by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Remember when Jordan Zimmermann turned a big season into a lucrative free agent contract? It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he’s been a bitter disappointment in the three years since inking that deal, including a 4.52 ERA over 131.1 innings of work last season.
Is anyone going to still get excited by the name? Obviously you shouldn’t, though those looking for a shred of value could point towards a 7.61 K/9 and 1.78 BB/9 in 2018 as reasons for optimism.
Even during his struggles he has continued to post strong control overall, so that mark shouldn’t come as a surprise. The strikeouts are a bit of a different story, however.
Over the previous two seasons he had posted K/9 of 5.64 and 5.79. Even last year’s spike is a rather pedestrian mark and a 9.1% SwStr% isn’t going to grab our attention. While he did increase the usage of his slider, which represents his best swing and miss pitch, a 15.82% Whiff% doesn’t elicit much hope for continued success (or even more potential).
After dispelling that “positive”, what are we left? A control artist who has continually missed time since signing with Detroit and could have significant home run issues? Just look at the HR/9 over the past three seasons:
- 2016 – 1.20
- 2017 – 1.63
- 2018 – 1.92
With a 35.0% groundball rate it may not matter where he pitches, he’s going to be giving up a lot of long balls.
Just to put it all together, over the past two seasons he’s been hit extremely hard, with Hard% of 39.5% and 38.1%. Last season he benefited from a .288 BABIP, so there’s just little hope.
Maybe there was a time that Zimmermann was a viable fantasy option, but even as a plug in or a streamer his time has come and gone. Don’t waste the time considering him.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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