Tigers Need Zumaya To Setup Now, But Start Later
Zumaya is much more capable of handling the setup role than Fernando Rodney. Rodney has good "stuff" when he is right, but he isn’t right that often. Nagging injuries always seem to be a problem. And his "stuff" isn’t as good as that of Zumaya..
There is also a charismatic element to Zumaya. When he comes out of the bullpen, especially at home and they play "Voodoo Child" at Comerica Park, it brings a sense of excitement. When Rodney is coming out of the ‘pen, it brings a feeling of, "Here we go again."
But is Zumaya completely healthy? Seems that way. Can stay healthy? That’s another issue.
Also, I think the Tigers need to make a decision on whether Zumaya - long-term - is a reliever or a starter. I found it curious they drafted two college closers so early in the draft.
Zumaya has more than just a great fastball. He also has an above-average breaking ball and change. He has the makings of an exceptional starting pitcher, which is baseball’s most-valued commodity. Remember, he was a starter in the minor leagues.
Starting would also put Zumaya on a set routine, which might settle down his health issues.
But that would be for the future. Currently, the Tigers need him desperately to fill the setup role as he did in 2006.