Five years ago, the Kansas City Royals selected pitcher Kyle Zimmer with the fifth pick overall of the MLB Draft. Since then, it’s been nothing but hopes being destroyed and a lot of frustration out of the young pitcher.
Kyle Zimmer is a prime example of that. Zimmer was a bright young pitcher out of the University of San Francisco and became the Royals’ first-round selection in 2012. Since that time, he’s seen no action in Major League Baseball and hasn’t even made it to Omaha (AAA) yet.
Zimmer’s biggest struggle has been that he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy enough to pitch for a full season. He’s constantly had issues with his arm, just recently having thoracic outlet surgery.
Every year, Zimmer’s prospect ranking has plummeted as a result of his frequent injuries and that’s too bad. The kid has shown some good stuff when on the mound, but staying healthy is a huge part of any sport, and Zimmer hasn’t done that so far.
So far in spring training, Zimmer has lived up to that part of the deal, but it was announced on Wednesday that the former fifth round pick would be reassigned to minor league camp, per Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star.
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Dodd cites Ned Yost in the article, who mentioned that Zimmer could be useful in the bullpen down the road should an injury to a reliever occur during the season.
"“We’ve got enough competition right now in this camp for our bullpen,” Yost said. “But if something happens down the road, and they’re performing down there, and they’re lengthened out, they can very easily come back here and jump right into the bullpen.”"
While a lot of Royals fans will groan at the notion of “another failed starter” happening with Zimmer, I don’t see it that way. Sure, it’s frustrating that the Kansas City Royals have struggled to develop starting pitchers, but at this point, just getting Kyle Zimmer to the major leagues is good enough for me.
During Zimmer’s two appearances in spring training, he put up a 7.71 ERA in 2.1 innings pitched. He gave up four hits, three runs (one being a home run), walked one batter, and struck out two guys.
Kyle Zimmer has just been that guy for the Royals that fans are anxiously awaiting to see make it to the majors. Unlike Bubba Starling, who has just been held back because he isn’t getting it, Zimmer is ready to take that step (or so we think). He just has to prove that he can remain healthy and put together a full season.
Hopefully Zimmer can step up this year in the minor leagues and get called up to Kansas City. Royals fans would love to see him pitch at Kauffman Stadium in 2017.