Zumaya might well be back
Full disclosure: It’s spring training, not even in spring games. Zumaya didn’t even have a batter in the box against him until this morning. And because he started throwing bullpen sessions last month, he’s ahead of pretty much everybody else.
Now that we have that out of the way, I can say that Zumaya’s throwing is raising eyebrows among coaches and officials. His fastball looks like the fastball of old, with movement. And he’s mixing in his breaking ball well.
How good does he look? Jim Leyland, who warns against getting excited about bullpen sessions, is getting excited.
“I’m holding my breath,” Leyland said, “because that stuff is nasty.”
Because heavy rain this morning waterlogged the back fields, pitchers threw to hitters on the stadium field today. Zumaya’s session drew a small crowd of fans and a number of players. Jose Valverde watched from behind the cage alongside Leyland and Dave Dombrowski. Justin Verlander watched from the side. Daniel Schlereth and his dad, Mark, watched from outside the dugout.
“The ball’s just flying out of his hand,” Leyland said earlier.
The results looked impressive. Zumaya threw a good number of breaking balls, and he seemed to be hitting his spots with it.