Zumaya out a couple days after scar tissue broke

Joel Zumaya’s comeback from elbow surgery is on hold for a couple days, but it isn’t expected to be a major absence. The Tigers reliever is day-to-day after scar tissue broke apart around his elbow.

Zumaya said the injury happened in the middle of his inning of work Sunday against the Blue Jays. He felt the tissue snap on a two-out pitch to Jose Molina, who singled to extend the fifth inning, but stayed in the game and threw his normal arsenal to retire Moises Sierra.

“Just a little scar tissue,” Zumaya said. “They’re just going to give me a couple days.”

An MRI exam and x-rays confirmed the diagnosis. The tests were precautionary, as the scar tissue was expected to break apart at some point.

“We checked it out medically,” Leyland said, “and there was nothing more than a little inflammation. I’m not sure when he’s going to pitch, but there were absolutely no red flags whatsoever.”

Zumaya missed the final three months last season after fracturing the olecranon bone of his right elbow on a late June pitch at Minnesota. Ensuing surgery inserted a screw around the fracture to ensure healing. The scar tissue that broke was around the screw.

“I don’t think that’s uncommon at all,” Leyland said. “According to the trainers, that’s not uncommon. But who knows?”

Still, any absence for Zumaya creates concern, which might be why Leyland hesitated briefly before mentioning it. The hard-throwing reliever has missed much of the past four seasons since his standout rookie campaign in 2006 established him as a young reliever to watch.

Zumaya is a free agent next winter, which makes this a big season for him. If he can get through anywhere close to a full year, he could help the Tigers to a big season as well, adding a potentially nasty reliever behind setup man Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde.

This marks Zumaya’s first absence of any kind this spring. His pitching so far has been strong. One radar gun tabbed him at 97 mph Sunday with his fastball, which he said he threw without full effort while mixing in several breaking balls.

9 Comments

Hopefully as stated it is nothing.
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Regarding the game today I was listening to the broadcast (there was a Houston feed) on my iPad. And anyway mabe Jason can confirm this but seemed to be a lot of lazy ab’s. Now it sounded like Miguel hit a couple right on the screws only to be caught. But quick lazy ab’s. Yes I know it is spring training, but still. A few errors too. Magglio has been bad? Jason what do you think?

I listened to it to. Listening to the audio is a nice alternative if you just get tired of the Fox feed or TV is out. The announcers (Astro) were, let me say this politely, extremely laid back and that’s probably how it is at ST games. You saw the Hooters ball girls at the Phillies game. I mean, come on. Fun for the crowd. The announcers definitely gave a pretty much one-sided view. The Tigers had their chances a couple times and they did hit the ball pretty hard. It’s just the first week and pitchers are always ahead of hitters, plus so many players getting in the games.

I wondered why we hadn’t seen Zoom yesterday or today. Hoping and praying all is well with our Zoom-Zoom. He’s a spark of lightening.

I think the hitters go up hacking early in ST just to literally get in the swing of things. They’ll settle down. Clete Thomas has been very impressive. I’ll take him over Boesch easily.
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Pup, I’ll be at a Phillies game in Clearwater on Sunday and I will make sure to examine those Hooters ballgirls and provide a full and complete report here.
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Marty, I’m trying to picture your wife climbing that gate as it swings open. I’m not having much success. :-) You all should join us in Pittsburgh again this year.
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–Rich

by all indications, Zumaya and Schlereth with minor injuries but it does beg the question of who else could step in and help Perry conserve a lead in the 7th inning. suppose if the season started today, they’d be looking at Alburquerque and Ni in those roles…or count on Benoit for more than one inning–not sure if Leyland intends to use him in that way though.

Rich have fun in Florida. We are thinking about going to Pittsburg this year for a game.
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Regarding the lazy AB’s, again while I agree that it is spring training and it is early, I was watching the NY vs. Detroit game the other day, and the Yankees had a lot of long ab’s. And I just wonder if you start having good ab’s from the beginning, if that would continue into the season. Because during the season in typical Tiger fashion, we don’t seem to work the pitchers very much to get them out of games, while we know that is what teams like Boston and NY are all about??

I think it’s way early to think about lazy at-bats. Usually pitchers are ahead of hitters at this point in the schedule. Guys aren’t necessarily looking at results as looking for certain pitches and trying to get their timing. I think it takes at least another week, when regulars start playing deeper into games on a consistent basis.
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I think Austin Jackson has had a fantastic approach, since I was worried he’d be looking to swing for power.

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