Zumaya could begin throwing next week

The Tigers left Carlos Guillen and Joel Zumaya behind as they departed Lakeland Tuesday morning, but there’s some renewed hope that he’ll be back in a reasonable amount of time. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Zumaya is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday in hopes of being cleared to resume throwing.

The plan when Dr. Andrews prescribed a couple weeks of rest was that Zumaya would see the good doctor again before throwing again, once the inflammation subsided. Three weeks have passed, but the Tigers have made it a point to play it cautious on their hard-throwing setup man.

Zumaya continues to work on a strengthening program back in Lakeland.

“He’s doing very well,” Rand said of Zumaya. “His range of motion has improved. His strength has improved.”

Zumaya hasn’t thrown off a mound since his only Spring Training outing Feb. 27, so he’s going to have to go through the throwing progression (play catch, long toss, bullpen sessions) before getting back into game action, either in extended Spring Training or on a rehab assignment.

Still, given the way Leyland has mentioned the challenge of replacing Zumaya in the bullpen, the sooner they can get him back, the better. Even if they didn’t take for granted he’d be back, losing him for the start of the season made a big difference in the makeup of the bullpen. Replace, say, Brayan Villarreal with Zumaya, and the seventh inning looks vastly different.

Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday morning that Zumaya and Guillen will be officially placed on the disabled list Wednesday. They’re expected to go on the 15-day DL, rather than the 60-day version. They’ll also make room on the 40-man roster Wednesday for Enrique Gonzalez, who made the team as a reliever after coming to camp as a non-roster invitee.


Stranger things have happened, but I doubt anyone expects Zoomer to ever pitch an entire season. It is nice to have him while he’s in there, and it buys time. One can only hope.

Sure wish Ricky P could develop a strikeout pitch. Until he does we are going to have to live with very unattractive WHIP numbers and, alas, too many runs allowed.

My hastiness aside, Ricky threw very well today against challenging opposition. The starting rotation is going to be oh so important this year as I fear we are going to have some difficulty scoring runs with Peralta, Inge, Avila (who I really like) and perhaps AJ.

I can’t wait til Thursday. That ought to be something!

Time for season predictions. Looking at Toledo’s roster, nice to see some real competition and emerging players with ability and ML experience waiting in the wings.
I think the key to the season is Brad Penny. JV is of course the leader and will have anywhere from 16-24 wins in him. Provided Penny stays healthy, his maturity and experience will be the glue holding the rotation together and then determines whether Max and Rick have many more ups than downs. This will make who pitches 5 immaterial. Coke will be OK provided he doesn’t get too quickly down on himself for what will likely be a rocky transition that will work out given time.
Predicting a 90-72 result regardless of the SOC.

perhaps the silver lining with zumaya’s injury is that the tigers will really see what strides schlereth and perry have made toward becoming reliable options with the game on the line. better to find out early in the season whether upgrade is needed, than later when GM has to buy into a seller’s market to acquire talent.

If we could have Joel in that BP…….well, a girl can dream. I hope he doesn’t rush it.

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