Adding to the Tigers' woes, starter Daniel Norris then left Monday night's 5-3 loss to Cleveland in the top of the third inning because of a right oblique strain. The team said the left-hander will have an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity of the strain.
Norris gave up three hits and two earned runs in his two innings pitched while walking one and striking out three. He is 1-0 in three starts this season, with a 4.85 ERA. He was replaced by right-hander Dustin Molleken, who had been called up from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day and was making his major league debut.
Zimmermann is 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 15 starts. He won his first five starts of the season and is 4-4 in 10 starts since. The move is retroactive to July 1, the day after Zimmermann allowed four runs over six innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay.
Zimmermann signed a five-year, $110 million contract with Detroit in the offseason, after compiling a 70-50 record in six seasons with Washington and making the National League All-Star team twice.
The Tigers announced the move about two hours before Monday night's game. Right-hander Anibal Sanchez will start Tuesday. Sanchez is 5-8 with a 6.05 ERA in 20 appearances (12 starts).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.