Zumaya out for year with fracture in elbow

MINNEAPOLIS — Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya will miss the rest of the season with what the team called a non-displaced fracture of the olecranon, a bony process at the tip of his right elbow.

An MRI exam and X-rays taken at a local hospital revealed the injury, which he suffered on an eighth-inning pitch Monday night against the Twins at Target Field. Zumaya grabbed at his elbow and eventually collapsed in pain behind the mound before the Tigers athletic training staff helped him off the field.

It’ll mean a fourth straight injury-shortened season for Zumaya, whose struggles to come back and regain his form as baseball’s hardest-throwing reliever have been going on since he was a rookie sensation in the Tigers’ run to the American League pennant in 2006.

A 99 mph fastball to Delmon Young in the eighth inning of the Tigers’ 7-5 win over the Twins sent Zumaya clutching his right elbow and shaking his hand. Suddenly, as if the pain suddenly hit him, he knelt to the ground in apparent agony.

The fact that it’s a non-displaced fracture raises the possibility that he could recover without surgery. That would improve his odds of a comeback as well as his timetable for recovery.

The Tigers placed Zumaya on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday morning. Casey Fien will take his place in the Tigers bullpen for now while the team waits on Ryan Perry’s return from bicipital shoulder tendinitis.


I just read a very interesting article about the type of fracture that Zumaya has. Here is the link:


Since it isn’t displaced he will have a good chance of coming back, I just don’t know when. At least this means that it won’t be a career ender. This is really too bad, especially after reading the article a few weeks about his family and what his baseball career means for his family.


I think Zumaya is done. Think of Tom Browning and Dave Dravecky–they were never able to come back and be effective. Zumaya has been injured so many times now that people will be holding their collective breaths anytime he tries to take the mound–sort of like they did with Dontrelle Willis, but for entirely different reasons. I wouldn’t blame Zumaya for walking away and not looking back. He had one great year, but a summary of his career will include the term “unfulfilled promise.” The injuries and the folk hero aspect are very similar to that of Mark Fidrych.


That link provided some great information. His elbow must have under great strain…not sure if a man’s body can take throwing that hard and not break down.

Tom Browning and Dave Dravecky broke their humerus bones.

Zoom’s injury is a fractured ulna, hardly the same. Breaking your humerus is completely snapping a bone in half, not simply splitting or cracking the bone.

Problem is, he’s going to have to work to gain full range of motion again. He’ll be back, but this will be a mental hiccup for him moreso than an injury that will likely happen again.

I imagine every team has problems of one kind or another. Look at the Phillies. They have about a half dozen on the DL, just got Rollins back, and now Polanco and Utley go to the DL. The Tigers again this year are having some bad luck. Seay, Miner, Willis, Porcello, Guillen, Ordonez, Perry, and now Zumaya. Along with all those players problems, you have the umpires making mistakes at the worst possible times. Galarraga’s “perfect” game and Damon’s wayyyyy outside strike that cost a tie game. Add to that some of JL’s unusual managerial ideas. Yet there they are in first place at least until tonight’s game. So now which Galarraga will show up tonight? And for that matter, which batters will be hitters?

The question isn’t whether Zumaya can pitch again. Sure he can. The real question is whether he can pitch the same way he always has, and the answer to that is a resounding NO. This is beyond a simple mechanical tweak; he’ll need to change his entire delivery, literally from the ground up. Everything that made Zumaya Zumaya is the same things that cause these injuries. I’ll say it again: you can’t throw a ball that way. As JL would say, it’s as simple as that.
It’s entirely up in the air whether he can ever pitch effectively again. I do know that if he shows up next year as the “same old Zoom,” you can create a betting pool for the date of the next injury.
Man, I like the kid, but things have to change.

Well we were at the game last night and got back to Michigan this afternoon. It was crazy when he went down, because it looked for a brief second like an afterthought almost. Poor Joel, just can’t seem to stay healthy. This I know for sure he will be sorely sorely missed. I don’t believe we have anything reliable in the minors for those innings.
On a different note – The new Target Field is very very nice. We were sitting down the first baseline barely in the outfield. We could see everything well except for Thome’s triple, could not see what happened till it showed on the video board. By the way great video board. It makes poor Comerica’s park look so outdated (which it obviously is.) It actually had so much information on it, it took me an inning or two to figure out what was were. I didn’t know this, but it makes sense when I think about it though the Twins are not hitting a lot of homeruns, although the competition is. Well, duh – the are loaded with lefties, and except for a few are dead pull hitters, and it will be hard to hit them to left, you have to get them up to high. I think we in the future will see more righties in their lineup. More suited to this field, I think.
But they did a real nice job with that stadium, having never been to Minneapolis, I found the downtown vibrant and welcoming. (I only came across one jerk at the game, and he was a jerk). I recommend anyone going to Minneapolis to see a game.
GO TIGER – and feel better Joel.

I hope this latest incident will jig Dd’s thinking a bit. He is a guy who is willing to make a trade but paints himslef into a corner by creating untradeable players. 1st he inflates their salary and then he hangs on to players who are injury prone rather than take advantage of any market value they may have created for themselves. We saw this with Robertson, Willis, Seay, Miner, Zumaya, Inge, Laird, Guillen.
Seay was dynamite one year then slipped radically the next–especially against LHB. DD should have realized his market value as a guy who had been around, gained a reputaion, and was a southpaw in the bullpen. I thought the writing was on the wall for Seay when we got Coke and Schlereth.
Miner was a swing guy with a competitive spirit and room for growth. Not so much here but someone else would have loved to get the guy.
Inge has a reputation for hid D and for being versatile. Many teams need a 3rd sacker. Robertson had shown he was never going to truly make it in Detroit. I could go on, but my point is that if somebody has market value and they are not in your long range plans then put them for trade. Before they age out or injure themselves and render themselves without value to anybody.

Zumaya, 11 holds, 2 blown saves, 1 save (.857 pct)

Coke, 10 holds, 1 blown save, no saves (.909 pct)

Perry, 9 holds, 1 blown save, 1 save (.909 pct)

Thomas, Bonine, Ni, and Bonderman 1 hold each, no saves or blown saves

Note: Blown saves are not necessarily save ?chances?. Any time a pitcher doesn?t hold the lead in the 7th or later, he gets a blown save, whether or not he was going to be left in to finish the game.

Percentage = H + SV / H + SV + BS

These are very good numbers. In fairness to Zoomer, he?s been called upon to go more than one inning several times, whereas Coke and Perry averaged less than an inning per appearance.

SOMEONE that hasn?t been getting late inning duty will be thrown in there, starting today.

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