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August 27, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Needs Tommy John Surgery! ALREADY!

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So much for the Washington Nationals’ rookie of the year candidate Stephen Strasburg. It has been revealed that Strasburg has a torn ligament in his elbow and needs season ending Tommy John surgery. Strasburg has been phenomenal since coming up to the big leagues this season. He has dominated clubs with his high velocity fastball, sharp breaking curve, and providing a good mix with his changeup.

The kid throws 95 mph. People who have faced him have been blown away by his skill, composure and natural ability at such a young age. Sports writers everywhere are already signing their ballots inducting him into Cooperstown. Unfortunately we may have to put those expectations on hold.

Tommy John surgery is a serious procedure and pitchers rarely come back and pitch at the same level. Guys who throw serious heat can’t seem to come back and pitch with the same velocity. Eric Gagne, Dustin McGowan, and Mark Prior all were highly touted young pitchers, who had their careers stalled by the devastating procedure. Some pitchers who don’t rely on power pitching have come back and been serviceable, like Shaun Marcum. Strasburg however, seems to be a guy who relies on his power, so we’ll see how he fares when he returns to the game.

I really like the kid and wish him a swift recovery. He’s been great for baseball, bringing sellout crowds to stadiums which don’t normally get 50% capacity. He arguably could have been on the N.L’s All Star team, and has clearly dominated teams when healthy. All of baseball, myself included has their fingers crossed wishing and hoping Stephen has a swift, complete recovery. Come back soon Stephen. The Washington Nationals and all of Major League Baseball needs you.

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