Joel Zumaya thinks he will be with the team Opening Day, ready to pitch. The Tigers are not so sure about it.
Apparently, he has a "hanging" bone in his right shoulder that often requires arthroscopic surgery. After meeting with Dr. Andrews in Birmingham, AL, Zumaya decided not to have the surgery because Andrews told him a lot of NFL quarterbacks remain effective with the injury.
Zumaya has thrown a football before throwing baseballs and says his shoulder feels good enough for him to be ready by opening day and fight for the closer's role. Dave Dombrowski said that if he was sure about Zumaya then they would have never needed to sign Lyon. They signed Lyon.
Also, being an NFL QB is a little different than being a MLB pitcher. First of all, NFL quarterbacks make a maximum 50 throws a game, a lot of those being touch passes. An MLB pitcher uses a somewhat more erratic motion at full force all the time. Also, by the end of an outing, a reliever can have thrown upwards to 60-70 pitches. Not to mention a baseball season is a lot longer than an NFL season.
At any rate, Zumaya thinks he'll be just fine and will fight Lyon for the closer's role:
"I have a lot of respect for Brandon Lyon," Zumaya said. "He'll be a major help for our bullpen. But I'm still going to go out there and fight for that closer spot.
"I know I haven't been the healthiest the last couple of years. But I'm only 24 years old. I haven't lost anything. I haven't lost any velocity. I want all the fans to know that."
I guess we'll just have to hope and see.