Detroit Tigers: April Winners and Losers
Winner: Jordan Zimmermann
Outside of possibly Ian Kinsler, Jordan Zimmermann has been the Detroit Tigers’ best player so far during the 2016 season. The marquee offseason signing has won each of four starts.
In addition to winning each game, the veteran starting pitcher owns a sparkling 0.35 ERA in 26 innings pitched. While his strikeout total (just 16) is somewhat concerning, Zimmermann’s stellar ERA more than makes up for any strikeout issues. However, the starter has shown in his career that he can rack up strikeouts.
The 29-year-old has averaged 169 strikeouts over the last three years. During those seasons, he’s averaged 205 innings per year. His strikeout numbers will improve. He has the stuff, he’s just induced much more contact early—and that’s been extremely successful for him so far.
What’s more, Zimmermann has also provided the Tigers with another ace to pair with Justin Verlander. Not only will this become valuable come playoff time, but it also gives Detroit some much needed consistency. With fellow starting pitchers Shane Greene, Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey all showing some signs of struggle in 2016, the fact that Zimmermann gives the team an excellent chance to win every fifth day is extremely valuable.