Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg will undergo Tommy John surgery in the next week and a timetable will be set for his rehab and eventual return to the mound at Nats Park.
Unfortunately, this injury is more common than not with major league baseball pitchers of today.
Jim Callis, executive editor for Baseball America, says while it is a disappointment that Strasburg got hurt, he could return stronger than before.
“If I had to bet whether a pitcher would be fine or get hurt during his career I would bet he would get hurt and be right more often than not.
“I have talked to several people about the affects of Tommy John surgery and they say the work he puts in during rehab will almost make his arm stronger.”
That is what Jordan Zimmerman talked about this summer, that his arm feels better than it did prior to surgery last year.
Callis expects Strasburg to be able to return for spring training in 2012.
“We likely won’t see him in 2011, but there is no reason to think that he won’t get his stuff back in 2012,” Callis says.
The Nationals have worked from day one to improve their pitching staff and Strasburg was a major part of that, but not the only part.
Callis says the Nationals have put their money where their mouth is and shelled out some big dollars for quality young pitchers.
“That is how you have to build a pitching staff. You can never have too much pitching. They signed guys like Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole, and Robbie Ray. They gave almost $800,000 to Ray after the 10th round.”
As a matter of fact, the Nats set a record this summer on the financial side.
“With the $9.9 million major league contract to Bryce Harper, the Nats didn’t stop spending. They set an all time record in draft spending with $11.9 million in bonuses,” according to Callis.
“Sammy Solis was one of the best left-handers in the draft. Solis kind of got overshadowed by Brian Matusz at the beginning of his career at San Diego. I really like him.
“He had a herniated disk in 2009 that knocked him out of that season, so he didn’t come into 2010 with a lot of hype but he is really good.”
“As for A.J. Cole, at one point some people thought he was the best high school pitching prospect in this draft. You could make that argument coming into the year. If it wasn’t for signability and a little inconsistency in the spring, he has always been a potential first round pick.
“And there is Rob Ray, the 12th rounder, another lefty who is a guy who was throwing in the mid-90s at showcases 12 months ago. He came into the year as guy who could have been considered as a first round pick.”