Tag:Joel Zumaya
Posted on: October 17, 2010 9:36 pm

R.I.P. Tigers: Injuries play spoiler

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions in October. Today: our penultimate entry, the Detroit Tigers.

It was a tale of two seasons in the Motor City in 2010: a first half that was better than expected, and a second half that was worse.

Attrition had a lot to do with it, as injuries thinned the ranks and left Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera exposed in the lineup. But the Tigers had a lot of young talent step up, and ended up feeling about as good as you can feel when you lead the division midway through the season and end up in third place with a .500 record.


Injuries. Bad ones, to important players, at critical times.

Brandon Inge broke his hand, Joel Zumaya his elbow and, most damaging, Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle on a slide into home plate on July 24 and never returned. Plus you had Carlos Guillen straining something twice a month and playing just 68 games. The injuries had a domino effect on the team, as roles changed and opponents started being able to pitch around Cabrera.

The offense and bullpen numbers were middle-of-the-pack, but the starting pitching was subpar, 11th in the AL in ERA.

Miguel Cabrera And this should probably more properly fall under what went right, but Armando Galarraga’s “perfect game that wasn’t” on June 2 ended up as more of a gut punch than a highlight. It was a good symbol of the Tigers’ season: No matter what they did, the breaks seemed to be against them.


Cabrera was tremendous, putting up a .328/.420/.622 line with 38 homers and 126 RBIs. His RBI  total, on-base percentage and  OPS+ of 179 were tops in the AL. If it were possible to do it all yourself, he certainly gave it a try. Ordonez, too, was having a big season, batting .303 before his injury.

Young hitting was in abundance, with two outfielders in the rookie of the year conversation. Austin Jackson batted .293, scored 103 runs, hit 34 doubles and play exciting defense. Brennan Boesch looked a heck of a lot better in the first half (.342 average) than the second (.163), but showed he’s got potential.

On the pitching side, Justin Verlander was an 18-game winner and an All-Star, Max Scherzer went 12-11 with a 3.50 ERA after arriving last winter from Arizona, and 22-year-old Rick Porcello weathered some growing pains and a trip to the minors and won five of his last six decisions.

The Tigers farm system is considered thin at the top, but some very good signs arrived from Triple-A Toledo. Will Rhymes (pictured, below right) put himself in the picture for the starting job at second base by batting .304 in 54 games, and outfielder Casper Wells was tremendous 9.323/.364/.538) in a 36-game audition.


The Tigers have some good core pieces and a lot of payroll flexibility, and a big part of what went wrong this year can be attributed to injuries. For those reasons, the Tigers are in a good position for 2011.

Will Rhymes SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have anywhere from $50 million to $70-plus million coming off the books, depending on how you do the accounting, so they’re in good position to address their needs.

The question is, how do they spend that money? They declined Ordonez’s pricey option, but could re-sign him for less. That would be a good start, but they could really use another middle-of-the-order threat.

As for the top free-agent bats, they’ve got room in the outfield for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, but no place for Adrian Beltre now that they’ve made a multi-year offer to Inge (and Beltre is not likely to become a DH). Detroit could be an attractive option for Adam Dunn if he softens on his demand not to DH.

The Tigers are happy with the trio of Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello at the top of the rotation, and have said they want to convert Phil Coke to starting because they need a left-hander. But a veteran guy like Aaron Harang would fit nicely.


Look for the Tigers to be contenders next year, making for what should be an entertaining three-way battle with the Twins and White Sox in the Central.
Check out the other R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 11, 2010 9:28 pm

Reds searching for outfielders

The banged-up Reds are currently searching far and wide for a healthy outfielder.

Down to just Jonny Gomes and Drew Stubbs, the Reds threw Miguel Cairo into right field for the Reds/Pirates showdown after Chris Heisey was scratched. Jay Bruce has been out since August 30 with side pain while Jim Edmonds was recently activated -- to his surprise -- to serve in a pinch if needed.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed that something’s gonna happen,” manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer on finding outfield help from outside of the organization.

"You know [GM] Walt [Jocketty] is working on contacting a lot of different teams, even though that person wouldn’t be eligible for the playoffs. You’ve seen a lot of times, somebody helps you get there."

To be eligible for the postseason, a player must be in the club's organization on August 31. So as Baker referenced, any acquisition could not help the team in October. While the Reds largely have the Central sewn up, it's not over 'til it's over (to paraphrase Yogi Berra) and there's still the matter of having enough players to run out a lineup in the waning weeks of the year.

It would stand to reason that down-and-out teams would gladly part with a warm body in exchange for cash considerations or a prospect with an outside chance at future contributions, so bank on a move happening.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: September 1, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 3:22 pm

Chapman has fastest pitch since beginning of 2008

so?Pitch speed Want an idea of just how historic Aroldis Chapman's debut was ?

Even though Chapman was making his major-league debut, he's already solidified himself as the fastest-throwing pitcher the game has seen in a while. SABR has learned that Chapman's 102.7 mph fastball is the fastest thrown since the beginning of 2008, using pitch f/x numbers accurate to fractions.

Joel Zumaya also has a 102.7 mph mark -- two of them, in fact. Both came in 2009, seven days apart. The first was against the Cubs on June 23 when he blew a fastball by Milton Bradley. On the 30th, he unleashed another heater against Matt Holliday that ranked 102.7 mph.

