The off-season rebuilding marathon continued this week for the Twins. Even though no news has come out of the Roy Oswalt campaign, the Twins have found help for their bullpen. Last year the bullpen faltered, struggled, and gave up a whopping number of home runs. So, the Twins made a brilliant move in adding a well-known pitcher.
Yesterday (January 19), the Twins formally signed relief pitcher Joel Zumaya to a one-year deal. Starting his career in 2006, Zumaya has pitched for the Detroit Tigers and he has impressed many people. During his first five years in the Major Leagues, Zumaya has posted an 3.05 ERA and struck out a total of 210 batters. When Zumaya is healthy, the right-hander can throw a 96-100 mile per hour fastball. Needless to say, he throws hard and fast! The Twins will welcome Zumaya to their bullpen, especially because he commented, “My perspective is that I have no thoughts in my mind that I will get injured.”
Zumaya’s comment refers to the numerous arm problems he has had. He ruptured a tendon in his hand, separated his shoulder moving boxes, and fractured his elbow. He has made a lot of trips to the DL, missing many games, including the entire 2011 season. In June 2010, Zumaya threw a pitch to former Twin Delmon Young at Target Field. After throwing the pitch, Zumaya fell to the ground in enormous pain. He stayed on the ground for several minutes before being helped off the field. It was a gruesome scene, silencing the entire crowd because Zumaya couldn’t hold up his arm by himself. He will be returning to the same mound in 2012 where that horrific scene happened.
If Zumaya can stay healthy and reduce injuries, he could potentially become a great pitcher for the Twins. I am excited to see him pitch because he has a wickedly productive fastball. Welcome to Minnesota, Zumaya; great addition, Twins!
Written by Michael L. Sack