There I said it.
Sure, we knew Joel Zumaya was going to suffer an injury this season. You can pretty much plan on that.
But, how severe would it be?
We got our answer on Tuesday. Damn.
Zumaya finally returned to his dominant form this season. It was particularly satisfying given all the work he put in rehabbing.
His big chin scruff, flame-inked arm and passion for throwing just as hard as he worked made Joel a fan favorite despite so many setbacks; despite so many high expectations and excruciating busts.
As the Tigers regroup from poor showings on the road in New York, Atlanta and Minneapolis, the new question is how to proceed.
The bullpen has some good arms, but none that specialize in setting up Papa Grande.
It felt like Zumaya was a big part of the Tigers’ success so far. His return to form complemented Valverde’s late game excellence and gave players some confidence and swagger.
After four long seasons of ups and downs, perhaps it’s time to find a permanent replacement. I hope the search is on.
In the immediate future, the rest of the Tigers can use home series against the Mariners and O’s to get back on track before facing the Twins yet again.
It could prove a good opportunity to find our new swagger man in the bullpen.
About the Author
Written by Shane Liebler
Detroit native, Syracuse enthusiast, St. Bonaventure graduate, former reporter, higher editor @ SUNY Oswego.