Minnesota, we have a problem. 

With just ten days before their first spring training game of the year, the Minnesota Twins have already encountered a major issue:  Joel Zumaya is injured.

After throwing this morning, Zumaya experienced discomfort in his throwing arm, according the CBS’s Jon Heyman. ESPN’s Phil Mackey later confirmed that Zumaya was bothered in his right arm and will get an MRI either tomorrow or Monday morning. 

The Twins signed Zumaya to a one-year deal just over a month ago and an injury to his arm is the last thing they wanted to see. After appearing in 62 games for the Tigers in 2006, Zumaya has failed to appear in more than 31 games since then, primarily due to injuries.

In 2007, he missed 96 games after getting surgery on a ruptured tendon in his middle finger. Then in 2008, he missed 72 games after right shoulder surgery. A stress fracture later that season cost him another 41 games.

Zumaya missed 74 games in 2009 with another shoulder surgery. Two elbow surgeries over the last two seasons have kept him out of over 200 games, including all of last season.

The addition of Zumaya to the Twins’ bullpen was thought to be a good move if he could stay healthy, which doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. As of now, Minnesota has only a few quality relievers in their bullpen, with Matt Capps as their closer. Long-time closer Joe Nathan is now with the Texas Ranger and won’t be there to aid the struggling bullpen.

Having five surgeries on his right arm over the last five seasons is not what you want to see in a pitcher—and a sixth surgery may not be far off. Even at just 27, retirement may be the smartest course of action for the right-handed flame-thrower.

To say that the Twins are in trouble before their first spring training game is an understatement.

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