Blog Entry

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 5:18 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


Saturday, oft-injured Twins relief pitcher Joel Zumaya had a bullpen session cut short when he felt something in his elbow. Unfortunately, it appears the news is as bad as it could be. An MRI revealed that Zumaya has torn the ulnar-collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. For those unaware what this means, tearing the UCL means the pitcher will need Tommy John surgery in order to recover.

"He feels bad, I feel bad. Not the news I wanted to hear on Sunday morning," said Twins GM Terry Ryan (Dustin Morse on Twitter). "This is a 12 month thing."

So Zumaya's 2012 season is already over. In fact, one has to wonder how much more he can take before calling it a career. Since the 2007 season began, Zumaya has suffered a ruptured hand tendon, separated shoulder, a fracture in his elbow area and more. He only appeared in an average of 27 games from 2007-10 and missed all of 2011 after exploratory surgery in his elbow.

“He’s distraught, as you’d expect,” Ryan said (Associated Press). “He’s going to come in here in the next day or so and we’re going to talk about the immediate future for him.”

Zumaya stormed onto the scene as a rookie in 2006 for the Tigers when he was just 21 years old. He lit up the radar gun in triple-digit fashion with ease, even getting clocked up in the 104 miles per hour range. He had a 1.94 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings that season. He appeared ready to be one of the league's elite bullpen pitchers for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, he's never been able to stay healthy since.

The Twins signed Zumaya to a one-year, $850,000 contract this past offseason for bullpen depth. They will, however, only be on the hook for $400,000 since he won't be on the opening day roster. In a very short time, he already made a strong impression in the Twins' clubhouse.

“He looks like some monster out there pitching against you,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said (AP). “But you get him in your clubhouse and you realize there’s special people and he’s a special person and it’s a really sad day for him and his family and our baseball team, too, because we were all hoping this guy would be able to get back on this thing and make it through. Unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

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Comments

Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:07 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

It was just a matter of time before it happened again. sad story



Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:42 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Where else in this economy is Zumaya gonna pocket what he does in MLB. He'll be back, or at least he will try, and really can you blame him?



Since: Aug 7, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:02 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

It doesn't help pitchers when every scout has a pocket radar gun. Players get the idea ingrained that your only chance to make it is to throw in the 90's with 100 being the holy grail. It is still about locating the ball and keeping hitters guessing. I don't suppose the scouts are instructed to look for that particular skill. Pitching is an art that needs to be viewed as more than how hard. We've all seen some 90 mph fastballs get over the fences really fast and far haven't we? Pee Wee and Little League coaches may and must be forgiven for not developing players that pitch at that point but, colleges and minor league teams really should have someone around to teach and protect players from themselves. I'm sure Leyland was horrified at a 107 and if he hadn't gotten to the mound Joel would have been trying for 110. By this time there should be enough evidence to give some of these GM's a clue that there has to be more than just throwing the ball hard. We'll never know how many arms have turned into junk to impress the same GM's but how long will it be before the message filters down that pitching skills will win more games than brute force? Best of luck to you Joel and use the interest and concern to start spreading the word the there's more to getting people out.




Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:57 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

I wonder why this guy keeps getting signed. I know he used to hit 100 mph but he is hurt every year. He just get money for doing nothing.



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:17 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

I know my Sox are rebuilding...


But...


AWWW....   



Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:02 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

who is Josh Bard?



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 8:07 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Another fast pitcher goes out you have to wonder what throwing 95+ does to an arm.  I am wondering what with happen with Josh Bard, Joba Chamberlain (granted he went down in mph), Justin Verlander, etc.

Sad news indeed, wish him all the best in 2013! 



Since: Aug 2, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 7:57 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Why don't your Yankees sign him.  They waste money all the time.



Since: May 7, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 7:33 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

I wonder why this guy keeps getting signed. I know he used to hit 100 mph but he is hurt every year. He just get money for doing nothing.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:51 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

I think it was hanging on by the UCL...


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