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: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:06 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Zumaya, Strasburg, Chapman, etc... These young guys coming out trying to just light up the radar gun usually end up hurt. The human body is not constructed to repeatedly make that violent of an arm movement to throw the ball 100 mph. Throw in issues with a pitchers mechanics and no offense to Zumaya but not being in all around top physical shape but it is a recipe for disaster.

I was really hoping and still hope  that Zumaya would/will still be able to come back and salvage his career. To do so it would proabably behove him to take a page from Frank Tanana's book and dial it down and rely on locating the ball and a wider pitch selection.

Best of luck with your recovery Zoom



Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 5:35 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Minnesota picked him up hoping for a free agent steal.  If it worked out they looked like geniuses, if not there bullpen would still in be tact.  Not a big loss. 




Since: Feb 20, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 5:31 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

we still have his brother in the minors. every tiger fan was pulling for joel. he was never going to throw 104 like he did in 06'..



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 5:26 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

scrume71 wrote: ". . . the Twins aren't going to compete with the Tigers."  

Hey pal, that's why they play the games. The Twins have a lot better shot than most are giving them. Zumaya was just icing on the cake. The bullpen is just fine without him. The rest of the Twins team is solid and the M & M's are back healthy. Writing the Twins off is a big mistake.   



Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

With his mechanics and as hard as he throws, it isn't a mystery as to why he keeps getting hurt.  Detroit finally learned that after 2 injured riddled seasons with this guy.  Minnesota took a chance on a guy that will NEVER be back to what he was for 1 year, his rookie year.  He has been a disappoinment to say the least.



Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 5:12 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Even though he is now a Twin, I think Tiger fans were all rooting for Joel to come back. His flame burned pretty bright in his short stint here in Detroit, much like the late Mark Fidrych. It's too bad that he couldn't stay healthy. Thanks for the memories Joel...



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:46 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

Even though he was going to be pitching for a rival of the Tigers, I still hoped that Zumaya would make a comeback this year (besides, even if he returned to his former self, the Twins aren't going to compete with the Tigers). He has so much talent and potential, but a body that won't cooperate. I think it's time for him to stick a fork in his career; it's done!



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

I've always liked Zumaya and his ruthless fastball.  This is just another ding in his armour and I'm afraid it might be his last one.  I remember a spring training game in Lakeland a couple years ago, he came in near the end of the game in the middle of an inning and threw a couple pitches that were clocked at 100mph on the scoreboard.  The crowd was electric watching him throw.  Then he threw a pitch that the radar posted as 107 mph and the place went nuts.  Leland immediatley called time and pulled him after that pitch and he walked off to a standing ovation.  Whether he actually hit 107mph or not, it didn't matter, he became a fan favorite that day to many of those attending.  Thanks for the memory.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:29 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

"For those unaware with the UCL, tearing it means the pitcher will need Tommy John surgery. "


nice sentence



Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:20 pm
 

Joel Zumaya has torn UCL, is out for season

As tough as it may be for him to admit it but I think that his body is telling him something. Im surprised his arm is still attached to his body.


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