Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer Designated for Assignment

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 02: Starting pitcher Kyle Zimmer
SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 02: Starting pitcher Kyle Zimmer /

The Kansas City Royals designated for assignment former top prospect Kyle Zimmer on Thursday. Typically that means the team might be done with that player. Maybe not for Zimmer and the Royals though.

It is hard to identify a player that had as much hype as Kyle Zimmer be as disappointing as Zimmer has been. Unfortunately for him, it has nothing really to do with his performances or off the field antics. Zimmer has fallen victim to the ever so dreaded injury bug his entire career.

The 5th overall pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft had everyone in the organization watching. In fact, by 2013 the highly coveted pitcher had already worked his way up to being the No. 1 prospect within the Royals organization. In fact, he ranked 30th amount all MLB Prospects in 2013.

By 2014 he had fallen to No. 2 within the Royals organization behind Adalberto Mondesi and fell to No. 47 among all MLB Prospects. Then in 2015, he fell to No. 3 with the Royals while falling to No. 95 among all MLB Prospects. 2016 saw Zimmer fall to No. 5 in the Royals organization and completely fell out of the Top-100 MLB Prospects. His trend was going in the wrong direction.

The “hope” for his success has always been there. However, the hope seemed to only be just that, hope.

Then the injuries started piling up. Injuries have derailed a very promising MLB career. Here is the laundry list of injuries.

  • Elbow surgery in August 2012
  • Bicep tendonitis in 2013
  • Shoulder surgery after the 2014 season
  • Shoulder soreness in 2015
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in 2016
  • Recurring shoulder soreness in 2017
  • Made one 2018 Spring Training start before fatigue set in

When looking at the past it is hard to ignore common trends. After being drafted in 2012, Zimmer has had some sort of arm injury every year. Some trends are harder to break than others.

Kyle Zimmer being Designated for Assignment

The Royals seemed to be done dealing with the constant “hope” and being let down every year. A lot of time an energy has gone into making Zimmer an MLB pitcher, and they have always ended in the same story. The disabled list.

Former Royals beat writer and current Los Angeles Dodgers beat writer Andy McCullough tweeted his disbelief yesterday.

I feel like we are missing a bit of the puzzle here. Just because Zimmer has been Designated for Assignment does not mean they have given up on Zimmer. MLB Glossary provided the idea I am going with.

“If the player clears waivers, he may be sent outright to the Minor Leagues or released.” 

I do not think they have given up on Zimmer. In fact, think it simply means they needed his roster spot on the 40-man roster.

I would be hardpressed to believe that a team is going to take a chance on a minor leaguer who has never made it to the 25-man roster, much less a year without some injury. Therefore, Zimmer will most likely make it through waivers and fall back to the Royals.

The Royals can keep Zimmer, watch and see how he performs, while not having him take a roster spot. It works in the Royals favor doing it like this.

Final Thoughts

I have always held out hope that Zimmer would finally be able to put it all together. He has such amazing potential, even if he is coming from the bullpen. He just can’t stay healthy, which is discouraging for everyone, making it easy to be pessimistic about his situation.

However, I do not think the Royals are giving up on Zimmer. I think they simply wanted his roster spot to go to someone who can contribute this year. Someone they can get a look at to see if they are a tradeable piece or a future piece to the current rebuild.

We will find out in 10 days whether or not Zimmer has played, or sat in a training room, for the last time for the Royals organization. Or if they want him still, just not on the 40-man roster.

What do you think Royals fans? Are they done with Kyle Zimmer? Or do you think he will be back, jut not on the 40-man roster? Let us know below!