In ‘water is wet, grass is green’ news: Joel Zumaya Injured Again

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Joel Zumaya throws a pitch during a baseball spring training workout Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP photo/Daylife.com)

As was reported by various news outlets, former Tiger Joel Zumaya suffered a season-ending elbow injury. Zumaya, who hasn’t pitched since June of 2010, was hoping to resurrect his career with the rival Minnesota Twins after signing with them in the offseason.

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VMart’s (possibly) done for the season. What now?

my creys
photo by Alexandra Simon (AKA me)

Surely you’ve all heard the news by now. On the off chance you live under a rock, however: Victor Martinez suffers knee injury, likely out for 2012

Semi-relatedly, a potential VMart replacement target in Carlos Peña just signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Dombrowski has time, resources, and options, and it seems like he’s going to explore all those options before making a decision. Some fans hammer him for being too deliberate and thorough, but at this point in his tenure, I think it’s safe to trust he’ll make the decision that’s best for the team in the short- and long-term.

Thank you, Maggs.

When Magglio Ordoñez signed with the Detroit Tigers during the winter of 2004, the skeptics shook their heads and wondered what the Tigers were thinking. Ordoñez was coming off a devastating knee injury and experimental surgery, and no one knew how he would respond to the treatment. Understandably, the rival Chicago White Sox did not want to take any risks with Ordoñez or his injured knee, and were willing to let their star slugger walk. At the time, the signing of Ordoñez was seen as a somewhat desperate move by a once-formidable team struggling to rebuild its legacy and reputation by taking on another team’s discarded junk.

The 2005 season was pretty much a wash for Ordoñez and the Tigers, as he missed significant time due to a sports hernia. Ordoñez had only 46 at bats total in the first half of the 2005 season. Predictably, the Tigers struggled and limped to the finish line, unable to improve on their 2004 season.

2006 was different though. Ordoñez was finally healthy, and so were the Tigers. He showed glimpses of his younger self, belting 24 homeruns and driving in 104. The Tigers were the best team in baseball for much of the season and made the playoffs that year, despite a six-game losing streak to end the season.

We all know what happened next.

Ordoñez helped give the Tigers legitimacy after nearly a decade and a half of embarrassment and failure. His walk-off homerun in Game Four of the ALCS might have done more for the city of Detroit than any of us could have imagined. It gave us hope—if the Tigers can rise from the ashes, maybe the city of Detroit can, too—and lifted a team and its city.

You wouldn’t find much of an argument amongst Tigers fans these days if you said Ordoñez was washed up, or headed for retirement. He had a difficult, injury ridden season—two of them in a row, in fact—along with a 2009 season that was tough both professionally and personally. Ordoñez even contemplated retirement before discussing his options with his family and deciding against it. It seems like he made the right decision, as he was hitting .294 and improved his OPS by 87 points in the second half. (Granted, a .678 OPS is nothing to shake a stick at, but it is still a vast improvement over the .591 he put up in the first half on a balky ankle with absolutely no power.)

Unfortunately, his season—and maybe even his career—might be done. If this truly is the end of the line for Ordoñez in Detroit, thanks for everything. I wish you nothing but the best wherever you end up, whether it’s retirement or another organization.

Thank you, Maggs.

We’ll always have 2006.

(Disclaimer: A lot of this is recounted from memory (minus the stats) so I might be off on some of my recollections. Apologies.)

Links roundup for 7/27/2011:

  • One mistake costs Scherzer, Tigers. And a whole lot of faily at bats with runners in scoring position, looks like.
  • Juan Pierre looks up to Darryl Cousins for mercy and finds none. Darryl Cousins is a cruel tormentor of men’s souls, and also his strikezone is inconsistent, at best.
  • Ryan Raburn, month-by-month. The fact that people are so desperate to get him off the team at the deadline and for next to nothing simply because they want him gone amazes me. Can we just not play him in May? That seems doable. Or maybe we could revisit my Raburn/Boesch Frankenstein’s monster idea.
  • Dave Dombrowski looks like a bumblebee. Oh yeah, something about Ilitch’s desire for a championship yadda yadda bork LOOK AT DAVE DOMBROWSKI’S SHIRTS!!! THE STRIPES!!!!
  • ALL IS DOOM! ALL IS DOOM! Alburquerque unavailable, to be checked out Thursday. ;____; If those people crowing “Alberto Zumaya!!!” would kindly shut up now, that would be nice.
  • Everyone’s favorite whipping boy had a big night in Toledo, feasting on AAA pitching. I’m surprised there weren’t unironic calls to #freebrandoninge after that game.
  • Get the latest news on trade deadline rumors and deals. Oh, hey, Edwin Jackson is on his seventh team in … five years, is it?

