Blog Entry

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

Posted on: August 27, 2010 10:41 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 11:03 am
Stephen Strasburg
Strasmas is cancelled for the rest of the year -- and probably much longer.

The Nationals say rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg has major damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that will probably require "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery. They will get another opinion before proceeding with surgery, but it's doubtful he can avoid it.

Tommy John recovery varies, but averages 12-18 months. That could mean we've seen the last of Strasburg on a big-league mound until 2012. But the procedure is hardly a death sentence for a pitcher's career. Players can and do come back, sometimes even better. A list of just some of the pitchers who have come back, courtesy of Larry Stone of the Seattle Times: Chris Carpenter, A.J. Burnett, Ryan Dempster, Tim Hudson, Francisco Liriano, Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano, Arthur Rhodes, C.J. Wilson, Brian Wilson, Carl Pavano, Billy Wagner ... and Tommy John.

The Nationals made the announcement in a conference call with reporters Friday morning.

General manager Mike Rizzo told reporters Strasburg "was developed and cared for the correct way. We’re good with that. Frustrated, yes. Second-guessing ourselves, no."

Strasburg has had two MRI exams in the past week. The first, on Saturday, provided the diagnosis of a strained flexor tendon in his forearm. But there were enough questions left that the Nationals wanted a second test, including the insertion of contrasting dye into the arm, which is what happened Thursday.

The 22-year-old finishes his rookie season with just 68 innings pitched, a 5-3 record in 12 starts and a 2.91 ERA. The top overall pick in the 2009 draft captured the attention of the sports world with his debut, in which he struck out 14. Every start brough big crowds and high expectations. Strasburg ended up with 92 strikeouts and 17 walks in 68 innings.

He was on the disabled list previously this season with shoulder inflammation. The first question the Nationals and their staff have to consider is what kind of pitcher Strasburg will be when he returns. The second is whether his delivery is going to cause repeated arm injuries, and what they can do about it. If they tweak his motion, he could lose effectiveness. If they don't, he could become Mark Prior.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:10 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 8:21 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

I just stumbled on this approach return due to technoratic, remarkable blog website, have this.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:24 pm

Bright side, and the hard truth

For every Mark Prior there's a Francisco Liriano.  He seems to be back to at least 80% of his original level - which is good enough for a 12-7 record and a respectable 3.41 ERA.  Not mind-blowing, but those are borderline ace-like numbers.

Strasburg fans should expect these numbers in 2012-13.  But don't expect more.  His path to the Hall of Fame and any kind of record-breaking career stats are both dashed for good.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:14 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

I don't get...these guys pitch for years..then when they get to the majors..BOOM...they get injured all of a sudden. What are they do any different in their delivery that they were doing in College and the Minors....Strange

There was nothing in Strasburg's delivery that he did not do in college or the minors....why does it happen at the MLB level---longer you pitch, the more likely you are to have an injury, especially an injury that comes mainly from "wear and tear" (as opposed to just twisting a knee, getting run into or hit with a pitch, etc).  It is not surprising that long-term, repetitive movement type injuries seem to occur more at the ML level than before -- plus you just don't hear about the injuries to other players at the HS, college and minor league levels (although all those injury rates are increasing).

Since: Aug 15, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:42 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

First off i'm a Braves fan that lives in the D.C. area. The first thing I did when Strasburg was drafted was start a countdown until be needed Tommy John surgery. I said the 2011 season but this well exceeded that. I do feel bad for the Nationals though living in the D.C. area people finally had something to be excited about. After is debut with 14K's everyone was hooked. New fans everywhere. Shame. But, inside baseball circles there was always the whisper of how dangerous his delivery would be to his longevity . Luckily in this age of medical science he'll be recovered in the standard 12-18 months. Hopefully the Nationals can bolster there pitching management to change his delivery. As a Braves fan all I can say is look at the recovery of Tim Hudson. Looks like Dr. James Andrews is about to be paid again. Next stop for Strasburg, Florida.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:31 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

Just to play devils advocate, this is why these "stars" get the ungodly contracts, he may never come back.  This is what happens with a young fireball throwing kid.  This is why these kids should spend time in the minors and be brought up slowly.  This is why all the calls after his first time on the DL to watch him carefully.  Now all that aside, nothing but the best of wishes for him, keep your chin up, do whatever physical therapy is required, don't rush things, and with any luck we'll see you again in 2012.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:18 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

Wow...I feel really bad for Strasburg and the Nationals because he is such a talent.  I knew with the stuff that he had, that he would have major arm problems coming into the league.  Recent history suggests with Mark Prior and Kerry Wood that this was inevitable.  Echoing the thoughts of Tim Kirkjian of ESPN, this is by far more damaging because he is the franchise.  He brought people out to the ballpark because he was the main attraction.  Now with the prospect of him being out of comission for 18 months, baseball is going to hurt just a little bit.  My only hope is that he doesn't fall into the baseball oblivion that Wood and Prior had.  Best of luck to him.

Since: Aug 16, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:17 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

And those of you who really believe that this surgery means you come back throwing harder are mislead. There are cases where guys have (Smoltz for example), but for every one of those, there are plenty that were not the same. Surgery is NEVER a good thing. So don't get confused. God made you, doctors can't always put you back together the way you were, and even if he comes close, you c an't completely control how your body handles having a tendon transplanted for a ligament in your arm - and then go back to trying to throw 100MPH again. 

Since: Aug 16, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:13 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

Mark Prior was absolutely NOT a train wreck mechanically. These things just happen. Throwing is very violent and not a natural motion for the arm. 

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:12 pm

Major surgery likely for Strasburg

Well this is the kind of thing that I was talking about at the all star break when I said that too many things go wrong with pitchers to give anyone status based on potential.

That said it doesn't yet mean the end like some are talking about.  I'm sure that is partially like Tiger Woods, Lebron and others people start cheering against them when the media hype machine keeps pushing them beyond their actual acomplishments.  The Jays best pitching prospect will start to pitch for them next year and he already had Tommy John Surgury two years ago in the minors.  Maybe that says alot about what teams expect from pitchers but it's not an uncommon thing. 

With the big gun will he be like others who hurts himself again and again we will have to wait and see?

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