Though David Price and Zack Greinke are seemingly in a class of their own when it comes to this year's free-agent pitchers, Jordan Zimmermann has proven to also be one of the top arms in the Major Leagues in recent years.
Despite often being overlooked while pitching in the same rotation with the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister, Zimmermann more than held his own during his time with the Nationals. After taking a look at five key stats for a couple of the top free-agent hitters earlier in the week, this series now turns to its first pitcher.
Zimmermann finished the 2015 season with a 3.66 ERA over 33 starts for the Nationals. It was the fourth consecutive year that Zimmermann made at least 32 starts, and the ERA was his highest for any season during that span. To put that into perspective, he's the only pitcher in the Major Leagues to make at least 32 starts and record a sub-3.70 ERA in each of the last four seasons.
Something about June
Zimmermann has a 1.95 career ERA in June, more than a full run lower than his ERA in any other month. His next best ERA for any one month is his 3.12 mark in April. To show just how dominant Zimmermann has consistently been in June throughout his career, his respectable 3.00 ERA for the month this past season was his highest in any of his seven big league seasons.
Time to head West?
Though Zimmermann has spent his entire big league career pitching in the National League East, he may want to consider relocating to an NL West club. After all, he's accumulated a 2.85 career ERA over 41 starts against NL West teams, the fifth-best among active pitchers with at least 40 starts against that division. He also has a 0.89 career ERA against the American League West, albeit in just three starts.
Going the distance
Zimmermann is one of only four pitchers with at least seven complete games and four shutouts over the past three seasons. The others? Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright. One of Zimmermann's shutouts, of course, came in his no-hitter on the final day of the 2014 regular season.
Limited free passes
Few pitchers have been better at making hitters earn their way on base over the past few years than Zimmermann. The right-hander led the NL with just 1.3 walks per nine innings in 2014 -- and he's averaged no more than 2.0 walks per nine innings in each of the last five years. In fact, he's averaged just 1.5 walks per nine over the past two seasons, which trails only Kershaw, Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes (mininum 50 starts).
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.