Sports Outside the Beltway

Pitcher Stephen Strasburg likely to have Tommy John surgery

He was 5-3 with a 2.91 Earned run average before getting injured. From AP-

Stephen Strasburg has a torn elbow ligament and will likely have Tommy John surgery, bringing the pitcher’s promising rookie season to an abrupt end.

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Friday an MRI on the right elbow revealed a “significant tear.” Strasburg will travel to the West Coast for a second opinion, but Rizzo anticipates the 22-year-old right-hander will need the operation that requires 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation.

“As you can imagine, he was initially upset,” Rizzo said. “But he has really turned himself from being upset to being focused on his rehabilitation. He’s determined to get the surgery done and begin the process of rehabilitation.”

Strasburg was pulled from Saturday’s game at Philadelphia when he grimaced while grabbing and shaking his wrist after throwing a changeup to Dominic Brown. The Nationals initially called the injury a strained flexor tendon in the forearm, but an MRI taken Sunday raised enough questions for the Nationals to order a more extensive MRI in which dye is injected into the arm.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Strasburg struck out 14 batters in a sensational major league debut in June. He is 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings with the Nationals, who have kept him on strict pitch counts and had planned to shut him down once he reached about 105 innings.

Pitchers have recovered from Tommy John surgery and gone on to have a good MLB career but many more have had their careers ended. This doesn’t look good for either Strasberg or the Nationals.

I look like a prophet too. After Strasburg’s first MLB start, I commented-

I expect Strasburg to come up with a lame arm by the time he is 25.

He’s 21 and his arm isn’t mature.

Washington is a terrible club and seeking solutions and will overuse Strasburg

Strasburg’s first outing was excellent, so the club is not likely to turn back to a more patient course with this pitcher.

Baseball history has a long list of pitchers who came out gangbusters Dwight Gooden, Steve Busby, Wally Bunker, Mark Fidryich, and more but faded rapidly usually due to arm woes. If I recall correctly, Bill James said the only HOF pitcher to have impact as a rookie was Tom Seaver.

Well I was off by three years on when Strasburg would have his arm fall off. Earl Weaver said the best place for a young pitcher is long relief.

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