Bruce Zimmermann: Grit in the Baltimore Orioles’ Rotation

Bruce Zimmermann #50 of the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Bruce Zimmermann #50 of the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret that the 2021 Baltimore Orioles used no less than 42 players on the mound during the season, including three position players.

One of the younger O’s working his way into a permanent role in the 2022 starting rotation is none other than Baltimore native Bruce Zimmermann. As the saying goes, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” could have been written with Mr. Zimmermann in mind.

Think about this: what eleven year old kid playing ball doesn’t dream of starting for the hometown team and playing in front of friends and family? For Bruce Zimmermann, an eleven year old’s dream is his job every fifth day in the Orioles pitching rotation.

The 27 year old southpaw has been fighting hard early on this season and has a 2-2 record in seven appearances with a 2.72 ERA in 36.1 innings.  Zimmerman’s stats look better when you see that he’s thrown 32 punch-outs compared to just nine walks in the 2022 campaign so far.

Bruce Zimmermann: Grit in the Baltimore Orioles’ Rotation

As mentioned, Zimmermann is a Ellicott City native and the Loyola Blakefield alumnus played two collegiate seasons for Towson before transferring to Mt. Olive (NC.) Zimmerman was drafted in the fifth round of the MLB Draft in 2017 by the Atlanta Braves and joined the Orioles organization via the Kevin Gausman trade a year later.

Zimmermann made his MLB debut in a September, 2020 callup against the Tampa Bay Rays during the Covid shortened season. He also made a total of 15 appearances in 2021 and had a 5.04 ERA. While those numbers on paper don’t exactly scream “starting rotation,” keep in mind that the 2021 Orioles finished up 52-110 and 48 games behind the division champion Tampa Bay Rays.

In a nod to both his local roots and  potential as an Orioles hurler, Zimmermann was granted the honor of being the Opening Day pitcher last month. As a southpaw, Zimmerman doesn’t over rely on his fastball as the “go-to” pitch but has a mixed arsenal with changeups, breaking balls and curves – perfect for a lefty.

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It remains to be seen how much competition Bruce Zimmermann receives with the new crop of Orioles pitching prospects coming up; nobody should question Zimmermann’s drive and grit and that’s exactly what the O’s need to have a chance to make a show of this season.