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Joel Zumaya calls it quits

Feb 7, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

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After repeatedly trying to come back from multiple right shoulder and elbow injuries, flamethrower Joel Zumaya is calling it quits as Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. Zumaya last pitched in 2010 with the Tigers. Since then, he has undergone elbow surgery three times and admirably attempted to work his way back each time. Ultimately, it was too much to ask.

Zumaya was fun to watch as he was one of the few relievers who could reliably hit 100 MPH. However, he suffered from control issues, walking 114 over 209 2/3 career innings of work. He had the potential to be one of baseball’s best relievers, but the baseball gods would not allow it.

  1. moseskkim - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    i remember i had him on the ps3 game long time ago. fireballer i relied on out of the ‘pen. sad to see you go man. best of luck in whatever u do!

    • frank433 - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      When I see stuff like this, I wonder why people don’t make comments like: “Pam Anderson looks so terrible in this photo, but I remember how much I used to masturbate to her in the 90’s”.

      • ingloriousbastardos - Feb 8, 2014 at 2:28 AM

        Oooo burnnnn. Frank clearly you are more of a Baywatch Nights fan. Actually jokes on you because that was a perfect post given we are discussing a pitcher who almost threw away his career because he played too much guitar hero in one night. In fact I would wager to say Zumaya is retiring because his character on The Show retired this year so he figured it was a good idea. And FYI- calling someone out for not being cool and then referencing rubbing one out on your couch to 90’s public television probably isn’t the best idea. Next time try to step up your smack talking difficult level in order to impress the French judges. I recommend a “your mom” joke or “I know you are but what am I”.

        And for what it’s worth– I pulled Zumaya off a minor league contract from the Tigers and he help the Phillies to consecutive undefeated seasons from 2011-2014. Cliff Lee had an ERA below 1.00, Cole Hamels led the league in K’s, and Ryan Howard hit 60+ home runs a season until I traded him for Buster Posey and Guillermo Wainright, the hottest rookie in the league.

    • mmeyer3387 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      I always enjoyed watching Zumaya when he was on top of his game. Best wishes, I guess it was not to be. I’ll always remember watching you strike out the side with 100 mph fire ball. Take care my friend.

  2. proudlycanadian - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    To me, this is sad news. He was fun to watch.

  3. undeadjesus - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Twins signed him a couple years ago and his elbow blew up like 15-20 throws into his first practice session. Thinking back to that…most Twins fans expected the guy to get injured at some point but it happening literally in the first practice with the team was a bit surprising. Perhaps a sign that he should have quit then, instead of trying for several more years.

  4. georgewashingtonsghost - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    At least he had ’06. He was a beast for the Tigers. It was “must see TV” when he came Into the game. At the time he was the only reliever hitting 100+ regularly. It was awesome. Fair winds and following seas, Zoom!

    • Glenn - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      Agreed. It is sad to see that much talent detroyed by injury.

  5. coalblack - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    He was an awful lot of fun to watch. He was a big part of that surprising 2006 team, along with Kenny Rogers and Pudge Rodriguez, among others. It’s too bad he won’t be back. It was horrible watching his arm blow out on that pitch a few years ago.

  6. philliesblow - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Sad, Zumaya was kind of this generation’s Fidrych for Tiger fans, a one year phenom done in by injury. Despite the blazing fastball, I always felt better when his first pitch was a curve because then I knew he was pitching and not throwing. Major League hitters can catch up to 103 MPH with no movement.

  7. fnc111 - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    So classless of the writer to only mention a negative stat of guy on the outs.

  8. zachcomtois - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Poor guy. Awful way to go down. Always liked watching him pitch.

  9. jrs45 - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Who cares he sucked!

  10. brewcrewchamps - Feb 8, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    I remember watching the game he first blew out his elbow on. My dad promptly said, “He’ll never be the same.”

  11. mightyoak - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Never seen this coming….

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