Sunday, January 31, 2010

Zumaya blazing again

Good news for Tigers fans. Fireballer Joel Zumaya is throwing like a fireballer again. The imposing right-hander has been working in Florida, looking to rebound from three consecutive injury-shortened seasons.
“I like what I’ve seen recently,” said Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp. “All the indications are that he’s healthy, that he feels good and strong, and that there’s not a weak link in his delivery.”
GM Dave Dombrowski added that “everything at this point is encouraging. Basically, he’s been cleared (to pitch) 100 percent. If he didn’t have an injury history, you’d say he’s ready to go."
Nothing can turn around a ballclub faster than an infusion of high heat. When healthy, Zumaya ranks with the top fireballers ever. That’s why I put him in the Top 12 in High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time.
Zumaya had 186 pitches clocked at or above 100 mph thrown, twice as many as the next highest total and achieved in only 31 innings, according to figures compiled by Nick Stamm of STATS, Inc. Detroit had three pitchers in the top eight with RHP Justin Verlander third with 33 and RHP Fernando Rodney tied for eighth with seven.

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