Could Zimmer be the Closer of the future?

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After removing Ian Kennedy from the closer role, the Royals tried several different pitchers in that spot during the 2020 season. Heading into the 2021 season, I believe the Royals should give Kyle Zimmer a chance to compete for the closer role during spring training. Most of the time, the Royals rely on hard throwers to close out games like Trevor Rosenthal and Josh Staumont; however, I believe that Kyle Zimmer could be a good closer for the Royals even though his fastball isn’t as powerful as Rosenthal’s or Staumont’s. Zimmer’s fastball velocity sits at about 94 miles an hour according to baseballsavant.mlb.com. I think Zimmer could maybe touch ninety-six miles an hour on his fastball which is above the MLB fastball velocity average. To go along with his fastball, Zimmer has a slider, curveball, and a changeup. While Zimmer has four pitches, I believe he only needs three of them to be a closer. I believe he could live without his curveball in the closer role because according to baseballsavant.mlb.com, he only throws it in the strike zone 38% of the time. Unlike most closers, I believe if Zimmer were a closer, he would rely on his breaking pitches like his slider to close games out a little more than he would his fastball. Regardless if the Royals give him a look in the closer’s role, I think he would be a good back of the bullpen piece for the Royals going forward. That being said, if I were the manager of the Royals, my seventh, eighth and ninth trio would look something like this: free agent signing for the seventh, Staumont for the eighth, and Zimmer for the ninth. With Zimmer being 29 years of age, and with his injury history, I believe that the 2021 season is his last opportunity to prove that he is still part of the Royals long-term bullpen plans, or else he could find himself out of a job with the Royals. This would force him to look for greener pastures elsewhere.

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Author: Connor Miller

I am a huge baseball fan, mainly Royals. I love writing baseball articles. I have been a Royals fan since birth. I am hoping to become a sports journalist someday.

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