Early read on Zumaya: Very upbeat, quietly confident

As I mentioned earlier, Joel Zumaya is in camp, has been here for about a month. And as you probably read already, he’s throwing off of a mound and feeling good after the stress fracture in his shoulder was diagnosed late last season. Talking with him Wednesday, you can definitely sense the positive tone in his mood. He’s very upbeat, says his shoulder has felt as if nothing had happened when he lets it go.

At the same time, he’s buying into the system that the Tigers have planned for him, because he wants to show he’s ready for a job out of spring training — not just a job, but the closer’s job. He wants to be part of a three-team competition this spring for closing duties. So when pitching coach Rick Knapp talks about having him bring his throwing motion under control, taking a little bit off of his fastball and getting the benefit of command, he’s for it. He’s also putting more work into his changeup as a big part of his arsenal. We’ll see how it works out and what it means for him, but Zumaya seems to have grown out of his 100-mph-all-the-time approach and is responding well to his new coach. Look for more on the site later this afternoon.

Zumaya, by the way, looks in very good shape after not being allowed to throw until later in the offseason. For that matter, count Dontrelle Willis in the group of guys you can tell put in hard workouts this winter. His agent, Matt Sosnick, had mentioned it as far back as early November, but it’s apparent that he has lost some weight and gained some muscle.
 

3 Comments

80 degreeeeezzzzz………..don’t have heat stroke, Jason. :-) It will be another eleven days before I can join you down there and it can’t come quick enough. Can’t complain today, though, since it’s 71 degrees here. Strange.
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I like what I’m hearing about Knapp/Zumaya. A well located 96 mph fastball is far more effective than a 100 mph-er that goes all over the place. And Zoom always has that triple-digit heater in his back pocket if necessary. This kid has the closer mentality and it just needs to be channeled.
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–Rich

Hey, all. It’s been awhile so I thought I would check in.

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Man, that would be great to have Zoom at 100%! Sounds like things are going well with his health so far, at least. I also like what the Tigers did in the off-season as a whole and think we should be pretty competitive out there. Should still be interesting about the other bench spot and the 5th starter.

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Other than that…still doing the writing thing and looking for another ‘day job’, as I was downsized last week.

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Again, hope everyone is doing well…

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Ty Schwamberger
http://tyschwamberger.wordpress.com

Oh, the weather sounds awesome! Some day, when the kids are older, I hope we can make it down for a game or two of spring training.

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