Outfielder Bradley Zimmer is the newest and latest member of the Blue Jays family. The Jays acquired Zimmer on April 7th from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for relief pitcher Anthony Castro. The Jays roster has tremendous chemistry and loves to play alongside one another. Zimmer landed in the right situation in a city like Toronto, but we have to ask ourselves this question: how valuable can he be for the Blue Jays?
Zimmer is 29 years old, and his career in the Majors hasn’t been so sweet. He spent five seasons in Cleveland and owns a career 33.3% strikeout rate. He hit just eight home runs and 35 RBI with a .227 batting average in 99 games with Cleveland last season. Zimmer was considered a “five-tool player” and was number 31 and 62 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The lefty-batter is still in the prime of his career and it’s a good challenge for him to turn things around. He can save his career in Toronto if he works on his game and corrects his weakness. The hitting coach will need to help Zimmer decrease his strikeout numbers and have better plate discipline and stop chasing pitches. He can be an asset coming off the bench as a left-handed power hitter or capitalize on the opportunity if one of the Jays’ key players goes down with an injury. In sports, it’s a possibility.
Bradley Zimmer joins the Toronto Blue Jays as an additional left-handed bat off the bench after spending five seasons with Cleveland.
The reality is that the Jays are stacked up. There’s too much talent on this squad, and not everyone can stay for the long haul. Zimmer is more of a centre fielder. I like his defence, and he has good arm strength. Zimmer has a long way to go if he wants to stay on the Jays’ 40-man roster and both he and Raimel Tapia have a lot riding on the line.
Update- Since this article was written, Teoscar Hernandez left Wednesday’s game with what looks like a potentially significant injury. If that’s the case, Zimmer’s chances at playing time just increased pretty significantly.
It’s a long season. It’s a matter of who can stay consistent and who can’t. Who will be staying? Who will get demoted? Can Bradley Zimmer prove that he can help contribute to the team’s success? We shall see.