Free agent reliever Joel Zumaya worked out in front of 50 scouts from 20 different MLB teams last month.
And he clearly made a positive impression.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox and Padres are among a group of major league clubs “pushing hard” to sign Zumaya.
The 27-year-old right-hander missed all of the 2011 campaign due to major elbow surgery and hasn’t pitched more than 39 innings in a season since his rookie year in 2006, but reports had him hitting the mid-90s with his fastball in that December workout. He could be a real asset as a middle reliever or setup man if health is finally on his side.
Zumaya boasts a superb 3.05 career ERA and 9.0 career K/9. His fastball averaged 99.3 mph in 2010.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: