After yet another disappointing start last week in Toronto, Bruce Zimmermann has been axed from the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation. The O’s have sent him down to Triple-A Norfolk in hopes that he can work on his stuff and help the Orioles again sometime in the future.
After a solid start to the season, the 27-year-old lefty out of Towson University has struggled notably with giving up the long ball in recent starts. Zimmermann has given up 18 home runs this season, leading all pitchers in Major League Baseball, and 14 of those homers have been given up in his last four starts alone.
With his option to Norfolk, a void in the rotation will need to be filled. I believe four candidates are the most likely to fill this spot: Austin Voth, Michael Baumann, DL Hall, and Spenser Watkins.
On Sunday against the Rays, Jordan Lyles was scratched from his start due to a stomach illness, and in his place, Austin Voth made his first start as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Voth’s impromptu start went fairly well as he went 2.2 innings pitched without allowing an earned run and striking out four batters.
Voth struggled mightily with the Nationals as he had an ERA of 10.13 with the Nats before being picked up on waivers by the O’s. Despite the horrendous ERA, Voth did have a FIP of 4.95 this season in Washington, which indicates he ran into some hard luck. Since joining the Orioles, Voth has lowered his season ERA to 8.39 and his FIP to 4.71 but has only pitched a total of six innings with the O’s thus far.
Voth could be a viable option for the Orioles to fill the fifth spot in the rotation, but they will likely want him to pitch further into the ballgame than the third inning in starts which he has not yet proven he is capable of in his short time in Baltimore.
He has also only made two starts since the beginning of the 2021 season after making 11 starts in the shortened 2020 season and eight starts for the World Champion Washington Nationals in 2019. After Lyles’ stomach illness subsided, he will make a start tonight against the Nationals with extra rest, and Tyler Wells will make the start tomorrow night.