Former Royals first-round pick Kyle Zimmer was removed from his start for AAA Omaha Thursday night after just one inning due to shoulder soreness, according to MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flanagan. Flanagan adds that the decision to remove him was a precautionary move. Zimmer had struck out two, walked a hitter, and gave up a home run in his inning of work, throwing 24 pitches.
The 25-year old Zimmer has been beset with injuries since the Royals selected him fifth overall in 2012. His 9.2 innings thrown this year are already more than he has thrown in two of the last three seasons. There was hope that perhaps Zimmer could contribute at the MLB level this year out of the bullpen, but his latest health concern puts that in jeopardy. Zimmer had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last year, in the hopes that the procedure - which includes removing a rib - would prevent some of the injuries he has been experiencing.
Here is the rundown of Zimmer’s injury history:
July 2012 - Royals draft Kyle Zimmer
August 2012 - Zimmer undergoes elbow surgery to remove loose bodies
August 2013 - Zimmer is shut down for the year due to bicep tendonitis
May 2014 - Zimmer is sidelined with a strained right latissimus dorsi
October 2014 - Zimmer has surgery on his right shoulder
May 2015 - Zimmer's comeback is delayed after experiencing soreness in his shoulder
May 2016 - Zimmer leaves outing after one inning due to fatigue
July 2016 - Zimmer has thoracic outlet syndrome surgery
April 2017 - Zimmer leaves start after one inning due to shoulder soreness
Everyone seems to agree that when healthy, Zimmer has lights out stuff that includes a fastball in the high-90s and a 12-6 curveball. But with under 90 innings thrown over the last four years combined, there is great doubt as to whether he will ever stay healthy enough to reach the big leagues.