Injury plagued relief pitcher Joel Zumaya is headed to the Twins. The one year contract calls for a guaranteed $800 thousand salary with incentives of up to $1.7 million. Zumaya, who last pitched for the Detroit Tigers on June 28, 2010 at Target Field against the Twins when he suffered a fractured elbow.
In 2006, Zumaya had an ERA of 1.94 in 62 appearances while striking out 97. Since then, he’s not pitched in no more than 31 games in a season. Before suffering the fractured elbow injury, Zumaya was showing signs of his 2006 form with an ERA of 2.58 and 34 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings.
My thoughts on the Zumaya signing by the Twins is this is another low risk move by GM Terry Ryan. If he can be healthy this season and pitch something close to what he did back in 2006, he’d be a good addition to the bullpen.
Carl Pavano is another example of an injury plagued pitcher when he was with the New York Yankees. Since he came to the Twins in an August 2009 trade with the Cleveland Indians, he’s been one of the better pitchers for the Twins.
So, to those critics who think this move is a waste of money and time, I say give Zumaya a chance. I don’t expect Zumaya to be the best relief pitcher in baseball. What I do expect is he does well for the Twins and if he doesn’t, well then you can start criticizing the front office.