KC Royals Kyle Zimmer Gets Cactus League Opening Day Start
By David Hill
Opening Day during the Cactus League does not have anything close to the same meaning as Opening Day during the regular season. However, it is interesting that the KC Royals will be handing the ball to prospect Kyle Zimmer.
There is no denying the potential and the talent possessed by Kyle Zimmer. Possessing a fastball that has touched 100 MPH, and with solid command that has seen him post a career 2.8 BB/9 during his minor league career, it is easy to see why Zimmer is the top pitching prospect in the KC Royals system. The only question about him has been his health, as Zimmer has been hurt every year as a professional.
Now, Royals fans will get to see that potential and talent soon. Today, Ned Yost announced that Zimmer will get the ball for the first game of the Cactus League season, a move that will give us all a glimpse of what Zimmer could offer.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
Obviously, in the grand scheme of things, this move means nothing. Zimmer, most likely, is still going to open the season in the minors, probably at Northwest Arkansas, where he finished last season. However, by bringing Zimmer into the KC Royals major league camp, he will get a taste of what it is like to face major league hitters, possibly speeding his development along.
His performance during Spring Training could also be notable for another reason. Earlier in the offseason, Royals Assistant GM J.J. Picollo stated that he could envision Zimmer contributing to the rotation, even in the early part of the 2016 season. While that may be a longshot given the Royals rotation depth, a strong performance during Spring Training could accelerate the timeline for Zimmer to reach the majors.
As Flanagan says, one should not read too much into this one start for Zimmer and the Royals. Yet, this could be the start of Zimmer’s ascension into the majors, and a nice confidence boost for one of the Royals top prospects. A strong performance in this outing could start the ball rolling to that eventual promotion to the majors, and getting Zimmer into the rotation.
Next: Ryan O'Hearn attracting notice
For now, let us look at this first start on Wednesday. While it may not mean much, if anything, at this point, we may be about to witness the beginning of the Kyle Zimmer Era for the KC Royals.