MRI reveals torn UCL in Joel Zumaya’s right elbow

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Bad news for Twins right-hander Joel Zumaya.

According to Phil Mackey of the Twin Cities’ ESPN 1500 AM, an MRI of the 27-year-old’s right elbow has revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Zumaya is done for the season, and could decide to hang up his cleats for good given the amount of arm troubles he’s already had in his young career. UCL tears are repaired through Tommy John surgery.

Zumaya signed a one-year, $850,000 major league contract with Minnesota in mid-January. The Twins will only be on the hook for $400,000 of that if they decide to go ahead and release him.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Zumaya, who was once considered an elite setup man.

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UPDATE, 1:31 PM: Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated reports that Zumaya will be consulting Dr. James Andrews soon and is likely to require Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

Justin Verlander named 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner

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Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.

Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.

During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).

2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.

Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.