THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Fragile Arms

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 16, 2015

Brutal break for Zach Wheeler who was diagnosed with a torn UCL. The spike in major arm injuries to pitchers in the last 5 years is shocking. How can teams feel confident in giving a starting pitcher with 1500 innings on his arm a 150 million dollar deal? And those are just major league innings. Think about how many innings those arms threw in the minor leagues? College? High school? Babe Ruth? Little League?

Sabean’s approach to go draft heavy on pitchers always seemed like a strange move to me. I’ve always felt he should have drafted more hitters and they’d be forced to play at ATT till they could bail as free agents. Then you sign pitching free agents who would WANT to come pitch in our park.

Clearly, my approach was incorrect. Whether Sabean did this on purpose or not, we’ll never know. But he must love the fact that he gets the best years of the arms of his pitchers while almost never having to go pay a pitcher big bucks to come to SF and break down……

Here’s a graph that shouldn’t surprise anyone. It only goes to 2013, I’m sure it spiked again since. mlb pitchers only

tjsurg

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  1. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 16, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I heard about Wheeler this morning too. If I remember correctly the Giants were trying to get him into a different, less stressful delivery but he wasn’t having as much success with it which may or may not have factored into the trade decision. After he was in NY I saw some comments from him about returning to his old delivery and how he preferred it. I’m not saying it’s his fault or anything like that. Just what I remember. Regardless, it is sad to see a young guy go down like this. I hope he has recovers well and returns to form.

  2. willedav said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Snarkk, as to mid majors that don’t get in, the ? is whether they are a better team than the ones that did.
    I think UCLA is undeserving, but they would beat the teams that wound up winning the conference tourneys that forced out likes of Colo St and Murray St. Unfortunately those guys play vs. crummy teams that you just can’t lose to and their conferences are weak. So ultimately you get zero credit for beating them, but punished severely for losing to one, which means NIT.

    Dawg, one guy on ESPN show said U of A beats Kentucky; everyone else said K over Duke for title. I dunno, they shot lights out vs. Oregon but I haven’t seen AZ do that often. UCLA zone (and Norman Powell on O) gave them fits. K plays superior D and they are very long and athletic, good rebounding team.
    Seth Greenberg said you have to be able to clear D boards against them when they miss and of course be very efficient running your O; maybe they’d get frustrated and do stupid stuff in a close game. Maybe that’s Villanova with their shooters, in a repeat of Ed Pinckney 30 years later.

  3. willedav said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Just read that Stanford U ace soph, son of Paul Quantrill is out for season with TJ surgery. Dang, 18-19 yr old kid? Just don’t remember guys from 60s in 4 man rotations ever needing this stuff. Now at 200 innings (as opposed to 300) teams wave red flags. How old was Tommy John when he got his?

    Meanwhile, Barry Zito threw 4 shutout 1 hit innings yesterday. His catcher raved about his changeup…um, off what?
    Asked about his chances etc. afterward Zito said, “I’ve got an A’s uni on right now and I’ve just got to stay in the present moment…”
    Gad, he’s already tossing Zen bombs around in mid season form.

  4. Alleykat said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Power arms seem to be the most suspectable to TJ surgery.
    But then again, the slider is the hardest pitch with the strain on the elbow, so the Giants should really keep a close watch on Romo this year,who’s already having problems with his shoulder.

  5. gianthead said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:37 am

    In my humble opinion, no way do my boys from Kentucky lose:) I actually think Notre Dame could be a difficult opponent and potentially Wisconsin if they played a perfect game, could pull off what could be an unbelievable offense. I have Nova in my Final Four but I am picking North Florida to beat Duke!!!

    I really don’t think Duke should have ben a #1. They always get the breaks and one could argue that could be the weakest bracket this year. Georgetown as a #4? That is a joke. Kentucky getting Kansas, Notre Dame and then Maryland is a potentially dangerous dangerous bracket. I also thought Murray State could beat a few teams that made the tourney including UCLA and Georgia. How they don’t get a play in game but Ole Miss does is beyond me…

    • gianthead said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Meant unbelievable upset if Wisconsin could pull that off…

  6. stickman said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:52 am

    College buckin fasketball? Puhleeze. They should be bought up by NBA franchises and made into minor league teams in all honesty like MLB’s system. College should NOT be about sportz. Bullshitttttt. When athletic directors and football and basketball coaches are paid Waaaaaay higher than the presidents of the institutions you know one reason why higher education in this country is mostly limited to hard science and stoners.

    • willedav said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

      Hey Stick, those hard science types that get into physical therapy field are gonna come in real handy for guys like me, sooner rather than later. More power to em, and if the stoner finally prove medical benefits of High Times fav blend, all the better.

