Tag Archives: injury

Joel Zumaya falls apart again and other such pleasantries

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

What is this?! I leave for a few days, and when I come back the team is falling apart literally (Zoom) and baseball-ly (the Yankee series)? Unacceptable, Tigers.

It’s the same old injury for Zumaya, as he reaggravated a previous stress fracture . Which one? I think they mean this one from late 2008, which was almost certainly a continuation of this injury from the 2007 offseason.

So we’re looking at a shoulder injury here that has landed Zumaya on the DL three separate times, over the course of three years. Think about that for a minute.

I am really starting to think that his pitching motion is inherently unsustainable for his body, even more so than is usual for a power pitcher, and especially so in a shoulder that has suffered a serious acromioclavicular/coracoid insult. The original injury had nothing to do with baseball (damn you, overloaded cardboard boxes!) and as such is not really a type of shoulder injury that is common within the sport. I wonder if any power pitcher has ever come back from a similarly severe AC joint injury and been able to resume throwing hard without followup setbacks…. I honestly don’t know, but I am starting to think that it’s unlikely.

This is pretty bad for the Tigers right now, and is also not the greatest sign in the universe for Zoom’s continued career. Who knows? Maybe if he made some small mechanical adjustments or dropped a few mph from his fastball he’d have a more sustainable motion, but then again maybe if he dropped a few mph from his fastball he’d lose whatever effectiveness he had left.

What’s most worrying (to me, anyways) is that they keep declaring this injury healed, and then it keeps cropping up again. If a stress fracture is healed enough for everday activity, but refractures again in less than a year under the strain of pitching, is it really healed? Can it ever actually heal enough to withstand the strain of radar-gun-watching, Zoom-style pitching? You know what I mean?

Ugh. After that, I don’t really want to get into what the Tigers did (or didn’t) do in the Yankee series. When your starters allow one, two, and two earned runs, respectively, over the course of a series, and you lose all those games, UR DOIN IT WRONG. I’ll leave it at that.