Kevin Ziomek Ready To Rebound

DETROIT–The Tigers hope they will see the same Kevin Ziomek they saw in the past. But the 25-year-old lefthander is coming off a season that was all but lost following surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in his throwing shoulder.

Ziomek says he is ready to go.

“I’m feeling great,” said Ziomek, a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2013. “I’m excited to see how it all translates, and I’m glad to have the rehab process behind me.”

Ziomek was roughed up in his lone appearance in 2016 while pitching at high Class A Lakeland. He had shoulder trouble during spring training and stayed in extended spring training while trying to work through it. He returned for one start in May before having season-ending surgery in June.

Ziomek ranked as one of the Tigers’ Top 10 Prospects following the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, but his shoulder injury contributed to him going unselected in Rule 5 draft last December.

Prior to the injury, Ziomek ran his fastball into the low 90s.

“He’s sneaky,” farm director Dave Owen said. “He’s a kid who really knows how to pitch. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup. He knows how to move the ball around to different parts of the strike zone . . .
He’s a guy who can pitch.”

Ziomek won the Midwest League ERA title in 2014 when he went 10-6, 2.27 in 23 starts at low Class A West Michigan. He also struck out 152 batters in 123 innings to rank second in the MWL. In 2015 he struck out 143 in 154.2 innings with a 3.43 ERA in the high Class A Florida State League.

The next step? He’s just looking forward to pitching in games.

“We’re looking forward to getting him down to (spring-training) camp early,” Owen said. “He says he feels good and he’s ready to go. We’re hoping (he puts) last year behind him.”


Righthander Tommy Collier, a 22nd-round pick in 2011, was suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

The Tigers reached agreement with all six of their arbitration-eligible players: shortstop Jose Iglesias, third baseman Nick Castellanos, utility infielder Andrew Romine and relievers Justin Wilson, Alex Wilson and Bruce Rondon.

— Chris Iott is a writer based in Michigan

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