Tigers' Zumaya Shut Down With Elbow Pain

In what probably ranks as the least shocking news out of spring training so far, Joel Zumaya is hurting again.

From Tom Gage (via the Detroit News):

There's never just smoke with a Joel Zumaya injury. There's always fire.

And there appears to be again.

Zumaya's elbow soreness required an independent examination Monday.

"We'll have specifics (Tuesday)," trainer Kevin Rand said. "He was followed up on (by outside doctors)."

It's been eight days since Zumaya last pitched, and almost a week since the Tigers disclosed that he felt some soreness in the right elbow that was operated on last year.

Since zooming through the sky like a doomed meteor in 2006 with all those triple-digit fastballs and 1.94 ERA in 2006, Zumaya has suffered a variety of injuries and averaged 32 innings per season.

Most recently, Zumaya went through a real scare last season when a bone in his elbow broke. But the surgery was deemed "successful" and he reported to camp last month without any pain at all. Until last week, anyway.

There are reasons for optimism. One, to this point nobody's seen anything wrong with Zumaya's elbow except the soreness that might expected after the surgery he had last year. And two, when Zumaya has been able to pitch in recent seasons, he's essentially thrown as hard as ever, his fastball averaging in the high 90s.

What's always concerned me, since the first time I saw Zumaya on TV, is that perhaps pitchers just aren't supposed to throw that hard without breaking something. Not many of them, anyway. And it sure hasn't seemed like Zumaya's an exception to the rule.

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