Zumaya Injury

Anybody see the Highlights of Zumaya Blowin’ his elbow out? Looked pretty painful. I wasn’t surprised that it happened but I hope he fixes the timing of his arm up at footstrike. He’s been going on the DL for the past three years because of arm problems and he’s throwing from the Bullpen!

He’s gotta have a flaw in his delivery that some of the harder starting pitchers don’t have. Like his teammate Justin verlander.

There are only a few people in the world that are scientifically qualified to even make a forecast of arm trouble much less predict it outright. I just accept the fact that the human arm wasn’t designed to throw a baseball at speeds of 100 mph without breaking down either over time or catastrophically.

For instance, J R Richard of the Houston Astros threw as hard as anyone I’ve seen. He had arm trouble…turned out to be a blood clot and then a stroke. Check it out…

…Name the next arm injury to occur and within the timespan of say… a month?

I think there is no argument about throwing a baseball overhand is unnatural.

Though I think there are certain things that you can do that put more stress (unnecessary stress) on the arm.

Here is a video of Don Cooper the Pitching Coach of the Chicago White Sox stating his belief of pitching mechanics leading to injury:

Now back to Zumaya, I’m not surprised he injured himself. I actually expected it not just based on his history but his delivery is very bad on his arm. He is notoriously late when getting his arm up at foot strike which puts unnecessary stress on his arm.

Now I doubt anybody can say exactly when somebody will break down but I believe you can make a likelihood of getting injured statement for somebody within a certain time frame. Which could determine for GM’s whether the pitcher is worth a long term deal or not.

Right now scout’s and GM’s say that size is a factor into it and but why is it that 6 foot plus guys are the majority of players getting injured. Well obviously because there are more 6’+ guys in the major leagues but compared to the smaller pitchers I don’t see them breaking down as much or at all. I would argue that the delivery is the main indicator of risk of injury, not size.

I honestly was calling him a baby when I saw it happen because I have torn my ucl and it really wasnt painful until I tried to throw with it injured, however, I juust found out that he fractured his elbow. :shock:

One of my teammates did the exact same thing, so when it happened to Zumaya I knew what it was. A thing like that is downright scary. I almost had to close my eyes when I saw it on sportscenter

Bro, Hoysauce…the same thing that happened to him, happened to me.
Its painful. You cant even raise your arm. You cant even make your arm straight.

The exact same thing, a olecranon fracture in the elbow. I feel for the guy.
But I know he will work his but off to get back, he is going to probably need surgery with a screw put in. Its amazing because its the exact same injury that happened to me, and its not a common injury in pitchers.

My prayers go out to him on a speedy recovery…

I follow the logic…I understand the theory…I still don’t see anyone putting a name out there and attaching a specific injury to it within a certain reasonable timeframe…

It’s always , “well you know that delivery is going to kill his arm.”

And I don’t share the conviction that GM’s shy away from pitcher’s with deliveries that “put stress on the arm.” It’s about whether they get batters out or not. The salary is just an after thought. Zumaya’s salary for the 2010 year is $915,000 according to ESPN.go.com. He was an 11th round draft pick with 319 guys picked before him.

Year-By-Year Salary
Contract Year Salary Contract Year Salary
2006 $327,000 2007 $410,000
2008 $420,000 2009 $735,000
2010 $915,000

The Detroit Tigers team is currently valued at around 400 million dollars. I don’t think MLB teams use the science of mechanical analysis like insurance companies use actuarial sciences to determine premiums. Zumaya’s salary is a drop in the bucket.

Don Cooper actually seems to contradict himself in my opinion. He claims you can “maximize their ability…maximize their strength, their fastballs, their pitches.” “And two and probably more important for parents…is you are going to minimize the chances of injury.” Sounds like a sales pitch to me.

Now lets apply this to Zumaya…if indeed he has been performing with mechanics that enhanced his chances of injury…then by Don Cooper’s standard he could have learned proper mechanics that would have made him stronger, had him throwing faster and better pitches. Duh? I see an AFLAC duck in my midst…

“Johnny Jones is doing something wrong that’s putting stress and pressure on certain parts of his arm”…like…maybe throwing a 100 mph fastball???

And…if we just listen to Don Cooper and go to his pitching camp…our son will be able to stay in the game.

Don’t get me wrong. I adhere to a belief that there are good sound fundamental pitching mechanics that are time proven. There are good instructors out there and they will tell you not only how to make a good technical delivery but how to keep your body in shape, your shoulder and elbow strong and your mental game sharp. But I hate to see any one pitcher held up as an example of how not to do it just because he had a tragic injury because there is only one person who knows why that elbow snapped and it’s not Don Cooper.

