Orioles Spring Training Standout: Bruce Zimmermann
By Arrick Joel
The hometown kid has made a name for himself at Orioles camp this Spring
Baltimore Orioles LHP Bruce Zimmermann has stood out during Grapefruit League play this year, making a strong case to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.
So far this Spring, the Orioles have seven pitchers who have yet to allow a run, three of which have appeared in three or more games. The three pitchers who fall into this category are Hunter Harvey, Spenser Watkins, and Bruce Zimmermann.
What sets Zimmermann apart from this trio is the innings count that he has been capable of maintaining a perfect 0.00 ERA across. Combined, the three pitchers have worked through 12.2 IP this Spring, 9.0 IP of which belongs to Zimmermann. Harvey and Watkins have pitched 2.0 IP and 1.2 IP this Spring, respectively.
Before being assigned to the 60-day injured list due to a left oblique strain, Hunter Harvey was in for opportunities to pitch in high-leverage situations at the back of the Orioles’ bullpen in 2021. Without Harvey available, Zimmermann may be tasked with filling the vacancy. However, he also has the ability to start if veteran non-roster invitees such as Felix Hernandez, Matt Harvey, and Wade LeBlanc don’t break camp with the big league club.
In 2019 at AA Bowie, Zimmermann started 17 games, striking out 101 batters over 101.1 IP with an ERA of 2.58. With the Minor League season being canceled in 2020, the only outings Zimmermann made in live games were at the Major League level. In two appearances, once out of the bullpen and once as a starter, Zimmermann allowed 6 runs over 7.0 IP. While those numbers aren’t pretty, they’re natural of a young pitcher getting his first shot at the highest level and came in a very small sample.
With Zimmermann already on the team’s 40-man roster, look for him to make a difference on the Major League roster this season.