Milwaukee Brewers take a chance on Jordan Zimmermann

Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images /

On Tuesday, pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and the Milwaukee Brewers agreed on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to major league spring training.

The Brewers will take a chance on the former all-star hoping he shows improvement in spring training and becomes a regular part of the projected rotation. Zimmermann will have to compete with Adrian Houser, who struggled last year posting and 5.23 ERA, and the young minor leaguer Dylan File, who was added to the 40-man roster in November.

What can Jordan Zimmermann bring to the Milwaukee Brewers?

Zimmermann started his career with the Washington Nationals and quickly found consistency and success. In his first two seasons in the majors, he posted an ERA over 4.00 but he then went five seasons throwing over 150 innings with an ERA under 3.75 in each of them. He made the all-star team two times during that stretch, in 2013 and 2014, and finished fifth in the NL CY Young race in 2014.

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In 2016, he signed a five year deal worth $110 million with the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately, he just could not adapt to Comerica Park and the American League. In his first year as a Tiger, he had to deal with a neck injury that limited him to 18 games, in which he could not find the success that helped him become the highest paying pitcher in Detroit history.

The next couple of years were more of the same. His control and ability to limit hits and home runs were gone and he went from having a hit per 9 inning rate of 8.6 in Washington to 10.8 in Detroit. His other stats were way up as well, and his strikeout rate also suffered a big hit. Last year he was placed in the 60-day IL due to a right forearm after just 5.2 innings pitched over three games.

Detroit’s front office and fans are surely happy that the Zimmerman era is finally over. Zimmermann, on the other hand, is having another chance in the NL, where he found success. He said that after a tough 2020 season retirement passed through his head but after working out, he feels good, healthy, and happy. He is happy to be given another chance and has confidence that he can still get guys out.

According to Baseball Savant, in 2019, Zimmermann still was in the 93 percentile of the league in base on balls percentage and his fastball and curveball had an above-average spin. He has always relied upon his control and his ability to induce soft contact for his success so if he can find his groove again, he might be a good bounce-back candidate for the 2021 season.

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The Milwaukee Brewers made a safe bet by signing Jordan Zimmermann and we will have to wait and see his performance on spring training that might be definitive in keeping him out of retirement.