Joel Zumaya’s season is over, his time with the Minnesota Twins finished before it commenced as a result of a damaged elbow.
Now he has to make a decision whether his once-promising career is accomplished as well and the reliever with the rocket right arm and the pattern of recurring wounds sounded like he’s prepared to give up rather than endure another strenuous year of rehab. Baseball odds
“Present, my perspective is maybe not,” Zumaya said, 2 days after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. “I know I’m pretty young, but I’m doubtless going to go on 6 surgeries if I go get another one. I’m only 27 years of age. I’ve taken a large amount of wear on my body, particularly my arm, and then rehabilitation and it just mentally takes a lot out of you.”
Zumaya did not pitch last season. He left the Detroit Tigers to sign with the division rival Twins, getting an incentive-laden 1 year deal with $400,000 warranted. Baseball spreads
To restart his career Zumaya would need Tommy John surgery, the ligament-replacement procedure that generally needs at least a year of rehab. He announced he expects to choose within a couple of days whether to have surgery or abdicate.
“It’s tricky for anybody involved in a situation when you’re talking about a bloke going through what he is going to have to go thru here,” said Twins director Terry Ryan, who was hoping to bolster a failing bullpen with the high-risk, high-reward reliever. “It’s a personal call among his family and folks he confides in and so forth.”
Zumaya was hurt throwing his 1st session of batting practice after only thirteen pitches. He announced he had little doubt after the injury the diagnosis would be urgent.
“I was attempting to be so idealistic, but I knew. I knew right away,” Zumaya said. “I’ve been told. I’ve asked folk, ‘How does it feel?
What are your instincts? What happens? ‘Essentially right when I came off the field, I just felt that my arm was gone.”
Zumaya has spent much more time rehabbing injuries the last several seasons than showing off that 100 mph-plus heat. After earnings attention as a newbie for the 2006 American League champ Tigers, he has pitched in just 109 games over the past six years while coping with foot, shoulder, elbow and finger problems.
“People who throw as hard as me … You’re injury prone, you know?” Zumaya said. “It’s just hard, man. I guess you’re not designed to throw a pitch as hard as I do. My arm’s been thru some stuff.”
Zumaya has spoken with other pitchers who’ve had ligament-replacement surgery to help with his call.
“Last night, it was weird,” Zumaya asserted. “I possibly got like 100 texts from a few teammates, ex-teammates, Tigers, quite a few chums that I played baseball around with.”
Zumaya remained on Minnesota’s 40-man roster, but Ryan said a decision had not yet been made on Zumaya’s future with the club if he were to determine to have the surgery.
Zumaya, in the meantime, has already started taking into account about other future careers.