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Was Stephen Strasburg Destined To Get Hurt?

In a long article well worth your time, Tom Verducci suggests that Stephen Strasburg, even after healing from Tommy John surgery ... well, here's the nut:

The answer to why Strasburg blew out -- and why his future is a risky one -- may lie in his mechanics. Several pitching coaches quietly predicted Strasburg was at risk before he broke down. He will continue to bear risky loads on his elbow and shoulder unless he changes the way he throws.

Verducci offers a long list of pitchers who threw the way Strasburg throws and got hurt. To Nationals GM Mike Rizzo's credit, he suggests that one could make a long list of pitchers who threw the way Strasburg throws and did not get hurt. 

Still, Verducci argues, "now that Wainwright has gone down, it's very hard to come up with anybody who throws that way and is a beacon of durability."


I spoke with a key decision maker for one club last week who, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said his club will not consider any pitcher -- by draft, trade or free agency -- who does not have the baseball in the loaded position at the time of foot strike.

Here's where my skepticism kicks in ... When Strasburg was coming out of college, he was universally considered the best player in the draft. If this "one club" had owned the first pick, would it have passed up Strasburg?

Perhaps. It's just odd to me, how we never hear about these question marks and red flags until after the guy's hurt. When Strasburg was blowing away college hitters and then National League hitters, everybody seemed to think he was on his way to Cooperstown.

I'm still not convinced that anybody really knows what they're talking about, and can pinpoint with any real accuracy which pitchers are going to get hurt and which ones aren't. Because it seems like just about every team is still investing large amounts of money in pitchers who do, eventually, get hurt.