Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann was forced to leave Wednesday evening’s start against the Indians after taking a line drive to the face in the bottom of the first inning. After getting Francisco Lindor to line out to right field for the first out, Jason Kipnis hit a line drive right back up the middle that hit Zimmermann squarely in the face. He walked off the field under his own power with a trainer. Daniel Norris relieved him and saw his way out of the first inning.
The Tigers announced Zimmermann has a jaw contusion on the right side. The club should have more on his status later tonight or on Thursday. He’ll go through MLB’s concussion protocol and may end up on the seven-day concussion disabled list. (Update: He passed concussion protocols and getting X-rays, the Tigers announced.)
Zimmermann, who turns 32 years old next month, struggled in his first two starts to open the season. He has allowed 10 runs on 15 hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts in 11 innings.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.