Detroit Tigers Jordan Zimmermann just isn’t that good

kris10bentley
May 12, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) is removed by manager Brad Ausmus (left) in the sixth inning as Alex Avila (center) watches against the Los Angeles Angels during a MLB baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) is removed by manager Brad Ausmus (left) in the sixth inning as Alex Avila (center) watches against the Los Angeles Angels during a MLB baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers have very few weak spots left on the 25-man roster.

But, those Detroit Tigers weak spots are extremely noticeable. And, one of them just happens to be the highly paid pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.

The right-handed pitcher has had trouble in all of his outings this season and things do not appear to be getting any better.

Zimmermann’s current numbers are less than impressive. He has an ERA of 6.75 and he has given up double-digit hits in three of his seven starts. In five of those starts, he has given up at least one home run. He has faced 174 batters in 38.2 innings and has only 22 strikeouts. In all of his pitching stats, he is far from average – giving up too many home runs, too many hits, and not enough strikeouts.

Apr 19, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) on the mound during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) on the mound during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

His stats look more like those belonging to Anibal Sanchez than to those of Justin Verlander. Sanchez currently has an ERA of 9.68, with home runs given up in all but three of his nine games. Even their strikeout numbers are close. In Sanchez’s 17.2 innings and 99 batters faced, he has 18 strikeouts.

Verlander’s stats are significantly different. His ERA is 4.25 (which is a bit high for him), but he has 42 strikeouts with 183 batters faced. He has only given up three home runs and 39 hits.

When Zimmermann was signed by the Tigers for the ridiculous amount of $110 million for five years, he was supposed to be the number two pitcher in the rotation. Now, he is barely holding on to the five spot. According to his recent interviews after his mediocre showing in Los Angeles, he chalked it up to luck. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reported Zimmermann saying:

"“I’m just having bad luck, I think. This is the best I’ve felt all year. And the last three or four starts, it’s been getting better and better and better.”More from Detroit Tigers NewsDetroit Tigers: Victor Reyes finding ways to get the job doneThe Detroit Tigers must cut their losses and release Jonathan SchoopDetroit Tigers: Garrett Hill’s new role and changed delivery are excellentDetroit Tigers: Joe Jiménez has rebounded in 2022Detroit Tigers: Is it finally time to move the fences in at Comerica Park?"

It is difficult to blame luck, especially when the numbers just don’t look good. When a pitcher uses “luck” as an excuse, he makes it look like the team is letting him down. Of course, the offense did not produce against the Angels on Friday night, but they have produced in his other outings. In fact, when Zimmermann has been on the mound, the Tigers have scored 47 runs to 45. This includes the game against the Seattle Mariners where the Tigers won 19-9 and it includes the game against the Minnesota Twins where the Tigers lost 5-11.

Keep in mind that of those 45 runs scored against Zimmermann, 9 were home runs. And, 27 of them were earned runs. That’s not luck – that’s just poor pitching. For comparison, Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, and Michael Fulmer have given up 10 home runs combined. And together, they have averaged the same number of innings as Zimmermann has.

Next: J.D. Martinez is back in the lineup

Of course, no Detroit Tigers players or fans want to see him pitch like this and hopefully, the “luck” will turn around. His contract is for $18 million this season and he gets a nice little $6-million raise in 2018, with another cool million added in 2019. Hopefully, he can live up to the dollars that he is getting paid and not become another overpaid bullpen pitcher, like Sanchez.

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