Veteran righty Jordan Zimmermann joins hometown Brewers after being retired ‘for about two hours’


What a difference a day can make. Veteran right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, a two-time All-Star who has twice received Cy Young votes, decided to walk away from baseball and retire Wednesday. Roughly 24 hours later, he was the newest member of the Milwaukee Brewers, his hometown team.

“I think I was retired for about two hours,” Zimmermann jokingly told reporters, including’s Adam McCalvy.  

Zimmermann, 34, was born and raised in Auburndale, Wisconsin, about three hours north of Milwaukee, and he attended University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He signed a minor league deal with the Brewers over the winter but didn’t make the Opening Day roster, and had been pitching at their alternate site when he decided to retire earlier this week.

“I was kind of sick of driving to Appleton, an hour-and-a-half one way,” Zimmermann told McCalvy. “I called my agent and basically said, ‘I think I’m ready to hang them up.’ I’ve done enough going to Appleton. He said, ‘OK, I’ll let them know,’ and he let them know Thursday morning.”


On Thursday, the Brewers lost staff ace Corbin Burnes to the injured list, one day after Zack Godley went down with a finger injury and five days after Brett Anderson (hamstring) and Josh Lindblom (knee) went down with injuries. Milwaukee needed pitching badly and quickly, so they gave Zimmermann a call and convinced him to join the team.

“I wasn’t going to say no. I wanted to be here the whole time,” he told McCalvy.

Zimmermann has yet to appear in a game with the Brewers and, when he does, he will be the 11th Wisconsin-born player to play for the team. The club’s starter for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers is currently listed as TBA, so unless Zimmermann is needed Saturday, he could be a candidate to start Sunday, or at least chew up innings in relief.

In parts of 12 big league seasons with the Nationals and Tigers, Zimmermann owns a 95-91 record with a 4.06 ERA in 1,608 1/3 innings. He was an All-Star and received Cy Young votes in 2013 and 2014, and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season in 2014.

The Brewers come in Saturday tied with the Dodgers for the National League’s best record at 16-10. They hold a two-game lead in the NL Central.

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