I wrote a little bit about the Detroit Tigers’ recent success this morning, highlighting that they came into today with the best record in the MLB since June 27 at 21-10, and finally claimed a playoff spot.
Detroit was riding an 8-game winning streak, and I talked about how they were only going to get better, activating JD Martinez yesterday, who hit a game-winning home run last night, while also activating right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann today, who had been on the disabled list since July 4 with a strained neck. Zimmermann signed with the Tigers almost immediately this past offseason, inking a five-year, $110 million deal at the end of November. Zimmermann started off red hot, not allowing an earned run until his fourth start of the year. The 30-year-old sported a pristine 1.50 ERA through his first seven starts, but over his last eight starts coming into today, he’s accumulated an ERA of 6.42, allowing 34 earned runs and 59 hits in 47.2 innings.
Zimmermann didn’t even make it out of the second inning today, allowing six earned runs on on six hits, two of which were home runs, in 1.2 innings, bumping his ERA up to 4.44 this season. His fastball had been averaging 92.7 MPH this season, but Zimmermann was sitting 89-90 MPH during his brief outing today. I speculated that it could’ve just been rust, but, unfortunately for Tigers fans, it looks like it’s more than that. It’s not his neck this time, but it looks like Zimmermann is dealing with a right lat issue, and he’ll undergo an MRI to see what the deal is.
If he needs to miss his next start, or hit the disabled list again, it sounds like Daniel Norris will fill that spot in the Tigers rotation for the time being. Norris has made four appearances for Detroit this year, three starts, with his most recent start coming on July 4 in Cleveland. He’s got a 4.85 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 13 innings this year.