KC Royals: 4 relievers who may not return next season

(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Kyle Zimmer
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Kyle Zimmer overcame a lot to reach the KC Royals, but may not be back.

The trials and tribulations of Kyle Zimmer, particularly his string of injuries, are well-chronicled. Kansas City’s first-round selection in the 2012 draft, Zimmer struggled with a variety of maladies in his eight-year minor league career and didn’t make it to the majors until 2019. Unfortunately, he gave up 22 runs and walked 19 in 18.1 innings.

But Zimmer seemed to arrive last season. He appeared in 16 of the Royals’ 60 games, posted a 1.57 ERA, averaged over 10 strikeouts per nine innings, and picked up his first big league win. The future appeared deservedly bright.

Related Story. Zimmer finally had season he needed. light

This year, however, hasn’t been for Zimmer what 2020 was. Trap and neck spasms forced him to the IL twice and warranted a rehab assignment to Triple-A Omaha. He’s 4-1, but has too high an ERA (5.12) for a reliever; unfortunately, his career 5.32 ERA is higher.

After giving up a run in an inning against Cleveland Monday, Zimmer has a 7.00 ERA and has given up 14 hits in his last nine innings (eight games). His first-half ERA was 3.57, still a bit high for a reliever, but his second half ERA is 8.59. Opposing hitters are batting .328 against him since the All-Star Break.

Zimmer, 30, simply isn’t the pitcher he was last year. He may not have a spot with the KC Royals next season.