Tuesday August 19th, 2014

Posted by on August 19th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

The numbers are just staggering, not the won-loss record of the Padres, or the perpetual drought of playoff seasons under Manager Bud Black.
 
No, the numbers of surgeries to their pitching staff.
 
You don’t really know Max Friend, but the Padres scouts do, and the organization in spinning like a top, with the news, he is the next one to need the so-called Tommy John elbow surgery.
 
San Diego is in lst place right now, first place for the wrong reason, first place in most elbow surgeries in recent years.
 
In a baseball season marred by 36-surgeries to players for torn elbow ligaments since February 15th, the Padres have set their own high water mark.  Not for home runs, nor stolen bases, nor for wins, but for guys on the mound cut on by team doctors.
 
Fried becomes the 12th Padres pitcher to have surgery in 17-months.  Everyone of their young minor league arms have had surgery now.  The so-called ace of the staff Andrew Cashner has had six different arm issues in three years, but luckily has escaped the knife.
 
Corey Leubke is recovering from his second elbow surgery in two years, and won’t pitch till sometime in 2015.  Casey Kelly has had surgery and multiple setbacks in rehab.  Joe Wieland finally pitched in a game in El Paso last weekend, after surgery and additional elbow woes.  Robbie Erlin avoided surgery and is just coming off the DL.
 
Josh Johnson, the ex-Blue Jay-Marlin, who was once the feared right-hander in the National League, is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery and his 3rd operation overall.  He never got to throw a pitch for the Friars.
 
It goes on and on, the body bag count.  From Jason Marquis to Dustin Moseley, and everyone in between, the numbers are staggering for this club alone.
 
The Padres have researched it, but don’t have an answer, at least no common thread reasons.
 
Is it innings per year; stressful innings per outing; variety of pitches used; too much throwing; not enough throwing between starts; or just bad luck?
 
It’s not like the Billy Ball era of the Oakland A’s, where Billy Martin had all four starters go for over 225-innings in a season, and they all broke down within a year.  It’s surely not the era of Glavine-Maddux-Smoltz and all the wins, starts and innings in the Atlanta Braves era, where they had just 1-surgery combined for all three pitchers.
 
Bad luck, bad handling of pitchers, no one knows.
 
What is known is that the future of the team was built around these young arms, they all got here, and they got hurt.
 
And because of the injuries, the numbers are staggering, no playoffs in 8-Bud Black seasons and 11-losing seasons in 16-years.
 
They say good pitching beats good hitting.  Hurt pitching gets you buried in the standings and you sometimes never recover for that. 

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