Here it is…really looked like nothing out of the normal…


I feel his agony…
Daggone shame, whats the message?
Woulda, shoulda, coulda…I hope the kid works his way back.
Anytime someone like this get’s hurt it seems someone says “ah ha” “See…like I was sayin”…if he’d had just done this…he’d be better than the best and faster than the fast.
Shut up and put another like the guy in the same spot.
Well all believe we know better but not one of us here has ever delivered the ball at that velo…most except perhaps Steven haven’t seen up close a guy hit 100…I mean on a day to day stand next to him in the pen and see how it’s done basis.
I don’t see an answer…Joel…it’s a shame he was so severely injured. We just have to deal with each pitcher on an individual basis and wish them the best after preparing them the best we know how.

The word is that Zumaya is out for the rest of the season and will have to have surgery to repair the fractured elbow. After that, who knows? How long will it be before he’s able to pitch again—if ever?
I will never understand why so many coaches insist that pitchers throw over the top like that. The straight overhand delivery is the most unnatural of the lot, as someone else pointed out, and when you couple that with supersonic speeds—that way lies disaster. Pitchers who can use different deliveries at different times, like the 3/4 high and low and the sidearm, are at much less risk—I remember Allie Reynolds used to do that, and his fast ball was clocked at better than 100 miles an hour He never had arm problems; he was forced to retire earlier than he should have because of a bus accident that screwed up his back.
My advice to all pitchers, young and old, is don’t listen to those coaches who say “my way or the highway”. Take the highway, and find a pitching coach who will work with what you have and help you make the most of it. 8)

When it comes to signing players they are getting a shot to play, even if they can get outs if they have an more than normal stressful delivery then that player is no good once they break down. Brandon Webb for example among more I can list.

I guess this is one of those “who’s side of perspective are you on”. This is my perspective on that statement - if you throw in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes efficiency you will reach your maximum ability to pitch not only effectively but you wont break down as much as somebody like Zumaya, Webb, Peavy, John Lackey. That doesn’t guarantee you perfect health because life in general doesn’t give you that guarantee.

Its a statement and act that is based on pitchers with longevity. You’ll always have exceptions but the exceptions are not the majority so I wouldn’t bank on being in that group.

As far as Don Cooper’s standards improving Zumaya, first of all he is talking to a group of people who are learning. They don’t know the pro technique of throwing a baseball, Zumaya is at that level though he could take the advice from Don to throw with less stress to minimize the chances of injury.

Justin Verlander throws 100mph and has WAY more innings than Zumaya…You think that’s just by luck?

I understand your side of the debate. You believe that there is a right way to deliver the ball and there are wrong ways. The right way will give you the most chance of staying injury free. The wrong ways expose you to unecessary risk. Verlander…is the right way. Zumaya…one of the wrong ways because of his footstrike timing.

I am suggesting that when discussing something as complex as the pitching delivery…does it make sense that the explanation is that simplistic? Couldn’t there be many things going on here? A perfect storm of variables that allowed his elbow to fracture.

What happens if next week…Verlander suffers an arm injury? Where does that leave your arguement? These guys are chucking the ball and creating ungodly forces inside the arm. As professionals…I assume they are doing everything in their power to stay healthy…their income depends on it. And I assume, the Tiger’s Pitching Coach, Rick Knapp is doing all he can to maximize his pitcher’s potentials. So can we really boil it all down to a mechanic flaw?

What about the guys who are willing to use HGH??? Or any other mitigator.

So, can you pick out the next bullpen guy that has bad mechanics that will be injured? And show me his counterpart in a starting rotation who will go injury free. That’s the kind of science I want to see…

I’m no psychic nor do I believe in them so I can’t predict when somebody will get injured.

I believe pitching is complex and anybody can have their own style. I also believe there are some universal actions that healthy pitchers do and pitchers who tend to have arm issues. And they don’t effect style.

The problem with Zumaya is he rotates his shoulders before his arm is up so it goes from a pause with his elbows bent at a 90 degree angle with his lower arm pointing to the ground. At this point the force from the torque is acting on his body and his lower arm has to rush to get up in time to deliver the ball.

So it goes from facing down to rushing to get back up then it lays back and the shoulder then has to be strong enough to put on the breaks so it doesn’t rip off and then bring it back forward for release. That just sounds stressful while typing this…

Vs just having his arm up in time and not using the rotational force to aid in bringing his arm up.

If he had it up before the shoulders rotate then the force on the arm happens later but because he is late the force on the arm starts earlier at the point where his arm has to catch up with the body. It takes a ton of strength to be able to handle that and still put the ball where you want and I believe that is why these types of pitchers break down faster and end up on the DL. They do more work than they have to with force applied to the arm longer than it should.

Other factors can go into injuries like landing on a stiff leg or not using your lower half into the delivery.

is it possible that pitchers can throw 90+ without maximizing the use of their legs? that could put a lot of stress on the arm and they could be perfectly on time with their arm at footstrike. I think so

So I do understand you’re point. HGH can keep guys from fatigue that obviously is cheating and not even scientists have a for sure way to detect it.

Though I also agree this topic is complex I do think there could be some middle ground on certain things that are universal in the delivery between guys who had longevity in their career in terms of health and those who had multiple injuries.

And just a comparison of Stats since 2006-present Zumaya has pitched 209 innings while being injured in each year since 2007.

