Between Guitar Hero and the San Diego wild fires, there haven’t been many pitchers more snakebit than Joel Zumaya has been these past few years. But that’s all behind him now, he tells The Detroit News’ Lynn Henning. He’s been training in Florida since the beginning of January and . . . dare we say it?
“That’s why I left my baby son and my wife, because I felt like I
hadn’t given this team enough the past three seasons, and with the
expectations, I want to make this season the best possible year for me
and for this team. I didn’t want to go back (to California) during the off-season and lay
down in a chair. I just want to be on this team. I want to make this
team, if it’s as a set-up man, a closer, or long relief. I’m feeling great, the best I have in the last 2 1/2 years. I have nothing bothering me.”
He says he understands why Detroit brought in Jose Valverde, but he sees himself closing games again soon. Henning notes that he’s been throwing 55-60 pitches during his training outings, suggesting that Zumaya might return to starting again. Hey, if Kyle Farnsworth can do it . . .
Fantasies aside, Tigers fans have to like hearing all of that eagerness and hope from Zumaya. The team has a lot of arms hanging around camp this year and could
conceivably get by without Zumaya. But life would be so much easier for
them — and more fun, given his velocity — if Zumaya is truly healthy