DETROIT — Jordan Zimmermann is coming back for one final hurrah in a Detroit Tigers uniform.
Zimmermann will be reinstated from the 45-day injured list and start in Game 2 of the Tigers’ doubleheader on Thursday at St. Louis.
The Tigers also selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Nick Ramirez, who was the team’s most prolific reliever in 2019 but had spent the entire summer at the alternate site in Toledo.
Zimmermann and Ramirez will take the roster spots of right-handed relievers John Schreiber and Kyle Funkhouser, who were optioned to Toledo after Wednesday’s 19-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
To create 40-man roster space, outfielder JaCoby Jones and right-handed pitcher Ivan Nova were transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list, officially ending their seasons.
Zimmermann, 34, is in the final weeks of a five-year, $110 million deal he signed prior to the 2016 season when he was one of the game’s top starting pitchers. But with the exception of a dominant first month in 2016, very little has gone right for him in a Tigers’ uniform. He went 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA last season, but the Tigers opted against cutting him loose this winter.
The Tigers placed Zimmermann on the 45-day injured list with a right forearm strain on July 18, just five days before Opening Day.
Ramirez, 31, is a former position player who converted to pitcher in 2017. He threw 79 2/3 innings out of the Tigers’ bullpen in 2019, posting a 4.07 ERA. He was waived after the season and re-signed with the team on a minor-league deal.
Ramirez was considered a strong contender for a bullpen role this summer, but the Tigers opted to preserve roster flexibility by keeping him in Toledo. He accompanied the team last week as a member of the taxi squad.
Both Schreiber and Funkhouser pitched in Wednesday’s blowout loss, which likely influenced the decision to send them to Toledo in exchange for fresh arms.
Schreiber, 26, is a Down River native who attended Carlson High School in Gibraltar. He opened the season with seven scoreless outings, striking out six without a walk in 8 1/3 innings. Since then he’s given up 11 earned runs on 16 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Funkhouser, 26, made his Major League debut this year and had shown improved velocity in a bullpen role. But he likely didn’t help his cause by walking two batters in the seventh inning of what was then a 12-0 game on Wednesday. Overall, Funkhouser has a 7.27 ERA in 17 1/3 innings, striking out 12 and walking 11.
Jones, 28, underwent successful surgery on his fractured left hand but was not expected to return this year.
The status of Nova, 33, was less certain. He was placed on the injured list on Aug. 15 with right triceps tendinitis and was shifted to the 45-day injured list after “multiple setbacks,” according to Gardenhire.
Nova signed a one-year contract with the Tigers over the winter.
TIGERS’ 40-MAN ROSTER (40)
Players in bold are on active roster
Left-handed pitchers (6): Tyler Alexander, Matthew Boyd, Daniel Norris, Nick Ramirez, Tarik Skubal, Gregory Soto.
Right-handed pitchers (15): Beau Burrows, Anthony Castro, Jose Cisnero, Buck Farmer, Michael Fulmer, Kyle Funkhouser, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Joe Jimenez, Casey Mize, Franklin Perez, Dereck Rodriguez, John Schreiber, Spencer Turnbull, Jordan Zimmermann.
Catchers (4): Eric Haase, Grayson Greiner, Jake Rogers, Austin Romine.
Infielders (9): Sergio Alcantara, Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Harold Castro (IL), Willi Castro, Niko Goodrum (IL), Isaac Paredes, Jonathan Schoop, Zack Short.
Outfielders (6): Jorge Bonifacio, Daz Cameron, Travis Demeritte, Derek Hill, Victor Reyes, Christin Stewart.
RHP Ivan Nova, RHP Dario Agrazal, outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. outfielder JaCoby Jones and first baseman C.J. Cron are on the 45/60-day injured list and do not count against the 40-man roster.
Read More: Tigers make flurry of moves after 19-0 loss