Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/28/12
The Minnesota Twins officially released injured pitcher Joel Zumaya on Wednesday. Zumaya was already going to miss the entire 2012 season after suffering a season-ending elbow injury in spring training. The Twins acquired Zumaya this offseason with the hope that he could be a valid right-handed option in the late innings to compliment left-handed setup man Glen Perkins and closer Matt Capps. But Zumaya's season with Minnesota was over before it started, as Zumaya injured his arm early in spring training in Fort Myers. Zumaya will have Tommy John surgery on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery. Zumaya, 27, missed all of 2011 after suffering a season-ending arm injury in 2010 with the Detroit Tigers in a game against the Twins. He appeared in 31 games that season before the injury, posting a 2.58 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. During his time with the Tigers, Zumaya was able to hit triple digits on the radar gun and struck out 97 batters in 83 13 innings during his impressive rookie year in 2006. But after numerous arm injuries during his five-year career, Zumaya will have a tough road back if he chooses to return after Tommy John surgery. "As I told him when it happened, he's going to sit down and talk about it with his family and make a decision on what he wants to do. I support him either way," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Zumaya earlier this spring. "We had an opportunity to meet this young man. He's a nice, young man. It's sad we're not going to have him on our ballclub this year. I was looking forward to that. If he wants to continue to try to play and get this done, I'm all for it. That's great." By released Zumaya, the Twins now have 38 players on the 40-man roster. The other spot was vacated when Minnesota send Rule 5 draft pick Terry Doyle back to the Chicago White Sox last week.
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