29-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Joel Zumaya in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Joel Zumaya Contract Information:
Released by the Twins in March of 2012.
The Twins have released Zumaya (elbow), the Star Tribune reports.
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Joel Zumaya Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Joel Zumaya: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Joel Zumaya.
Once considered one of the more promising relief pitchers in the majors, Zumaya has become an afterthought due to his inability to stay healthy. After promising reports heading into spring training last year, Zumaya mustered just one appearance in camp before getting shut down with a season-ending elbow injury. Despite the constant injury troubles, Zumaya is taking a stab at returning for the 2012 season. The 27-year-old signed with Minnesota after throwing for teams this winter. He could have a prominent role with the Twins and even enter the closer mix, if he can come close to recapturing his previous 100-mph velocity and stay healthy.
Stop us if you've heard this one before: After a promising start, Zumaya's season was cut short by injuries last year. That's four consecutive years Zumaya's season has been derailed by an injury. This time it was a fractured elbow that he suffered in late June. Prior to the injury, Zumaya was 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. The 26-year-old flamethrower is expected to be ready for the start of spring training, but the Tigers won't rely on Zumaya in a significant late-inning role due to his injury history. With a fastball that routinely touches triple digits, Zumaya will always be able to garner some excitement, but he's no longer considered the Tigers' closer of the future.
For the third consecutive year, Zumaya's season was cut short by injuries. He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in July that limited him to just 29 appearances. Before the injury, Zumaya was inconsistent, compiling a 4.94 ERA with a 30:22 K:BB ratio in 31 innings. He underwent surgery in August and is expected to make a full recovery in time for spring training. Despite the history of injury problems, Zumaya remains on fantasy radars due to the possibility that he could factor into the closer's discussion in Detroit. As a matter of fact, if Detroit doesn't pick up a closer via free agency this offseason, a healthy Zumaya could be the frontrunner for the job come spring training.
Zumaya began last season on the disabled list while he recovered from shoulder surgery. Things looked to be going good for Zumaya as he returned on schedule in late June. Unfortunately, by August Zumaya was complaining of soreness in his shoulder and was shut down. Doctors said that the soreness was due to scar tissue breaking up. In September an exam found that Zumaya had a non-displaced stress fracture in his left shoulder, an injury that would sideline him for another two months. Recent reports indicate that Zumaya's shoulders are healthy and that he will be ready for spring training. Manager Jim Leyland indicated that Zumaya could still close for the team but the Tigers don't seem willing to throw him into that role to begin the year. He's a sleeper for saves, especially if he looks good this spring.
Zumaya missed more than three months last year with a torn tendon in his right middle finger. He didn't make any strides in reducing his walk rate in his limited action, but he was still overpowering on the mound when healthy. The Tigers hoped to ease him into the closer role this season, but that was before Zumaya suffered a shoulder injury moving boxes in his home in the offseason. He is expected to be out until mid-season after doctors had to reconstruct the AC joint in his pitching shoulder. If Zumaya comes back strong he could work his way into the closer role toward the end of the year, as the Tigers would certainly like to have him ready to close by the beginning of 2009.
Zumaya performed very well in his conversion from minor league starter to major league reliever last season. His ability to hit 100+ mph on the radar gun with consistency has made him a favorite of Tigers fans and manager Jim Leyland. Zumaya has the stuff closers are made of but he could stand to cut down on the walks a bit. That should come as he learns to better harness his fastball. The minor concerns from last season are two instances where Zumaya had to miss time because of wrist and forearm soreness that affected his ability to grip his fastball. The Tigers say the injury is caused by how tightly Zumaya grips the ball so there is hope that this can be corrected. Zumaya is Detroit's closer of the future but will have to wait one more season before Todd Jones leaves town. In the meantime he'll be a nice pitcher to own because of his strikeout ability.
Zumaya is second only to Justin Verlander among Detroit's pitching prospects. He has a more explosive fastball, reaching 100 mph at times, but has not displayed the same great command. Still, his 199 strikeouts ranked second among all minor league pitchers last season. He's expected to open the season at Triple-A but should be in line for a midseason call-up. With continued improvement to his command, Zumaya could be a very special starter, but otherwise is perhaps a closer-in-waiting.
With a solid fastball and devastating curveball, Zumaya led the organization in strikeouts for the second straight year. He'll start the season in Double-A Erie and is on the fast track to the major leagues despite being just 20 years old.
Zumaya, an 11th round draft pick in the 2002 draft, grew three-to-four inches from the time he was drafted until the start of the 2003 season, and added nearly 10 mph to his fastball in the process. He dominated in the low Single-A Midwest league, striking out a whopping 126 batters in just 90.1 IP. Watch him carefully in 2004, he might be the Tigers' best prospect.