Washington Nationals rookie right-hander Stephen Strasburg has a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament that probably will require reconstructive Tommy John elbow surgery, the Nationals announced Friday. This is a big blow to the development of the phenom pitcher.
You can't blame the Nationals for this one, they have been very cautious with Strasburg since he was drafted. They had a very well crafted plan to limit his pitches each game and even had a total pitch count for him for the year. Once Strasburg hit that pitch count for the year they were going to shut him down no matter what. They were willing to do that even if they were in a penant race, however anyone that knows anything about baseball knew the Nationals were a long shot at best to be in a penant race! I blame this one on the wear and tear on Strasburg's arm from the past.
Strasburg is a power pitcher with a devastating breaking ball. He has been throwing with such ferociousness for years and it has finally caught up with him. The timing of Strasburg's injury happened at the same time the Little League World Series is being played and these young men are on display for a national television audience.
As a father of a 11 year baseball player (Little League World Series are for 11 and 12 year olds) I cringe when I watch the LLWS games on television. The cringing comes from watching those young arms throw breaking ball after breaking ball. I think the LLWS has done a great thing in placing pitch count restrictions on those young arms, however I feel allowing them to throw breaking balls at such a young age is irresponsible. If a player is on an 85 pitch count however 50 of those pitches are breaking balls the pitch count restriction doesn't do any good. I think the LLWS should take a cue from the Strasburg injury and ban the breaking ball and really protect the young arms.