DETROIT -- Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya will undergo season-ending surgery to his throwing elbow, the club announced Monday. A screw will be inserted into Zumaya's elbow to stabilize the olecranon fracture he suffered on June 28.
Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said the surgery won't affect the timetable surrounding Zumaya's return, which is still expected to be at the start of next Spring Training. The operation will be performed by Dr. Stephen Lemos at the Detroit Medical Center on July 12.
"There are plenty of pitchers that have had this procedure done and are still pitching, and have pitched without any incidents," Rand said. "The most important thing is to make him as strong as possible to resume his pitching career. This is the way for him to be as strong as possible."
Although Zumaya will miss the rest of the season, his elbow injury could have been much worse if there would have been ligament damage. Luckily, scans showed the ligaments were still intact.
"I think we got the best of the worst news when we found out what it was," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It wasn't ligaments all torn up and everything. We got the best worst news you can get."
-- Alex DiFilippo
Leyland understands Bonderman's frustration
DETROIT -- A day later, manager Jim Leyland still had a mix of frustration and sympathy for Jeremy Bonderman, after his Sunday afternoon debacle on the mound. On one hand, Leyland said it was a game the Tigers had a chance to take back if they could've limited the damage after a three-run homer, but Bonderman let his emotions get the better of him.
On the other hand, the way some of the umpiring went, Leyland had a hard time blaming Bonderman for getting emotional.
"Bonderman lost his composure a little bit," Leyland said. "He was ticked off, but I don't blame him. Some of that was ridiculous. I don't want to get into it, because I don't get on the umpires in the paper. But I couldn't blame him for being frustrated.
"That one pitch was right down the middle of the plate. That was the big inning they had. It was right, center cut. I don't know how you miss the pitch. I'm talking right down the middle."
It was part of a rough afternoon for home-plate umpire CB Bucknor, who ejected Bonderman and catcher Gerald Laird for arguing balls and strikes. He later made a punchout motion on strike two to Johnny Damon.
It was another chapter in a bizarre season for Tigers dealings with umpires. Jim Joyce's blown call at first base in what would've been a perfect game for Armando Galarraga was the start of it, but Leyland was more frustrated after Gary Cederstrom's called third strike on a pitch outside to Damon turned what would've been a game-tying walk at Atlanta into a game-ending strikeout.
"It was frustrating," Leyland said of Sunday's issues. "I normally don't defend that stuff, but I couldn't blame them yesterday. The only reason I didn't get thrown out was because it was so bad and I didn't want to look like it was sour grapes."
-- Jason Beck
Vasquez headlines Tigers' international trio
DETROIT -- The Tigers don't usually get into bidding wars during the international amateur signing period each summer, preferring to spread out their money among several lesser-publicized talents that they scout. In the case of Venezuelan teenager Danry Vasquez, however, they feel like they've found a special talent.
Vasquez was the biggest of three signings the Tigers made last week, when the signing period for international amateurs opened. The Tigers scouted the lanky outfielder for more than a year and had targeted him as soon as he became eligible, but several other clubs picked up their interest as his talent drew more attention. Baseball America speculated that Vasquez could draw as much as a $1 million signing bonus, though the Tigers aren't talking about dollar figures.
Even if it that is the figure, it's the going rate for top players in Latin America -- an area the Tigers do not go into often.
"He's a guy who's been on our radar for some time," Tigers international operations director Tom Moore said.
The 16-year-old Vasquez is listed as 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, but the Tigers project him to fill out as he gets into the developmental system and begins working out. His bat, according to Moore, projects to gain more power as he matures.
"He may appear skinny, but the way he handles the bat, he already has thunder in the bat," Moore said.
Moore traveled to Venezuela to finalize the signing. Area scout Oscar Garcia had been tracking Vasquez, along with Venezuelan supervisor Pedro Chavez. Vasquez will report to the team's Venezuelan academy and work out with their summer league team before hitting game action in the Parallel League, a minor league to the Venezuelan Winter League.
The Tigers also signed Vijandrick Jacobs, a left-handed pitcher out of Aruba with power potential. Though Jacobs stands at 5-foot-10, his 185-pound frame and strong legs allow him to pitch with authority. Detroit also signed Dominican right-hander Fernando Chalas, a 6-foot-2 16-year-old whose loose arm gives him "a lot more fastball in the tank" to go with a good changeup, according to Moore.
-- Jason Beck
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Alex DiFilippo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.