NEW YORK — At this time last year, He Harvey was blowing away top players, churning out quality starts and also cruising toward an final starting assignment for the Nationwide League in the All-Star Game with his Mets’ home field. He or she was the next big thing in primary League Baseball.
Soon after, they was undergoing Tommy John surgical treatment. Just like NL sensation Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals. And then amid his rehabilitation progress this week, Harvey heard information that that Marlins ace Jose Fernandez — with good prospects to succeed him in this next NL All-Star assignment at Focus on Field — was just the latest young star pitcher to need the procedure. And Martin Perez of Texas could be next.
‘It’s definitely unfortunate. You dont want to see anyone getting harm, especially someone as successful and as young as he is definitely,’ Harvey said of Fernandez in Thursday. ‘With the amount of Tommy Johns that have occurred so far this year, it is a really unfortunate thing for Mlb. It’s definitely not fun experiencing the news that someone else is actually going down.’
What’s going on and that’s next? That is what people around the game are asking.
With the overall volume of injuries requiring Tommy John surgery up in 2014, MLB.net posed the question to an selection of people who should know: a group of people, managers and former stars who gathered for a Delta Dugout event at MLB Fan Cavern to celebrate the ongoing Train Series between the Mets and New york yankees. That included Harvey, Yankees supervisor Joe Girardi and closer Brian Robertson, former manager Bobby Valentine, and also former Mets stars Dwight Gooden and Keith Hernandez.
‘I think it’s the amount of guys that happen to be just continuously throwing more difficult,’ said Harvey, now organizing at 120 feet in addition to ‘a couple months away’ from selling on the mound in his watch. ‘Throwing baseballs is an unnatural action the way it is. You match a couple at 100 mile per hour, and things are just not destined to be able to withstand and stay solid.’
Gooden bemoaned the loss this season of a small Marlins pitcher he has enjoyed seeing, citing a local Florida link. He said he would not motivate year-round pitching.
‘Jose is a great kid. We saw him a little bit throughout high school, because he’s through Tampa, my hometown,’ Gooden said. ‘The success he’s experienced, last year I got to meet him or her personally, the first time at Citi Field. The dominance that he got, to me, the way he ended up being throwing, his mechanics looked sound, seeing him on TV. When you see him go down, hopefully something can be done, because this is a great deal of good, young talent that may be coming in looking to have great careers and getting set back using the same injury. Something’s not right, and thus hopefully we can get be aware of it.
‘You hate to say it, yet it’s like, ‘Who’s next?’ Something’s going on. Mechanics has a lot related to it.’
Gooden said he has a pair of theories:
‘Usually you establish ones fastball in the count. Now you’re seeing guys who are organizing 95 to 98, and also the second pitch of the video game they’re throwing curveballs. The toughest message to hit is a well-located fastball. I think a large part of it has to do with scouting stories, where pitchers are pitching defensively instead of attacking them. Establish the fastball and then work in offspeed stuff. … Pitchers are generally giving hitters way too much credit.
‘Secondly, some of these pitchers, with the pitch matters and inning limits, it slows down a lot of these guys’ development. Instead of shutting them down, let them proceed. As far as pitch counts, in the event that he’s throwing well, and then he throws 120 pitches, that may be fine. It takes more out of your arm when you are throwing with men in scoring location, second and third, continually, because you have to throw a bit harder and tense upward even more than a person putting 120 who has a lot of strikeouts along with foul balls.’
How did Gooden stay away from the need for Tommy John surgery?
‘I has been lucky,’ he said. ‘My technicians were good. My dad trained me at an early age about mechanics. My spouse and i stayed away from heavy weights, upper body. I did a lot of leg work, lot of sprint. Basically just listen to my body. Only felt good, I continued to throw. If I didn’t feel good, I didn’t.’
Girardi said sixty ‘hard to figure out,’ but he or she is among those who try at any rate.
‘We’ve seen a lot of young pitchers head on down,’ he said. ‘You wonder if it truly is too much throwing at an early age but not giving the body proper remainder in the offseason. It seems there are so many individuals who want to specialize today. ‘I’m a new baseball player, at 14 years old, that’s all Let me do, and I’m going to process 11 or 11 1/2 weeks out of the year.’ I don’t necessarily agree with that. Seeing that adults, we take 4 months off every year. We provide our arms rest. I’d personally give my arm a good two months’ rest before I might ever pick up a hockey after the season.
‘Also, kids are organizing hard at an early age. They are finding bigger and stronger through the training, and maybe the body isn’t meant to handle it.’
Robertson, the Yankees’ closer, has watched mates drop around him using this surgery and does not see himself as being such a candidate.
‘The solely thing I can think of can be, it’s a very small tendon, the actual ligament,’ he said. ‘Guys are stronger, they’re throwing your ball harder, and at some time it’s too much. That’s my only theory. It’s not going to happen to me.’
Valentine said he was first involved with pitch counts in the late 1980s while dealing with at Texas and keeping track of Rangers pitchers Edwin Correa and Jose Guzman.
‘I don’t think it’s such a mystery,’ the first sort manager said. ‘The information is to ensure that everyone understands how to throw the baseball more efficiently, so the mechanics usually are proper to deliver the baseball at that high rate of speed. The arm coming forward to deliver a ball at that high speed is also traveling, as well as stop that arm is certainly a violent motion, a very crazy action.
‘I don’t think the tendon is made to do that, so it’s planning to break. If you want guys throwing 85 mph, you’re not about to see Tommy John surgeries. But if you want them throwing 95 mph, it’s probably going to break and also break often.’
Valentine said pitching off a mound means gravity also complicates the actual arm issue, but he was quoted saying lowering the mounds — as was in the 1960s to help players — ‘is a pretty stupid idea. Right after if lowering the mound 2 or 4 inches is an answer, mainly because you’re still going to have the rate of the arm and a extremely violent stopping action.’
Hernandez, now an SNY analyst for Mets game titles, said he has ‘no theory,’ but he said the biggest matter should be the plight of Braves pitchers Kris Medlen as well as Brandon Beachy, who have undergone repeat Tommy Steve surgeries.
‘Tommy John surgery happens to be just a household name,In Hernandez said. ‘It’s been very successful. Guys come back and are stronger. But now you have got to worry about Medlen and Beachy, the two folks who had to go down and acquire a second Tommy John surgery. I always felt management was a touch too eager getting the players under the knife, get in first, get them stapled up, and still have them come back stronger when they’re young and they miss annually, and they’ve got them the rest of the way. Well, now they have to think twice about that because of what happened to Beachy and Medlen.’
Hernandez said people in his generation ‘played three sports’ and then he would not encourage youngsters to learn baseball year-round.
‘It’s overkill,’ he said. ‘It’s an excessive amount.’