  • Detroit Tigers rumors over yonder at MLBTR. Hopefully this Tigers-related radio silence means DD has something big up his sleeve?

  • Why You Should Stop Trusting Twitter. Hilarious and alarming.
  • Zubazpalooza is coming to Comerica Park on Sunday! What is Zubazpalooza? Well, you get a ticket to a pre-game party and … these pants. Yeah, I have no idea what the heck this is. Who would wear these pants, besides a rapper from the ’90s?

    Also, in case you didn’t notice, CatsWithBats has a new header and blog title! :D

    ***

    The MudHens’ game is still going on just went final while I was typing this up, but Andy Oliver turned in 7.1 innings of decent ball. He held the Norfolk Tides to three runs on three hits, with seven strikeouts and three walks. It’ll be interesting to see if any scouts were there specifically to watch Oliver and what they thought about his performance.

    After Oliver was pulled, Lester Oliveros came in and promptly blew the lead. Norfolk wins 5-4.

    ***

    Tigers lost a close one 2-1 to the White Sox. I didn’t see it as I slept through most of the game, save the first minute or so. Sounds like they were overswinging, perhaps to overcompensate for the fact they haven’t been hitting for much power in this series? Whatever the case, Leyland sounded miffed.

    Also, they wasted an Austin Jackson homerun, for Paws’ sake. How often do those come around? You have to capitalize on those!

    ***

    ETA:

    I can’t believe I forgot to mention that Cleveland got no hit by Ervin Santana! I believe this was the first no hitter ever at the Jake.

    Cleveland actually was winning that game until the fifth inning too, thanks to an Erick Aybar error and a wild pitch.

    It was Anaheim’s first complete game no hitter since Mike Witt threw a perfect game in 1984 (Mark Langston and Mike Witt tossed a combined no hitter in 1990). It was the first no hitter that wasn’t a shut out since Darryl Kile’s 7-1 no hitter in 1993.

  • Justin Verlander is a god amongst mere mortals, Tip a Tiger, and OLIVEROSWTFBBQ

    Justin Verlander ~*~*labored*~*~ through seven innings– and still managed to nab a quality start and a victory. He’s now 11-3, with a stellar 2.32 ERA and a miniscule 0.86 WHIP. What’s left to say about Verlander that hasn’t already been said? I’d say he’s a god amongst mere mortals, but I said that about him after his last start.

    The Tigers took part in the Tip a Tiger event at CJ Mahoney’s Sports Grille in Troy tonight. Alex Avila, Kristina Avila, Phil Coke, Bobbie Brough (Coke’s fiancée), and Brennan Boesch were all celebrity waitstaff, apparently.

    I am ANGAR I didn’t find out about this until 10:30 pm. Until next year, Tip a Tiger. Until next year.

    OLIVEROSWTFBBQ! Lester Oliveros is being recalled from Toledo and Chance Ruffin is being recalled from Erie to take his place on the AAA team. No word on the Tigers’ corresponding move, but there’s speculation that someone will be going on the DL. It’s possible a trade is in the works or someone is being swapped out for Oliveros, but that doesn’t seem very likely at this point. Spit it out, Internets! Check out Tigers Amateur Analysis and Bless You Boys for up-to-date news.

    ETA

    Looks like Al Alburquerque is indeed going on the DL with elbow inflammation. (h/t Jon Morosi)

    **

    I have some more to say about the Phil Coke in the Starting Rotation Experiment, but I’ll save that for later.

    Oh, I forgot about this thing.

    So, a lot’s happened in Tigerland. Most of it has to do with Zumaya and his bi-monthly trips to the disabled list. The good news is that he’s hoping to get back sometime this season. The bad news is, obviously, he’s hurt. This leaves the Tigers to consider their options: do they go after an arm at the deadline? Hope Jeremy Bonderman can be that boost to the relief corps? Or pray to the baseball gods that Zumaya’s body parts stay attached at least until the end of October?

    We shall see.

    Oh yeah, I was also working on a Tigers/White Sox version of Romeo and Juliet, but I could only get through the prologue before I got bored and gave up. Alas. Maybe some other time you’ll get to see A.J. Pierzynski and Justin Verlander swordfight.