Update: The results of Strasburg’s MRI were not good. Strasburg was diagnosed with a tear in his ulner collateral ligament in his right elbow. Strasburg will most likely need Tommy John surgery and miss the 2011 season.
A couple of thoughts about this:
1. The Nationals are in no way, shape, or form to blame for this. They did everything they possibly could to protect Strasburg. Once again, this injury proves that pitching injuries have very little to do with pitch counts or innings pitched, but more to do with mechanics.
There is a reason why guys like Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, or Tom Glavine never got hurt.
2. Strasburg’s career isn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. Tommy John surgery is so common these days and the results of the procedure have been so successful, that a lot of the time a pitcher will come back from the surgery better than ever.
The pitcher Strasburg can relate to in his case should be Josh Johnson. Johnson had Tommy John surgery at the age of 23 and is now better than ever and a legit Cy Young candidate.
Strasburg will go see Dr. Louis Yokum for a second opinion this week.
I sat down to watch the Washington Nationals – Philadelphia Phillies game early Saturday night and once again, I was impressed with what I saw out of phenom Stephen Strasburg for the first 4.1 innings.
Strasburg was rolling through the Phillies’ lineup, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out six. His fastball was touching the high-90′s and he was mixing in his curve and later his change to really dominate the Philly lineup.
Then the fifth inning happened.
One a 1-1 pitch to fellow rookie Domonic Brown, Strasburg threw a ball that tailed low and away to Brown, but Strasburg appeared to be hurt on the pitch. He kept flexing his arm and immediately the trainer came out to see what the issue was.
Strasburg left the game with what later was diagnosed as a strained tendon in his right forearm. Strasburg underwent an MRI on Sunday, but the results of that test are still not known.
I don’t know what the MRI will show, but if a trained tendon in his forearm is all that happened, then the Nationals are darn lucky. With Strasburg’s reaction, I thought he had blown out is elbow.
Regardless of what the MRI shows, Strasburg’s 2010 season should be over. The Nationals are going nowhere the rest of the season and there is no point in pushing Strasburg.
The Nationals have too much invested in Strasburg and they can’t be that desperate for a gate that they would threaten his career by sending him back out there.
For those who want to already want to compare him to Mark Prior — pump the breaks. Prior suffered injuries and had surgeries that prematurely ended his career. I am not going to come even close to putting Strasburg in the Prior category just yet.
As soon as the results of Strasburg’s MRI are announced, I will have an update on this post.
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