  7. zumiee said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:27 am

    What a sad end to such a promising season for the Sac Kings. Everything was heading in the right direction, and then….train wreck. And now they’re back to playing loser-ball, giving up 30 points a quarter, because the team owner or GM or somebody wanted a more up-tempo style. You have to have the right players to be that up-tempo and still win, a la the Warriors. And the Kings don’t have that. They had the right coach at the start of the season for the personnel they had on the team. He had them buying into playing defense, and trying to pass the ball around on offense. Colossal bad move firing him that sets the team backward.

  8. unca_chuck said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I think there is something to the fact that pitchers back in the day were from farm country. They worked their asses off doing all kinds of stuff.

    Suburban kids don’t get that kind of exposure to work like that, even if they hit the weight room. As baseball has morphed into a game seemingly more and more dominated by suburban kids, these type of injuries are going up. IOW, the specialization of pegging kids in middle school to play certain positions plays it’s part as well.

    Shit, I don’t know. Sounds good, though. Just look at Madbum. The guy can pick up tractors. And fix them. Pitching is like a vacation for him.

    • zumiee said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Also, back in the day, pitchers played other sports during the year, and got a nice break from pitching. This era of year-long high specialization in youth sports does succeed in getting some kids to the pros, but there’s a physical cost at times.

    • wilcojoe said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I didn’t see your post Unca. Agreed.

    • stickman said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      Chuck: You got that right. Though a lot of country boys are nothing more than tractor jockeys these days and tend to eat waaaay too much beef, there still is a contingent, particularly on smaller farms, which knows how to work. Many Amish families in my neighborhood. Their kids are growing up awesomely fit.

  9. wilcojoe said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:32 am

    There was a lengthy article on this doctor here in Houston who many believe has cracked the code on why pitchers arms break down and how to prevent it. He runs his own baseball academy that has proven to be quite successful with many high profile arms. It may be the same place that Crick attended but I am not sure. I will try and find the article to post here.

  10. Flavor said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I feel like the number one reason we’re seeing pitchers break down with such frequency is the year round baseball. I want to say that started about 15 years ago but feel free to correct me. Pitch counts don’t mean shit if you’re pitching year round. Back in the day, a high school pitcher might not have a pitch count but he had 6 months to rest. How can a pitch count compete with that?

    • wilcojoe said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:57 am

      That’s a great point! It also goes back to what I said a while back regarding how the urban and lower income kids will be priced out of baseball completely. Pretty soon the major leagues will be all upper class white kids and international players.

  11. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

    From QBs to pitchers, Tom House of USC is something of an expert on throwing motions. One thing I’ve seen is his comparison of the tennis serve and the pitchers throwing motion. Curiously, holding onto a racket (or any object) seems to help keep the arm sound. I’m not a doctor or anything but House’s information is interesting. There’s a lot of information out there on the topic. If you’re curious check him out on the interwebs.

    • Alleykat said, on March 16, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Wasn’t Tom House working with Zito on his mechanics Dirt?
      Also a good Trivia ?
      Tom House was the pitcher in the LF BP who snagged Hank Aaron’s record breaking 715th HR in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium back in 74..

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

        Yes, I think so. He also worked with Alex Smith of the 49ers/Chiefs I believe.

      • Alleykat said, on March 16, 2015 at 11:17 am

        Sure didn’t help Alex Smith much, since he’s the only starting QB in the history of the game not to throw a touchdown pass to his starting receivers in a 16 game season😄

      • twinfan1 said, on March 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm

        The Niners could use Alex now

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        I was thinking the same, Twin.

      • twinfan1 said, on March 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

        With the way it’s going they could use a “game manager”. And if he wants to do it some day, he’s definitively OC or HC material.

  12. wilcojoe said, on March 16, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Of course maybe it’s all a ploy on the part of the medical profession. We just paid a pretty penny for my six year old to get fillings on his baby teeth. What the fuck is the point of that?

  13. Chipower9 said, on March 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Is it April 6th yet (Giants opener in Arizona)? Wake me up when we’re there…

    • Nipper said, on March 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsnorezzzzzzzsnortzzzzzzzz

      • zumiee said, on March 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        We could use a gong to wake you guys up. Lots of gong in this song. It’s like the producer was saying “I’ve gotta have more gong on this song,” instead of more cowbell.
        This is Neil Young’s very first recording. A 45 with an instrumental song called “The Sultan” as the A-side, in the early 1960s, with one of his first bands, called The Squires, who were obviously influenced by bands like The Ventures. That’s Neil in the far left of the photo.

  14. unca_chuck said, on March 16, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Yeah, Flav that’s a big part of it as well.

    Summer leagues. Winter leagues, fall, there’s no rest for these kids.

  15. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 16, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Nice blurb on McGehehe. He’s tearing it up this spring which makes me a little nervious but Hits McGehee may stick…

    http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/03/16/casey-mcgehee-san-francisco-giants-pablo-sandoval

    • chipower9 said, on March 16, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Nice read…thanks for sharing Dirt.

