Twins release Joel Zumaya

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins released right-hander Joel Zumaya, the club announced Wednesday.

Zumaya tore his ulnar collateral ligament on Feb. 25 while throwing a live batting-practice session on a practice field at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Zumaya, 27, is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation in Pensacola.

It will be his third operation on his elbow, as he had surgery after fracturing his elbow while pitching for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010, and had follow-up surgery last year that forced him to miss the ’11 season.

It’s the latest setback for Zumaya, who has been through a plethora of injuries since coming up with the Tigers as a rookie sensation in 2006, when he posted a 1.94 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings.

Since that rookie season, Zumaya has dealt with a finger injury that forced him to miss 96 games in 2007, a shoulder injury in ’08 that cost him 72 games and another shoulder injury in ’08 that caused him to miss 41 games before undergoing shoulder surgery in ’09.

Zumaya is set to earn only $400,000 of the one-year, $850,000 deal he signed this offseason because he failed to make the Opening Day roster.

With the move, the Twins have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

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