No longer in the Orioles rotation or on their active roster, rookie left-hander Bruce Zimmermann is reporting to Triple-A Norfolk and tasked with getting back to the majors after he’s eligible to return.
The Orioles optioned Zimmermann to the alternate training site last night and recalled reliever Isaac Mattson. The camp is shut down with the minor leagues starting tonight and Zimmermann is listed on the Tides roster.
Zimmermann isn’t immediately available after throwing 87 pitches Sunday afternoon in Oakland. He’s allowed 10 earned runs and 11 total in his last three starts covering 13 innings to raise his ERA to 5.40.
Optioning Zimmermann duplicates the move made previously with rookie Dean Kremer, with the Orioles citing an upcoming break in the schedule and the preference for a fresh bullpen arm. They’ll need a spot starter before Zimmermann is eligible on May 13.
Controlling the innings of the younger pitchers is a priority in 2021.
“Similar type of situation where giving him a little bit of a breather, kind of a reset a little bit in a lot of ways,” manager Brandon Hyde said in his Zoom call with the media.
“He’s just going to stay on schedule, probably shorten his outings just to keep the innings limited, but continue to work on the things that he’s been working on here and hopefully see him back here real soon. But I thought Zimm has done a nice job and he’s learning at the big league level in a tough league and a tough division. He’s going to be back soon.”
Mattson stayed in the bullpen for last night’s 5-2 win over the Mariners and is waiting to make his major league debut. He was on the taxi squad and learned of his promotion in a humorous exchange with Hyde.
“I told him on the treadmill,” Hyde said.
“He was walking on a steep incline and I told him to maybe tone it down a little bit because he might be pitching in a Major League Baseball game here in a couple of hours.”
Hyde will be checking the minor league reports later tonight or Wednesday morning with the full-season affiliates playing their opening games.
Triple-A Norfolk second baseman Jahmai Jones has a double and an RBI, and also committed an error in Jacksonville, Fla. Conner Greene allowed six earned runs (seven total) and five hits with four walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Double-A Bowie left-hander DL Hall struck out 10 batters in 4 1/3 scoreless innings in Altoona, Pa. Catcher Adley Rutschman is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Terrin Vavra and Cadyn Grenier each have two hits.
Single-A Aberdeen’s Grayson Rodriguez has allowed one hit and struck out five batters in four scoreless innings in Wilmington, Del. Single-A Delmarva’s home game has been interrupted by rain after Gunnar Henderson hit a two-run homer and Zach Peek allowed three runs and four hits with three strikeouts in two innings.
“I can’t even imagine going a full year without playing,” Hyde said. “I think back as a player or coach in the minor leagues, not playing for a full year, what those guys went through, how mentally tough that must have been. To just work out and not play games, extremely challenging. So I’m sure are a lot of very, very happy people today to get back on the field and play against a different uniform.
“Something you’re used to your whole life and all of a sudden it gets taken away from you for a year. Extremely challenging. Happy to see those guys playing for sure.”