CHICAGO -- Jordan Zimmermann gets the frustration. He knows better than anyone how many injuries he has endured since signing with the Tigers after the 2015 season. He'd like to get a healthy stretch of starts under his belt, too.He hopes Saturday's game against the White Sox is the beginning
CHICAGO -- Jordan Zimmermann gets the frustration. He knows better than anyone how many injuries he has endured since signing with the Tigers after the 2015 season. He'd like to get a healthy stretch of starts under his belt, too.
He hopes Saturday's game against the White Sox is the beginning of such a stretch.
"When you're on the DL, you just don't feel like you're part of the team," said Zimmermann, who has been on the 10-day DL for about six weeks with a shoulder impingement. "I'm around the guys a lot, but you're not contributing. It'll be nice to get out there and help these guys try to win some ballgames.
"It's just tough not being with the team, and then sitting on the bench and watching these guys. The way they're playing the game and winning games late, it's exciting and fun. You wish you could be out there every five days. It's been actually a long two years for me, battling injuries and other stuff. Hopefully this is the last one I have to deal with."
Zimmermann has had three DL stints since signing with the Tigers. He would've had another stint last season, but his three-week absence for a nerve block injection in his neck happened after rosters expanded in September. He pitched numerous other starts last season with his neck hampering him.
His shoulder impingement last month flared up while he was showing signs of effective pitching, having tossed 12 scoreless innings of four-hit ball over two starts against the Rays and Royals. He yielded nine runs on 17 hits over 10 1/3 innings in three Minor League rehab starts, though seven runs and seven hits came in his first start for Triple-A Toledo on May 27. He came back and pitched 4 1/3 and 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball for the Mud Hens and Class A West Michigan recently.
Asked how he can get back to where he was before the injury, Zimmermann said, "I feel like I'm there. We'll see. Minor League starts are tough to gauge, I guess, but I feel strong, I feel healthy and I feel like I'm ready to go."
He'll get a good test of that against the White Sox, who hit him for six runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in Chicago on April 5, before the weather warmed and the ball began to carry.
"It took me a while to get going," he said, "and then I strung two decent starts together and the shoulder thing happened. It's tough. It's the way baseball is. We're not robots, so anything can happen at any time. I've got a lot of mileage, and I understand that.
"I've got a lot left in the tank. I mean, I just turned 32. I'm still fairly young. I'm excited to be out here and helping these guys, bottom line."
Iglesias becomes a U.S. citizen
Jose Iglesias had a rare off-day at shortstop Friday, but he had a pretty good reason behind it. While the Tigers traveled to Chicago after Thursday's win over the Twins, Iglesias stayed back in Detroit, where he officially became a United States citizen in a naturalization ceremony on Friday.
"We had talked about this," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's a citizen as of today. I've been trying to get him to take a day off for a pretty good while here. He's been going at it. We talked about this day, since you only get very few opportunities to do this. We planned this one out."
The Cuban-born Iglesias came to the U.S. as a teenager 10 years ago. He's the second Tigers player in as many years to go through the citizenship process. Former Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez became an American citizen last year.
Iglesias was scheduled to travel to Chicago in time for the game, and is expected to rejoin the Tigers' lineup Saturday.
Cabrera has successful surgery
Jose Cabrera underwent successful surgery for his ruptured left biceps tendon on Thursday. Dr. David Altchek performed the surgery in New York City, and Cabrera returned to Detroit on Friday.
• Lefty reliever Daniel Stumpf, out since May 29 with ulnar nerve irritation in his left elbow, will begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo in the next few days. He'll make at least a couple of appearances before the Tigers consider activating him from the 10-day DL. The Tigers have gone without a left-hander in their bullpen the last couple weeks.
• Former Tigers catcher Brayan Pena will serve as the manager for one of the Tigers' Gulf Coast League teams in Lakeland, Fla. It's the first foray into coaching for the 34-year-old Pena, who expressed his interest when he came to Spring Training to compete for a catching job as a non-roster invite.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.