Yesterday, it was reported that Joel Zumaya left the mound with a trainer, cutting short a throwing session.
Today, we learned why.
A MRI was taken on the pitcher’s troublesome elbow, and it revealed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), a tear that requires Tommy John surgery to fix. He’ll miss the entire season.
I, for one, was rooting for him. Sure, perhaps not in possible appearances against the Tigers, but after Zumaya exploded on the scene in the 2006 season, it was hard to not like the guy.
At this point in his career, it’s probably time to hang it up. No one who goes through as many injuries as he has had, pretty much on an annual basis, can be expected to come back and push his way back into pitching again. His arm, elbow, and shoulder have gone through the gauntlet in terms of various injuries, and it seems that the damage is just going to be too much.
Hard to fathom that with his violent delivery, his 100+ mph fastball to go with a devastating curveball, that his career would have any longevity to it. Tigers fans may remember Matt Anderson, the former number 1 pick who also had an amazing fastball, suffer an injury that would ultimately derail his career. He never had the stuff again after rehabilitation, and ultimately his career was very short.
Fans like myself will miss that power fastball, the energy, and the excitement that Zumaya once brought to the mound for each appearance. But the last few years of seeing him suffer through injuries has been painful for him, and the revitalization of his career that he was going to attempt to build with the Minnesota Twins. Alas, we’ll witness another season lost, and a career that might have been.