I was under the impression that an important step in Joel Zumaya's rehabilitation was being able to pitch in back-to-back games before returning to the majors. After one inning of work last night with Triple-A Toledo, in which he struck out two batters and gave up an unearned run on two hits, the Tigers decided that Zumaya wouldn't pitch in the Mud Hens' game this afternoon, preferring him to throw a bullpen session instead. If all goes well, Zumaya will presumably proceed as planned and join the Tigers in San Diego this weekend.
My immediate thought was that maybe Detroit wanted Zumaya with the big league club sooner after Fernando Rodney's disastrous eighth inning last night against the Giants. But rationality came to me a few seconds later with the realization that the Tigers probably didn't want Zumaya to have to pitch in a day game right after throwing the night before. Today's Mud Hens game started at noon.
In other rehab assignments, Gary Sheffield played designated hitter with Single-A Lakeland last night. Batting third for the Flying Tigers, Sheffield went 0-for-2, with one walk and one run scored.
UPDATE: According to Joe Vardon of the Toledo Blade, Zumaya is already on his way to San Diego. After throwing a 14-pitch bullpen session, Zumaya showered, left the ballpark, and told reporters he was leaving on a jet plane.
On his way from the clubhouse, Zumaya told The Blade the Tigers "gave me the call and told me to meet them in San Diego." Zumaya, who is originally from southern California, said he was on his way to the airport.