Detroit Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann bounce-back is vital for franchise’s long-term outlook
Why a bounce-back season is key
Heading into the 2018 season, the Detroit Tigers will need a bounce-back season from Jordan Zimmermann.
Not only does he help hold down the rotation for Detroit until Franklin Perez, Beau Burrows and Grayson Long are ready—which may not be that far off—he could also develop into a trade chip.
That’s obviously easier said than done.
Still, there’s some reason to believe Zimmermann could improve somewhat next season.
Reasons to believe Zimmermann could be better in 2018
His .330 BABIP, a career high, obviously contributed to the veteran’s struggle.
What’s more, the hurler actually missed bats with slightly more regularity in 2017, upping his swinging strike percentage to 8.1% from 7.7% in 2016.
By comparison, the starter’s swinging strike percentages during his run of form with the Nats were 8.0%, 8.3%, 8.8%, 10.3% and 8.4%.
He’s used to finding success with a similar swing-and-miss numbers.
If Zimmermann can post similar stats where missing bats are concerned and keep the ball on the ground more, he should have a chance to find more success.
In 2017, the pitcher turned in a 33.2% ground ball percentage that was easily the lowest of his Major League career.
However, at the very least if the veteran pitcher can perform at a level somewhere between his recent struggles and his excellent years in Washington, Zimmermann could conceivably help another team’s rotation.
Even in this scenario, Detroit might have to eat some salary to help facilitate a trade, but if they can get an intriguing prospect or two and some payroll relief in exchange for the ex-National, it will be a definite win for the franchise.