roster spot back by placing him on the 45 day DL, which replaces the 60 day DL.
Besides, releasing an injured player is just bad form. There’s nothing to gain.
Think the Tigers regret cutting Zack Godly so early? They sure could use him now in the rotation. He threw the ball well in his scrimmage start.
Probably so. They cut him early so he could land a big-league gig somewhere else. “No good deed goes unpunished,” as the saying goes.
I don’t think it’s a regret that Godley was let go. Zim was money spent.
Still have Boyd, Turnbull, Novoa. Fulmer and Norris will be ready in a few weeks. Alexander and Chiang can take a couple turns in the meantime. Mize is an option in a few weeks as well. It’s not like they don’t have better options than Godley.
Hard to walk with four balls
They pitch Buck Farmer as a starter before they would pitch Mize.
honestly Zim is an underrated part of the list of bad MLB signings. seemingly so bad everyone’s wanted to block it out of their minds.
Tigers Rotation: Boyd, Turnbull, Fulmer, Norris, Nova, Alexander. Then, throw in Zimmerman when he is healthy. as a #5 guy or long relief. Alexander and maybe one other bullpen guy can be the tag team with Fulmer and Norris as they get back up to speed.
No reason to waste service time of any of the up and coming top pitching prospects including Mize or Manning. Save then for May or June 2021.
2020 is a “developmental season” for the Tigers..to take their lumps, get more “top 5” Draft picks in 2021 and 2022….
Then Start contending in 2023….
Is Beau Burrows healthy?
Burrows and Funkhouser were two of the early cuts in the spring. Burrows is healthy, and he has pitched much better in summer camp than he did in the spring. The option can be undone without burning an option, but I doubt if that’s the plan at least to start the season.