Joel Zumaya’s arm has exploded.

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Lying on the ground… shaking with pain… arm hanging limp and useless… yes, just what we all wanted to see from Joel Zumaya.

Basically it seems like his arm just exploded. I don’t know what part. Maybe the elbow, maybe something in the shoulder. Maybe something in that much-abused forearm. Actually who am I kidding, every part of that arm could be described as ‘much-abused’ even before this.

Zoom is a tough dude. Whatever happened with his arm, the pain was incredible. I have never seen him react like that before. But some vital piece of arm just suddenly and violently stopped doing what it was supposed to be doing, and I imagine that would be very, very painful. Oh, and terrifying. You know, for anyone, but especially for a pitcher.

I don’t want to just say things without knowing for sure what happened, but this is a blog, so… Zoom is probably done for the year. Maybe forever. He can’t keep injuring that arm and trying to come back from it and then reinjuring it in new and horrible ways. That’s not a sustainable practice. This particular injury looked severe enough that he might not even be able to come back from it anyways.

Now, maybe we just saw him blow a ligament in real-time and he will need Tommy John surgery and he’ll recover from that as many baseball players do and all will be well a couple years down the line. But it didn’t look good. It didn’t look good at all. I am depressing myself right now.

How sad/telling is it that I already had the below cartoon sitting around on my computer, from like a year ago?

Oh, Joel.

ETA: Jason Beck sez elbow. It’s just after midnight on Tuesday right now. MRI to come later today. I guess we’ll hear when we hear.

ETA2: Casey Fien has been called up to replace Zoom. The Tigers did put Zoom on the DL, but we still don’t know what the actual diagnosis is, aside from ‘elbow’ and ‘incredibly painful’ and ‘not good’.

ETA3: It’s an elbow fracture. He is done for the season. Just try to imagine throwing a ball, and that motion being so bad for your arm that it BREAKS YOUR ELBOW. Seriously, just try to imagine that happening to your own arm. Poor Zoom.


20 responses to “Joel Zumaya’s arm has exploded.

  1. ivantopumpyouup

    Laird said he (Zoom?) heard a “pop”.

    T_T I AM FREAKING OUT OKAY?! It’s also really sad when Tommy John might be a best case scenario.

    Also, people who saw the Twins feed said they showed Verlander looking near tears. I did not want to hear that.


  2. It was bound to happen sooner or later. The guy is just not rigid.

  3. As a pitcher, he is a freak of nature. Unfortunately, that seems to mean he keeps having these freakish injuries.

    But, oh, I could just cry for him.

    And poor Phil Coke. In his post-game interview, he kept sounding like he thought it was *his* fault, because if he’d got his last hitter out, then Joel wouldn’t have had to come in to the 7th inning, and then maybe he wouldn’t have hurt his arm in the 8th…

    No Phil, you can’t do that to yourself. We need you psychologically sound.

    • ivantopumpyouup

      //And poor Phil Coke. In his post-game interview, he kept sounding like he thought it was *his* fault, because if he’d got his last hitter out, then Joel wouldn’t have had to come in to the 7th inning, and then maybe he wouldn’t have hurt his arm in the 8th…//

      I saw that too. It broke my heart a little bit. :/ I know the bullpen’s a family and all but still . . .

    • Actually I think the problem is that he’s NOT a freak of nature. If he was, he would be able to throw those 103 mph fastballs regularly without any injuries at all.

      Phil Coke is trippin’. I mean, we know that he likes to guilt-wallow, but there is really no conceivable way he is responsible for this one. I think he just feels bad in general after seeing Zoom go down like that, and his general bad feeling gets channeled into self-directed guilt because he’s Phil Coke and that is what he does.

      • ivantopumpyouup

        You know, I kind of hope Leyland heard of Coke’s comments, or heard them himself, and says something to him. That’s not the kind of stuff I want a guy like Coke– who’s definitely going to get more responsibilities now that Zoom’s out for however long– carrying around in his head.

  4. ivantopumpyouup

    MLive had this quote from Laird:

    Laird said he told Zumaya this in the training room: “Everything is going to be fine … I’m going to see Zumaya on the mound throwing again. You’ll be throwing in seven or eight months again.”


  5. god, that was so hard to watch. coincidentally I had a friend over who is a Twins fan (I know, I know.. but I have so few friends that are local and into baseball) and all I could do was sit there with my hands clapped over my mouth. we all knew this could happen sometime but you never expect to witness it and you never want it to.

    hopefully he’ll be okay. just keep hoping!

  6. Pingback: Welcome: Sox back in the AL, Z to be evaluated | Outside the Clubhouse

  7. HawkeyeEdward

    That reminded me a little bit of watching Dave Davrecky’s arm explode on the mound in 1989. (I had to look up the date, but I remember seeing it. Ugh.)

    But hey, here’s a little cheering up:

    “Detroit is the 1st team since 1960 to have two rookies (Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson) hit .300+ through 75 games (200+ AB).”

  8. ivantopumpyouup

    Is a non-displaced elbow fracture the best case scenario compared to torn ligaments or ruptured tendons?

    • It’s fairly good as these things go, if it’s truly just a nondisplaced fracture. However, it’s right on the joint, a point of articulation, so it is not going to heal as quickly as a nondisplaced fracture on a non-moving bone would, and if he starts trying to do things with it before it’s 110% healed, it’s not going to go well (and I hate to say it, but Zoom has that tendency…).

      I also have a real hard time believing that there can be a fracture there without it affecting some of the tendons or ligaments in the area. A lot of stuff inserts or connects there… even if there aren’t any initial tears, when he starts to try to come back from this injury, any residual weakness in the bone is not going to be good for the connective tissue trying to deal with pitching stresses again.

      In fact I’m not even totally sure how he managed to fracture it on a pitch. I think the only injuries I’ve heard of in that area were because someone fell on it, or had it struck in some way. How do you break that bone just by throwing a pitch? Eesh.

      • ivantopumpyouup

        Hmm, Ryan Field just said the Tigers said there was no ligament or tendon damage. Do you think it’s possible they missed more damage, or he could further damage the elbow trying to come back?

        Also. Joel: Sorry if I get emotional.

        No one will judge you Joel. T_T

        • ivantopumpyouup

          Oh I’m a moron. I skimmed over your second paragraph.

          • Ha ha, it’s good that they said there’s no ligament/tendon damage at the outset, though. I hadn’t heard that. Hopefully that means they can minimize it… especially if they can really keep him from coming back too early.

            • ivantopumpyouup

              //especially if they can really keep him from coming back too early.//

              I think that’ll be the key.

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