Zumaya has an additional 102.6 mph headers, one coming the day after his unleashing against Bradley, this time showing Mike Fontenot what a fastball is all about. The other one was also against Matt Holliday on the 30th, showing a supreme test of endurance.

Placing sixth on the list is Jonathan Broxton at 102.6 mph on July 3, 2009, downing Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Padres. Bobby Parnell also joins Chapman in 2010 heaters, unveiling a 102.5 mph sizzler against Chris Johnson of the Astros on August 18.

And then the man of the hour, Chapman, checks in with his own 102.5 mark against Jonathan LuCroy.

How fast is Chapman's fastball?

Well, Louisville Slugger is more than happy to tell you, running calculations that show that Chapman's fabled 104-mph fastball (of which we technically have yet to see) takes 0.36 seconds from mound to plate, factoring in 60 feet and six inches of distance between the mound and home plate, plus a five-foot stride.

How fast is 0.36 seconds? Well, the average speed of a human's eye blink checks in at 300-400 milliseconds ... or 0.3-0.4 seconds. If you're standing at the plate right as Chapman unleashes the fury from hell, the ball will be nestled in the catcher's mitt before your eyes open again.

Now, let's just hope Chapman avoids the constant spate of injuries that have played Zumaya since hitting the majors. Between Zumaya and Stephen Strasburg, it has yet to be proven that a pitcher can consistently hit triple-digits and not break down.

 -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: July 6, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:55 am

Slim pickings for bullpen arms

Matt Capps How bad is the reliever market?

The Tigers -- who are without Joel Zumaya -- are in Seattle scouting the bullpens of the Royals and Tigers, AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price writes .

The bullpen arms on display were hardly top shelf -- Kyle Farnsworth, David Aardsma, Brandon League and Chad Cordero.

Price says the Indians are trying to find a taker for Kerry Wood and Pittsburgh is open to getting anything in return for Octavio Dotel.

The best arm on the market may be the Nationals' Matt Capps, but Washington has made no move to indicate they're ready to start dealing, although it's likely only a matter of time.

Capps, the Nationals' All-Star representative, is on a one-year deal he signed on Christmas Eve with Washington. The Nationals have two young bullpen arms under team control that look to be ready to take over the closer's role in Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen.

Because of the lack of relievers on the market, Capps' trade value may be as high as it ever will be and the Nationals should strike while they can.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 5, 2010 4:27 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 6:22 pm

Zumaya to undergo surgery

Joel Zumaya The hits keep on coming for reliever Joel Zumaya.

The oft-injured reliever added another malady to his resume when he fractured a small bone at the tip of his right elbow June 28. "Zoom-Zoom" had posted a 2.58 ERA in 38 1/3 innings, whiffing 34 and walking 11.

According to MLive.com, a screw will be inserted to stablished the facture, and the surgery will occur on July 12 -- the day of the Home Run Derby.

"It's a very, very common surgery, really, to be perfectly honest with you," Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand said. "With the olecranon fracture through the bone, [it] was probably the best option as far as stabilization and to strengthen that area for him to pitch in the future."

Zumaya did not suffer any ligament damage, which is good news to someone who can't afford any more injuries. Rand didn't believe there would be any lasting effects.

"You have plenty of pitchers that have had this procedure done and are still pitching and have pitched without any incidents," Rand added.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 29, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 3:09 pm

Zumaya put on DL

Not unexpectedly, the Tigers have placed reliever Joel Zumaya on the 15-day disabled list even before he received an MRI on his injured right elbow.

The Tigers called up right-handed reliever Casey Fien from Triple-A Toledo, where he was 1-0 with a 2.29 ERA in 39 1/3 innings.

Fein was with the Tigers last season, but was well-traveled this spring when the Red Sox claimed him off waivers. Three days later he was claimed by Toronto and then days later, Detroit got him off waivers again.

Zumaya had one of the ugliest injuries of the year, collapsing in pain after a 99 mph pitch to Delmon Young in the eighth inning of Monday night's game against Minnesota. Zumaya didn't talk to reporters after the game, but it is expected to end his season.

UPDATE: The team announced Zumaya will officially miss the rest of the season because of a non-dsplaced fracture of the olecranon, a large bone in the elbow.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 29, 2010 12:12 am
Edited on: June 29, 2010 12:14 am

Zumaya suffers apparent arm blowout

Joel Zumaya It was an ugly scene at Target Field on Monday night as Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya suffered what appeared to be a serious injury, collapsing behind the mound and writhing in pain after an eighth-inning pitch.

The pitch registered 99 mph. Zumaya immediately grabbed his arm and dropped to the ground. He was attended by trainers and the TV footage showed his right hand twiching as he was examined. Zumaya left the field under his power, clutching the arm and obviously in severe pain.

There was no immediate report on the extent of the injury.

Zumaya was a sensation when he broke into the major with a dizzying 100-mph fastball in 2006. He has struggled with hand and shoulder problems since, but had been healthy in 2010.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: The injury was to Zumaya's elbow, and he is scheduled for an MRI Tuesday. He had the arm in a sling after the game and did not speak with reporters.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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