If Zimmermann can regain some of the form he showed with the Nationals, this role will be his. However, he’s failed to pitch like the starter who consistently racked up seasons of a 3.0 fWAR or higher in Washington
Zimmermann struggled mightily in his first go-around in Detroit, but that paled in comparison to his 2017 season as he was hit around much more often.
In 160 innings, the veteran turned in a 1.55 WHIP, a 5.41 xFIP, a 5.22 SIERA and a 5.18 FIP.
Zimmermann’s hard contact percentage also ballooned, going from 27.2 in 2016 to a career-worst 39.5 in 2017.
Of all Major League starters with at least 160 innings, that was the worst rate.
Of course, that metric isn’t everything, as Robbie Ray led the league with a 40.4 percentage. Still, it’s worth noting that Zimmermann also had the second-lowest soft-contact percentage in the league among starters with 160 innings.
Yeah, not a great mix there.
Outside the organization?
The Detroit Tigers second starting pitcher behind Michael Fulmer in the rotation may end up being an addition from outside the organization.
If the Tigers sign a veteran or two to add depth and Boyd, Norris and Zimmermann all struggle again, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a free agent signing finish the year as Detroit’s second best starter.