Verlander from 2006-Present has pitched 932 innings with no major injury. and throws Upper 90s and can hit 100-101.

Now there has to be something Zumaya is doing wrong when you look at that.

What about the other intangiables that guys like O’Leary find negligable but every doctor tends to ask as a way of determining predeliction…personal medical history and family medical history. I would bet my pet Golden Retriever…(Maddux) that if a guy went to a doctor with a complaint of this nature an orthopedic specialist would ask those questions way…way before even talking about things like mechanics. How come they all of sudden move to the front of the line after the fact?
I mean judging by some of the numbskull injuries he’s suffered previously…my nose and amature detective skills would lead me toward poor work ethic/preparation priority…I mean hurting ones self playing Rock Band and helping someone move?? He makes how much money? Throwing at these crazy velo’s neglecting any aspect of proper arm care and maintenance can be completely catastrophic…what if he let his diet and conditioning lag due to groovey waves in Alcapulco over the winter…for just an example…and then came with that gas…one stinking small little thing like that…weakening that chain. Would it matter? Could it be the thing? I just don’t buy the stuff…he reached this level…you know he had to have mondo innings in HS and if he played college…any minor league activity…my definition of poor mechanics would never let him get to the point where he was the fastest…or one of the 5 fastest men alive…nope don’t add up.
I just don’t buy the fact that the bean counters are sooooo stupid. Poor work ethic doesn’t show up when the gun says triple digits…I mean what scout would even think a guy who could throw the flame like that would make idiotic conditioning/acitivity choices??

Yea it could be multiple things but looking at what we can, he looks like he puts a lot of unnecessary stress on his arm and I think the injuries of the past 4 years kinda proves that.

You would think after the second or third time he got injured he would set down his ego and try to get some help or a second opinion. No all he’s been doing is saying oh poor me I’m unlucky and just wait to heal up and try it again. Oops I’m back where I was before, gee I wonder why.

The guy who proportedly was the fastest guy of all time was an alcoholic and never pitched an inning in the bigs…Can’t remember his name but “as I understand it” he was a prospect in the early 60’s…pitched in the minors and drank himself out of the sport :shock: …even those blessed with talent aren’t prevented from being ignorant…looking at guys like Strawberry…guys like Steve Howe…even Zambrano…or even jumping sports to say the NBA or NFL??? You may get to this spot several more times before he’s completely done. I always just urge an intellectually honest approach and as I said, dealing with each pitcher individually…yes there are universal things in the art but I mean that Zumaya’s problems are not associated to the pupil in front of me today…I can learn lessons from him but as I said his physicallity has to be one of his assets not liabilities…you ain’t pushing up that third digit with deficient stuff.

I got little league elbow 3 years ago. Thought it was from over use of my pitching arm but when it still existed after taking a whole season off, I went to a guy around my house that examined pitching mechanics. I found out the reason that I had those arm problems was because I wasn’t getting my arm into the “Power L” position. That was putting too much stress on my arm. I then fixed that problem and haven’t had any pain since.

So to answer your question, Yes, mechanics do directly effect injuries.

I understand JD. And Honestly I think keeping players like him in the same path is good for somebody else. If I were a minor league pitcher looking to come up to the Bigs I’m looking forward to somebody getting injured or failing so I could get a shot to shine.

So I wouldn’t necessarily want somebody going around telling these guys to change what they do because I want that group of guys that teach these mechanics and pitchers who use them to continue practicing this.

It sounds mean but when it comes to makin it, guys will take it however they can.

Ain’t nothing wrong with speaking the hard fact of life in the bigs…somebody has to lose a shot for somebody to get a shot… :shock:
I just don’t think there was a “Coach Timmy” who said “Joel…buddy, you throw the mess this way and you break the century mark”…I personally think the Lord God, via the gene pool and the wonderful serendipity that brought the Mr. and Mrs. that made Joel together, is the deal with 100…that and a poopen boat load of hard work. I just think it more logical to see what things are in his past that hints to what happened and if it was mechs…I never heard it until people started mumbling when he hurt himself jammin on the video console.

tonyjh34…I respect your opinion on this and it’s all good that you put so much trust in proper mechanics, the way you view them…you gotta believe in something and I give you credit for stickin to your guns. But I picked the opposite side of this debate and I’ll throw one more log on the fire.

I remember seeing Zumaya at the Tigers AA Affiliate Seawolves…I think 2005…he was throwing 100 mph cheese. Now I sit there season after season and watch pitcher after pitcher and the average fastball is 91 mph. Plenty sit at 88 mph. And those guys also get hurt. Zumaya was drafted in 2002 and he has been throwing 100 mph ever since. That’s eight years of stress. Some guys can hack it…some guys can’t. A guy like Rapid Robert Feller (who could throw 100 mph) could hack it. Zumaya can’t. Verlander can. So far. I don’t know what to say…What good is it to claim this and that delivery technique will get you hurt…if you can’t show me an example before it happens?

I’m ready to put a fork in this because I’m certain it’s done. :stuck_out_tongue: