Red Sox, Padres “pushing hard” for reliever Joel Zumaya

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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.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.