Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer Injured Again


The Kansas City Royals had high hopes for prized minor league pitcher Kyle Zimmer when they drafted him fifth overall in the 2012 June Amateur Draft.

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However, the former University of San Francisco star suffered yet another injury setback Saturday when he left his outing early with another apparent shoulder injury.

The Kansas City Star’s Andy McCoullough broke the news to his Twitter followers early Sunday morning, saying the Royals will “determine next when he can return to games.”

Some of McCullough’s followers expressed their frustration with Zimmer’s injury-filled past, even (presumably) joking that some of the blame falls on the reporter.

All jokes aside, Zimmer’s health is starting to become a real concern for the Royals. He had not pitched since last October (because of a previous shoulder injury) before his season debut last month with the Royals Single A affiliate, Lexington Legends.

Saturday was his third appearance, and he had performed well on the mound before exiting with the injury.  He was 1-0 in 4 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just three hits and no runs, while striking out six and walking just two.

Feb 24, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Kyle Zimmer poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The fact that he had been pitching well (although in a small sample size), makes it harder to take for Royals’ fans. It adds salt to the wound considering starting pitching seems to be the Achilles heel of the Big League club.

Zimmer was drafted three years ago, and hoping he would be contributing by now is not unheard of for a top pick. Teams are bringing up their aces, sometimes even when they aren’t fully ready, in the first season or two.

Although he was used as a reliever, Kansas City’s own Brandon Finnegan was drafted last June, and by October was pitching in the World Series.

St. Louis selected Texas A&M’s Michael Wacha 14 picks after Zimmer. He already has 17 Major League wins, and is 8-1 with a 2.15 ERA this season.

Wacha is more of an exception than the rule, but the fact Zimmer is still bouncing around A-Ball with injuries should not only be a disappointment, but a concern for Kansas City.

Zimmer has thrown 157 1/3 minor league innings, but only 19 of those have occurred post 2013.

Maybe this will only be a slight setback, and Zimmer will be on the mound next week eventually starting for the Royals in the next season or two. However, if history is any kind of measure, it should be wait and see for Royals’ fans.

Or maybe, pray really hard and see.

Next: Kansas City Royals News: The Drought Continues

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