Bad news out of Tigers’ camp.
According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Joel Zumaya went for a second opinion on his surgically-repaired elbow earlier today.
Zumaya hasn’t pitched since scar tissue broke away from his elbow during his first Grapefruit League appearance last Sunday against the Blue Jays. The hard-throwing right-hander was originally expected to only miss a few days, but Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp told Steve Kornacki of MLive.com that the club recently sent him for an MRI.
“Nothing has shown up out of the ordinary on the tests,” Knapp said. “He went full-bore and had discomfort. It’s in the doctor’s hands now.
“He’s got hardware in his elbow and that can’t be good. But plenty of guys have come back from it. Joel has that high-torque delivery that generates so much stress. It’s an oddity. And when you suffer an injury, you always want to protect it.”
Constant injuries have limited Zumaya to just 126 1/3 innings since he posted a 1.94 ERA over 83 1/3 innings in his rookie season with the Tigers back in 2006. He’s proof positive that throwing hard can be both a blessing and a curse.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.