Detroit Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann bounce-back is vital for franchise’s long-term outlook
Kick-starting the rebuild
Baseball is a fickle sport, leaving the door open to pretty much anything happening.
That’s not saying the Detroit Tigers are going to contend and win the pennant next season.
However, a rebound season from Zimmermann, along with significant steps forward from fellow starting pitchers Daniel Norris and Matthew Boyd (things that aren’t too far out of the question), Detroit could punch above their weight and win a few more games than expected.
This, in turn, would help expedite the rebuild process.
Not only would a bounce-back campaign from Zimmermann help kick-start the rebuild, it would also help save the bullpen.
Detroit will enter 2018 with a young bullpen that could, at times, feature the likes of Joe Jimenez, Jairo Labourt, Bryan Garcia, Zac Reininger and Mark Ecker among others.
The bullpen as a whole could get even younger if closer Shane Greene and presumptive setup man Alex Wilson are traded this offseason.
Obviously getting all those pitchers acclimated to the Majors is key for the future, but the Tigers probably don’t want to overwhelm the younger relievers with consistent work if the starters fail to pitch deep, or even moderately deep, into games.
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Having Zimmermann somewhat return to form would help take the pressure off the young bullpen.