St. Petersburg, Fla. — Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann might get some additional treatment on his back during the All-Star break.
Zimmermann, who will make his final start before the break Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, will to travel with the team to Houston and is considering going from there to Dallas for treatment.
"I think I might go to Dallas and get a shot," Zimmermann said. "We'll see how I come out of this next (start).
"I've been feeling good. I'm going to take 3-4 days off from throwing anyway so I might just go and get the shot and have 3-4 days off and it will get me through the second half."
Zimmermann said this is the best he's felt going into the All-Star break in three seasons and he's not concerned about something popping up but wants to avoid another trip to the disabled list.
"It gets a little tight after the starts but nothing during or a couple days before," Zimmermann said. "I feel good but probably from throwing 100 pitches and twisting and turning is where it gets a little tight but other than that it's been feeling good. Not concerned, I just probably want to get it done so I'm good for the second half.”
Zimmermann is 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA in 11 starts this season. He spent six weeks on the DL with a shoulder issue but said his neck and shoulder feel good and he just wants to close the first half of the season with a strong outing.
"Obviously you want to finish strong," Zimmermann added. "I've been pitching well. I want to keep doing what I've been doing. I'm happy with the way I've been throwing the ball. It's been a rough two years for me so hopefully I can continue like this for a long time."
Back to the middle
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said third baseman Jeimer Candelario is feeling better after missing Monday's game with the flu. He hit in the lead-off spot Tuesday.
Ronny Rodriguez, Monday's leadoff hitter, played first base and batted sixth. Despite being known as a free swinger, Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with two walks from the lead-off spot.
"Good coaching wasn't it?" Gardenhire joked. "I put (Rodriguez) more in a spot where hopefully he'll have a chance to drive in some runs. He's been swinging good and now that we've got Candy back in it makes sense because he's a more patient hitter."
Setting up the rotation
Right-hander Mike Fiers will open the three-game series against the Astros with Michael Fulmer going Saturday and Francisco Liriano getting the final start before the break on Sunday.
"The tricky part is coming back after the four days off," Gardenhire said. "With four days off plus an off day Thursday, then an off day the following Thursday we had to do some maneuvering. But we've got it all figured out.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd will be the starter coming out of the break against the Red Sox on July 20. Gardenhire said he would consider using Boyd out of the bullpen over the weekend if necessary.
"Hopefully he'll throw like 100 and something pitches [Tuesday] and I won't have to think about it," Gardenhire added.
Around the horn
Right-hander Shane Greene (right shoulder) threw a bullpen session Monday, Gardenhire said he hadn't heard anything about the session but Greene told him he felt great and was excited to return to the team.
"Hopefully his arm will join him," Gardenhire quipped.
… The Rays started reliever Ryne Stanek on Tuesday and will start another reliever yet to be named Wednesday. Gardenhire said the Rays bullpen days don't affect the Tigers lineup much because of their lack of left-handed hitters.
"If you had lineups that you had 'left-handed lineups’ and ‘right-handed lineups' I guess that would make a big difference but we really don't," Gardenhire said. "We only have really one left-handed hitter. It's not as hard as you might think with us."
Corey Long is a freelance writer.
Tigers at Rays
First pitch: 12:10 Wednesday, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann (4-0, 3.51), Tigers: Veteran is coming off an 11-strikeout performance in eight innings during Friday’s 3-1 win over the Rangers.
TBA, Rays: Tampa Bay coach Kevin Cash is undecided about Wednesday’s pitcher after using nine pitchers in Monday’s 10-9 win.