Detroit Tigers right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is back from the 45-day injured list and will start Game 2 in Thursday’s doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Tigers announced a number of roster moves after Wednesday’s 19-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers: Relievers Kyle Funkhouser and John Schreiber were optioned to the alternate training site in Toledo; lefty Nick Ramirez was added to the roster; and Zimmermann has returned from his right forearm strain.
[ The Free Press has started a digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Tigers content. ]
To make room for Zimmermann and Ramirez, who has not been on the 40-man roster all year, the Tigers moved Ivan Nova and JaCoby Jones to the 45-day injured list.
[ Zimmermann’s Tigers tenure began with dominance. Then it went miserably south ]
“I think he’s probably (stretched out to) 50 or 60 pitches,” Gardenhire said about Zimmermann. “I haven’t even heard how many pitches. I know he’s anxious to get here, anxious to go with us, and I think he’s very excited. He’s feeling good right now, so you’re going to get to see it like I’m going to get to see it.”
[ Daz Cameron’s ‘life-changing’ COVID-19 battle concludes with Tigers debut ]
Rookie Tarik Skubal starts Game 1 of the doubleheader, but soon after, Zimmermann will pitch a competitive game for the first time since Sept. 26, 2019. The 34-year-old had a 1-13 record last year with a 6.91 ERA, 1.518 WHIP, 82 strikeouts and 25 walks in 112 innings. He went to the injured list July 18 in summer camp.
Lefty Matthew Boyd, who gave up seven runs in Wednesday’s loss, said Zimmermann will be able to help Detroit with a playoff push. The Tigers are 1½ games back from the AL’s eighth and final spot in the expanded 16-team postseason.
[ Zimmermann’s mind has helped Matthew Boyd. Can his arm help the Tigers? ]
“It’s awesome to have him in the clubhouse,” Boyd said Wednesday. “He’s been in it multiple times, so to have him here is going to be huge for us. And we’re excited to see him pitch. He’s been working so hard to get back, so hard to continue to get healthy and contribute. It’s much needed.”
Ramirez pitched in 46 games for the Tigers last season, accumulating a 4.07 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 79⅔ innings, but he did not make the big-league roster out of summer camp.
He was on the traveling taxi squad for recent road trips in Milwaukee and Minnesota but has not pitched in the majors in 2020.
“It’s definitely tough,” Ramirez said Saturday. “I don’t think it’s ideal whatsoever. It’s just one more of those hurdles in my career where I’ve really had to earn everything. It is disappointing, but at the same time, I’m doing everything and anything I can to get back here. We’ll see what happens.”