Monday, January 16, 2012

The Joel Zumaya lottery ticket

Joel Zumaya fractured his elbow
throwing a pitch against
the Twins in 2010. He has
since had two surgeries on the
damaged joint.
The Twins have reportedly reached an incentive-laden contract agreement with Joel Zumaya.

You wanted a power arm in the Minnesota bullpen? Now, THAT's a power arm.

The problem, of course, is that Zoom-Zoom was only available-available because he's frequently hurt-hurt. He didn't pitch at all last year, and he hasn't thrown even 40 innings in any season since his rookie year of 2006.

A 100-mph fastball does nobody any good if its possessor can't take the hill.

Still, buying this particular lottery ticket is a good risk. It's a relatively low risk deal -- according to the StarTribune, while Zumaya gets a spot on the 40-man roster, the contract itself is not guaranteed -- and it's a potentially significant payoff if it hits. (The deal itself is not official until Zumaya passes a physical, which in itself may prove a hurdle.)

A healthy Zumaya, if there is such a thing, would give the Twins a first-rate right-handed power arm to pair with Glen Perkins get out of late-inning jams and set up Matt Capps.

The attached photo comes from the last game Zumaya pitched, which prompted part of this post

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