The last time Joel Zumaya threw a baseball in a game that mattered was June 28, 2010. Given his injury over the weekend, if he does so again, it won’t be until 2013 at the earliest. Facing yet another rehab has to seem horrifying to the guy, so it would be totally understandable if he just decided to hang it up.
But he hasn’t figured that out yet. He told reporters this morning that he’s still thinking about it and that it’s a family decision. He’ll talk with other pitchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery to see what’s what.
Some guys are just snake bit. It’s a shame that a pitcher as fun to watch as Zumaya is one of them.
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.