Blog Entry

No surgery for Zumaya

Posted on: June 29, 2010 2:42 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 2:51 pm
Believe it or not, the news isn't that bad for Joel Zumaya.

In fact, the Tiger reliever, who suffered a cringe-inducing injury Monday night in Minnesota, could be back pitching at the start of next season. The initial MRI exam on Zumaya's elbow showed that rather than tearing a ligament that would require Tommy John surgery, he has a non-displaced fracture of the olecranon, which is the bone behind the elbow.

Zumaya is not expected to need surgery.

He'll miss the rest of this season, but the projected recovery time is four months, rather than the full year that pitchers normally require after ligament surgery.

The Tigers placed Zumaya on the disabled list today, replacing him on the roster with Casey Fien. Finding someone to take Zumaya's eighth-inning role will be more difficult, but there's some hope that Ryan Perry could do it, once he comes off the disabled list (probably later this week).

This is the latest in a string of unusual injuries for Zumaya, who will turn 26 in November. In 2007, he ruptured a tendon in his right middle finger. A year later, he tore the AC joint in his shoulder, an injury more common among football players.

Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:08 pm

No surgery for Zumaya

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:39 pm

No surgery for Zumaya

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:44 pm

No surgery for Zumaya

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 12:02 am

No surgery for Zumaya

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:46 pm

No surgery for Zumaya

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 10:57 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:01 am

No surgery for Zumaya

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Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:04 am

No surgery for Zumaya

There goes his Guitar Hero career ...

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2010 10:12 am

No surgery for Zumaya

I can see Zumaya going the way of Kerry Wood, i.e. dropping a great secondary pitch and becoming more of a power pitcher.  Woody used to have a nasty curve (look at the film of the last pitch during his 20k game) that he no longer throws anymore.  His arm is a little healthier (at least for him), but he is nowhere near the pitcher he used to be with that curve on top of his slider.   But he made his money and I am sure, if given the chance, would do it again.   I think most young pitchers would take 6 good MLB years (time it takes to get out of the first contract) that lead a big contract and then to a possible injury over playing it safe and protecting their arm.  In the end, its a risk-reward situation.  I would do it.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2010 9:33 pm

No surgery for Zumaya

Whoa!  Let's stop the nonsense chatter that throwing breaking pitches in little league lead to injuries like Joel Zumaya's.  It is far more likely that Zumaya's unnatural motion and previous injuries led to his most recent malady.  We may not always realize it but when the body is inured, we sometimes subconsciously compensate in our regular motions.  Over time, it's these little adjustments that throw things out of kilter in conjunction with other injuries that cause lingering problems or manifest themselves in new ways.  It is definitely not the fact that his little league coach made him snap off a dozen curveballs in an inning ten to fifteen years ago.

However, with that being said, I am of the opinion that no pitcher should be forced to learn and throw curveballs, sliders, screwballs, split-finger fastballs, or any other kind of breaking pitch that requires the pitcher to snap his wrist, roll over the ball, or grip the ball in an unusual way in order to get movement.  One of our posters was absolutely correct that the tendons and ligaments in children/young men who have not fully matured physcially need protection from these unnecessary stresses.  Even if you remove those breaking pitches from a kid's repertoire, they can be taught different fastball grips (two-seam & four-seam), change-ups/circle change-ups, and even knuckleballs.  A solid mixture of these pitches can be more than effective enough to fool batters right up until high school ball.  Then when they get to the low minors or college ball, pitchers can be taught the nasty breaking stuff by somebody who really knows how to teach it effectively and has the pitcher's welfare in mind.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or