Arlington, Texas — Jordan Zimmermann pitched five scoreless, two-hit innings on Saturday, despite being worn down by the flu.
He played catch briefly on Sunday and felt something bite in his shoulder.
Just like that, just as he was rounding into form, Zimmermann Monday was placed on the 10-day disabled list. After being checked out by Rangers’ orthopedic surgeon Keith Meister — who has worked on Zimmermann before — he was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement.
“They found a spot that was hot and it got to the point where we have to let it calm down,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He noticed it when he was playing catch.”
The Tigers have an off day Thursday. Initially, they were going to use that day to push Zimmermann to the back of the rotation. Putting him on the 10-day DL will give him another four days. The Tigers won’t need a fifth starter until May 15 — which, if they make his DL stint retro to Saturday, would make him eligible to pitch.
But it’s a big assumption that he will be ready in 10 days.
The Tigers could give Blaine Hardy a spot start, or they could recall left-hander Ryan Carpenter at that point.
For now, though, the Tigers purchased the contract of veteran infielder Pete Kozma to replace Zimmermann.
“Now we’ve got our fourth extra player,” Gardenhire said.
The Tigers have been carrying 13 pitchers and three bench players.
“This will let Goody (Niko Goodrum) relax a little and move into some more outfield positions,” Gardenhire said. “It’s nice to get Koz up here because he can pick it and we need to catch the ball.”
Kozma, the former Cardinal, has six seasons of big-league experience.
The Tigers also lost reliever Alex Wilson (plantar fascia strain). He was put on the DL. Right-hander Zac Reininger was called up from Toledo.