DETROIT – Jordan Zimmermann returns for one last cheer in the Detroit Tigers uniform.
Zimmermann will be restored from the 45-day injury list and will start in Game 2 of the Tigers doubleheader on Thursday in St. Louis.
The Tigers also picked the contract from left-handed pitcher Nick Ramirez, who was the team’s most prolific reliever in 2019, but had spent the entire summer at the Toledo alternative site.
Zimmermann and Ramirez will take over from right-handed relievers John Schreiber and Kyle Funkhouser, who were optioned in Toledo following Wednesday̵
To create a 40-man roster space, outfielder JaCoby Jones and right-hand pitcher Ivan Nova were moved from the 10-day to 45-day injury list, officially concluding their seasons.
Zimmermann, 34, is in the final weeks of a $ 110 million five-year contract he signed before the 2016 season, when he was one of the game’s top starting pitchers. But with the exception of a dominant first month in 2016, very little went well for him in the Tigers uniform. Last season he went 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA, but the Tigers have decided not to free him this winter.
The Tigers put Zimmermann on their 45-day injury list with a strained right forearm on July 18, just five days before opening day.
Ramirez, 31, is a former role player who converted to pitcher in 2017. In 2019 he threw 79 2/3 innings from the Tigers bullpen, recording a 4.07 ERA. He was lifted after the season and signed with the team again for a minor league deal.
Ramirez was seen as a strong contender for a bullpen role this summer, but the Tigers have chosen to preserve roster flexibility by keeping him in Toledo. He accompanied the team last week as a member of the taxi team.
Both Schreiber and Funkhouser launched into Wednesday’s defeat, which likely influenced the decision to send them to Toledo in exchange for new weapons.
Schreiber, 26, is a Down River native who attended Carlson High School in Gibraltar. He opened the season with seven outings without goals, scoring six without a walk in 8 and 1/3 innings. Since then he has given up on 11 runs from 16 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Funkhouser, 26, made his Major League debut this year and showed increased speed in a bullpen role. But he probably didn’t help his cause by walking with two batters in the seventh inning of what was a 12-0 game on Wednesday. Overall, Funkhouser has an ERA of 7.27 in 17 1/3 innings, scoring 12 and walking 11.
Jones, 28, successfully underwent surgery on his fractured left hand but was not expected to return this year.
Nova’s status, 33, was less certain. He was placed on the injured list on August 15 with right triceps tendonitis and was moved to the 45-day injury list after “multiple setbacks,” according to Gardenhire.
Nova signed a one-year contract with the Tigers over the winter.
TIGERS ’40 -MAN ROSTER (40)
Players in bold are on the active roster
Left-handed throwers (6): Tyler Alexander, Matthew Boyd, Daniel Norris, Nick Ramirez, Tarik Skubal, Gregory Soto.
Right-handed throwers (15): Beau Burrows, Anthony Castro, Jose Cisnero, Buck Farmer, Michael Fulmer, Kyle Funkhouser, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Joe Jimenez, Casey Mize, Franklin Perez, Dereck Rodriguez, John Schreiber, Spencer Turnbull, Jordan Zimmermann.
Catchers (4): Eric Haase, Grayson Greiner, Jake Rogers, Austin Romine.
Infielders (9): Sergio Alcantara, Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Harold Castro (IL), Willi Castro, Niko Goodrum (IL), Isaac Paredes, Jonathan Schoop, Zack Short.
Outfielders (6): Jorge Bonifacio, Daz Cameron, Travis Demeritte, Derek Hill, Victor Reyes, Christin Stewart.
RHP Ivan Nova, RHP Dario Agrazal, outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. outfielder JaCoby Jones and first baseman C.J. Cron have been on the 45/60 day injury list and don’t count against the 40-man roster.