There have been 24-so far…he won’t be the 25th-at least not yet.
Andrew Cashner and the Padres can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for the next couple of weeks. The worst fears have not be realized in San Diego. The MRI result on the ace of the Padres staff shows soreness and inflammation in his right elbow, but not a ligament tear.
Rest-rehab-a limited throwing schedule for two weeks, and possibly less use of the vicious slider is the PX anti-dote. No surgery. He won’t be number 25-to be operated on.
Baseball is dealing with a major epidemic. Since February 15th, 24 players have had elbow surgery for torn ligaments. 23-pitchers and one phenom shortstop. Baseball is searching for reasons-answers-solutions.
Explanations are everywhere. Young pitchers, throwing violent whip actions with their arm, to create ball movement like never seen before. 97mph fastballs that jump. Sliders, cutters, four seamers, sinkers.
Some think it’s more than the violent arm-whip action. Others think it’s not monitoring pitch counts. Others think it’s too many innings at too young an age. Some think it all begins in youth ball, where kids play virtually round the year in the Sunshine States, or in college ball where coaches ride one horse with hopes of getting to the College World Series..
I think it’s supplements. Not the illegal ones, but the common use of legal ones. Get bigger, get stronger. Upper body-lower body. More power with those pitches. The kid who used to get to 91, now can amp it up to 97. He becomes a difference maker on your staff.
But as they get stronger up top, and in their lower body, they put more force behind their pitches. What does not change though are the tendons-ligaments-joints in the shoulders and elbows and forearms. They don’t get bigger nor stronger, they are what they have always been.
Baseball cannot outlaw what is not illegal. Pitchers want to be stronger to combat the hitters using the same supplements.
It’s a crisis for sure. On this day in May, Corey Leubke-Joe Wieland-Josh Johnson are rehabbing blown out elbows. Andrew Cashner will sit 15-days and get the chance to get back up on the mound, but the tendenitis in that elbow is an alarm and a warning sigh, danger is out there, for him, for the Padres, and for every team who have guys throwing 97-mph gas.
Supplements help-supplements can hurt too.