  16. Alleykat said, on March 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Yeah McGiggles is having a nice ST.
    Just hope he saves some of those hits for when the real season counts.

  17. twinfan1 said, on March 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Burgers alla Big Country Mike

    * Whether you grind it yourself or buy it ground you want about 20% fat.

    * Original Joe’s used a hard sourdough for their burgers- fine if you want the all the insides squirting out after your first bite. A good Onion bun or a soft French Roll work well

    * If you cook them on the grill, a stupid BBQ apron won’t do. Wear what you wore for your wedding- a clean bowling shirt

    * I used to resist California Burgers until I realized that I lived in California. Iceberg, tomato, red onion, dill pickle, Cheddar or Jack, Mayo, mustard- condiments are a personal matter.

    * Do NOT EVER mash the burger down while cooking. It just labels you as a lazy b a s t a r d who’s more concerned with getting to the likker than feeding his guests a decent cheeseburger.

    *i like my steaks Black and Blue. But a burger should not be bloody. Medium Rare to Medium is good

    * Warm your buns ( that’s a softball for you all) and make sure the cheese is melted.

    * Finally- enjoy it! It’s baseball food at it’s best.

    • Flavor said, on March 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      I’m a butter lettuce guy but otherwise, I’m on board!

      • blade3colorado said, on March 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        I use to be a butter lettuce guy too, then the grocery stores figured out how to stuff 3 stalks of Romaine lettuce into a sealed plastic bag. That shit lasts forever with a little bit of water every couple a days.

      • twinfan1 said, on March 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        That’s about all I use iceberg for, I like the “crisp-ocity”. Gotta admit -you guys are all Burger Masters, I would eat of any them . Right now.

    • chipower9 said, on March 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      I will gladly repay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. W.J. Wellington

      Looks good to me, Twin…right down to the condiments. And on occasion, I will throw a couple slices of crisply fried bacon on there, too.

    • James said, on March 16, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      The short rib burgers with bacon from Marin Sun Farms with mayo, dijon, pickled red onions, and gruyere . . . wish I was dining on one tonight. The patties are 1/2 lb, and defy you to mess with them. Following TF’s injunction, you really do not want to eat one these bad boys rare . . . .

  18. Berdj Joseph Rassam said, on March 16, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Sabean has proven time and again that we should just trust him, even if his moves don’t make sense or even sometimes don’t work out – in the long run, he’s got the rings to back-up his theories and actions.

    • blade3colorado said, on March 16, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. 🙂

  19. twinfan1 said, on March 16, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Dominguez hit a dinger??? I told you we shouldn’t have let him go!!! We wouldn’t need Mcgeeeeheee, We could dump Blanco, Ishi and Arias! He can play ’em all AT ONE TIME! Sabes screws up again. I’ve had it! FireSabean! Fire Bochy! Fire everybody!!
    OK, I feel better now. I fired Mickey too. Well, I DFAed him…

  20. Flavor said, on March 16, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    bummer

    • Bozo said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      I know I’ll be one of the few who will miss that place. Damn man, I spent a lot of time in there, a lot. But hey, its just another VHS/Eight Track memory gone.

  21. blade3colorado said, on March 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Uplifting Crasnick ESPN column about Ishi . . . http://espn.go.com/blog/spring-training/post/_/id/2800/ishikawa-back-after-great-october-moment

  22. DJLoo said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Maybe there’s nothing new about these injuries. Before MRIs all they had was x-rays. Maybe they just couldn’t diagnose them. Everything pitcher’s injury used to be called a sore arm…

  23. unca_chuck said, on March 16, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Unbelievable. Chris Borland, the replacement for the just-retired Patrick Willis, just retired. At the age of 24, after his huge year backing up for Willis. He cites the health concerns with head injuries although he says he’s only had 2. One laying soccer in 8th grade, and one playing football in college.

    Must be the curse of the Stick . . .

    • blade3colorado said, on March 17, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Recently, I was dating this woman who had two young sons (9 and 10 years old) and the older one had already experienced 2 concussions while playing youth football. The physician who saw the boy advised the mother to prohibit her son from ever playing the game again. He cited studies which show the brain being the last body part to fully develop, i.e., late 20s or early 30s. Consequently, any concussion or cumulative blows to the brain will affect that full development. In any event, she did immediately prohibited her son from playing (although the boy still wants to play, but has adhered to her mom’s prohibition thus far).

  24. zumiee said, on March 16, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I was watching the Dodger/A’s game on MLB Network; it was a Dodger broadcast and it sounded like Charley Steiner was broadcasting the game with Brian Sabean, and it was freaking me out a little. And then I remembered reading that Ned Colletti was going to be doing a little broadcasting with the Dodgers this year. And how weird is that?
    But, anyway, Colletti’s voice, accent, and phrasing are just like Sabean’s. They are two peas in a pod, in that regard.


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