Minnesota Twins right-handed flamethrower Joel Zumaya has been riddled with injuries throughout his career in professional baseball. Most recently, Zumaya tore the elbow ligament in his throwing arm during a team batting practice on February 25th.
May believed, at the time, the injury could be enough to end a career which once held so much promise and dominance. Joel Zumaya was impressive to watch when on his game with the Detroit Tigers.
Zumaya, though, isn’t as convinced, and has opted to have the renowned sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews perform a Tommy John procedure on the elbow ligament at his clinic in Birmingham, Alabama at the end of March.
This surgery will be the sixth on the throwing arm for the Twins starter, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 2010. Zumaya is bound to the Twins by an incentive-laden $850,000, one-year contract and will lose $400,000 of pay due to his failure to be on the Twins’ roster on opening day.
Can Joel Zumaya pitch again in the major leagues and take a step back toward reclamation of his once promising talent?
Will a Tommy John procedure make enough of a difference to allow him to pitch again without being gun shy and in anticipation of the next injury which will sideline him?
These are both important questions for which the Twins cannot wait an answer. They took a calculated risk in Zumaya, and if he does not heal through this next surgery, will be the last to do so.