The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent reliever Kyle Zimmer. Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that he was in the locker room on Saturday afternoon.
Kyle Zimmer was drafted 5th overall by the Kansas City Royals back in 2012 out of the University of San Francisco. It would take him nearly seven years before he reached the big leagues, debuting in March of 2019. That season he would pitch in 15 games for the Royals, but he really struggled as he posted an ERA of 10.80 with 28 hits allowed and 19 walks in just 18.1 innings pitched.
For as bad as the 2019 season was for Zimmer, he came back and put it all behind him in the shortened 2020 campaign with Kansas City. The right-handed reliever pitched in 16 games and threw 23.0 innings with a 1.57 ERA, allowed just 14 hits, walked 10, and struck out 26 batters without giving up a single home run.
Last season saw the righty go 4-1 and pitch more games and innings than he had in his career to that point, but his ERA jumped up to 4.83 in his 54.0 innings and 52 games. His walk rate went up as he handed out 30 free passes. The home run rate went up, too. After giving up just two homers in his first two seasons that covered 41.1 innings he gave up seven homers last year to go along with 46 strikeouts. Following the season he was released by the Royals.
In today’s game, Kyle Zimmer doesn’t miss too many bats. His strikeout rate for his career is just 21.6%, and it was just 20.6% in 2021. And his walk rate for his career is quite high – 14.2% – and it’s never been lower than 11% in any of his three seasons. Low strikeout rates combined with high walk rates is never a good combination. Where Zimmer does stand out a little bit, though, is his high ground ball rate. For his career he’s a 49.6% ground ball guy, but he’s been at 50% and 52.4% in each of the last two seasons. The league average rate is just 42%.
As of the publishing of this article the deal has not yet been announced by the club. Nor has anyone reported whether the deal is a big league one or a minor league deal that includes an invite to spring training.