Joel Zumaya initially hoped to avoid surgery after gruesomely fracturing his elbow while throwing a pitch last week, but the Tigers announced today that he’ll go under the knife next Monday.
Here’s the latest from trainer Kevin Rand:
Joel’s going to undergo a procedure to have a screw put into his elbow to stabilize that olecranon fracture. It’s very, very common surgery, to be perfectly honest with you. It’s one, especially when we took a look at it with the olecranon fracture going through the bone, that it was probably the best option as far as stabilization and to strengthen that area for him to pitch in the future. You have plenty of pitchers that have had this procedure done that are still pitching and have pitched without any incident.
Zumaya and his triple-digit fastball have already survived multiple surgeries, but obviously he’s far from a sure thing to be ready for next season.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.