In 2006, 21-year-old rookie Joel Zumaya threw 83.1 innings of relief for the Tigers. He was just short of dominant. Throwing 100 MPH led to a 4.54 BB/9 but he did strike out 10.48 batters per nine innings and posted a 1.94 ERA. And a 3.34 FIP (fielding independent pitching) for you nerds keeping score at home. Then, Guitar Hero happened. The popular PlayStation 2 game sent Zumaya down the same injury road that sneezes and deer meat sent Sammy Sosa and Clint Barmes down, respectfully.
Zumaya has only managed to throw 126.1 innings in the four years since then recording a 3.78 ERA due to injuries. He missed all of 2011. Somewhere, Eric Clapton’s guitar gently weeps for Zumaya’s elbow. I don’t care what you think, that was a clever reference.
Anyway, the fine people at Lego rebuilt Zumaya’s arm and he recently threw for a bunch of scouts. From like every team, you guys. The Angels were there…
The Angels had scouts present during what was deemed to be a successful showcase by Zumaya last Wednesday, when the former Tigers reliever threw in front of an estimated 50 evaluators in Houston. One attendee told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network that Zumaya threw his fastball from 93-96 mph, sported a decent curveball and had good command.
Zumaya, much like myself, would probably be thrilled with just a major league deal. Zumaya will most likely end up with one and I’ll end up watching another marathon of Storage Wars.
Should the Angels gamble on Zumaya? I’d rather have the Angels do that than give a mulit-year deal to Francisco Cordero. Relief pitchers come from somewhere. The Angels should be able to grow their own.