5 little known facts (and a couple videos) about Twins' Joel Zumaya

It leaked earlier today that the Twins have signed Joel Zumaya to a non-guaranteed one year major league contract that will pay him a minimum of $800,000 and a maximum of $1.7 million if he reaches incentives based on appearances, pending a physical that will take place the coming Thursday or Friday. A non-guaranteed MLB contract works pretty much like this: The player is added to the 40-man roster and the team has until the end of Spring Training to decide whether or not to keep him. If the do not keep him, he is a free agent and allowed to sign any type of contract with any team (including a minor league contract with the team that cut him.) I do like this signing for a lot of reasons, especially the huge upside and the absolute zero risk for the Twins. But I am not going to get much into numbers or details, but instead I will present 5 little known facts and a couple videos about Joel Zumaya:

  • His full name is Joel Martin Zumaya and he was born in California (Chula Vista, which is dead smack on the Mexican border - his family hails from Mexico- south of San Diego, the other side of Tijuana, and grew up a Padres' fan.), but his nickname has been Joel "Zoom zoom" Zumaya. And he turned 27 last November 9th. His father's name is also Joel (his mother's is Yvonne) so he could have been a "Junior".

  • His fastball topped out at 104.8 mph when cameras were introduced to measure velocity in Pitch fx. His highest stadium gun recorded pitch was an 104 mph pitch thrown against Twins' Nick Punto in Comerica Park on August 7th 2006.

  • Zumaya has been injury-prone, but his biggest injury was when sidelined in the 2006 ALCS with a sore wrist, apparently caused by playing Guitar Hero

  • In the past, Zumaya used to subsribe to the Miguel Cabrera lifestyle. Hope these days are over. Here is Zumaya's video response at The Detroit News about Cabrera's issues (at the 1:33 mark.)

  • Zumaya has been wearing uniform number 54. This number has been (sort of) claimed by Phil Dumatrait for the Twins for the time being, and up until recently it belong to Matt Guerrier.

Zumaya apparently has made at least one TV ad, and not for Mazda (Zoom Zoom, that's coming next) :

and that injury has not discouraged him from playing Guitar Hero:

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