But Spring Training is a time to work on things and not let numbers dictate outcome. At least that's how Zimmermann and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus tell it.
"I've been very encouraged by his stuff," said Ausmus. "He's had not necessarily the results, but those results are really skewed because he wasn't getting hit around, they were just getting hits.
"But the velocity on the fastball, it looks like he's got the strength back, which is important. His command will come back, but the strength is the one thing I think we were all concerned about, and it looks good again."
Zimmermann did enough to earn a spot in the Tigers' starting rotation, and he says he's ready for it after an assortment of injuries hampered last season.
"The spring was good," Zimmermann said. "I really didn't know what to expect coming in, having the offseason to try to get right. Playing catch at home and getting ready for the season, I still had a few aches and pains, but I got to spring and got stretched out and haven't had an issue since. I feel great."
Zimmermann said he fully expects the numbers to turn around once the season gets started.
"I'm ready," he said. "I got my pitch count up, pitched a game in Minor Leagues, pitched quite a bit. Everything checks out, and I feel good. It's just a matter of locating a little better. Once the lights come on and there's a meaningful game, there's always that little extra adrenaline, and I'll be fine."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Saturday.