The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Mark Schremmer

August 14, 2013

Zimmer leaves Double-A start because of "stiffness"

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Northwest Arkansas Naturals pitcher Kyle Zimmer was pulled before the third inning of his start Wednesday after complaining of “stiffness.”

The Kansas City Royals’ No. 1 prospect had pitched two hitless innings in the Double-A Naturals’ 1-0 win over Corpus Christi. He threw 23 pitches with 15 strikes, varying his velocity from 81-96 mph. Zimmer showed no signs of distress, but Naturals manager Brian Poldberg said they wanted to be extra cautious.

“There’s just been a little stiffness,” Poldberg said. “We’ve been giving him a few extra days, and we’re not going to take any chances. He felt fine on his offspeed stuff and his fastball. The velocity was still there, which was good. We just got him out of there.”

After making two dominant starts on July 20 and July 25 since being promoted to Northwest Arkansas, his past two starts have been pushed back to Aug. 6 and Aug. 14 instead of the typical five days.

“It was planned he was going to go 75 pitches, so it was just one of those things when he said he was a little stiff that we weren’t going to take any chances,” Poldberg said.

Zimmer was not made available for an interview Wednesday night.

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Mark Schremmer