I have been working my way through Dr. James Andrew’s book, Any Given Monday. Here are his top seven myths surrounding sports medicine.
#1: Tommy John surgery will improve pitching performance.
A few quotes on this subject
I cannot be clearer about this: There is nothing that sports medicine can do for a throwing arm that is better than how the good Lord created it. There is no surgery that enhances performance. It simply doesn’t exist. If the body entered this world whole and healthy, you can never repair something in the body to make it better than its original condition. It’s just not possible. Cutting something always makes it weaker. I cannot stress this enough: A healthy pitching arm will always be more stable and more capable than one that has been operated on.
On pitchers come back throwing better
Yes it is true that many pitchers do see an upswing in their pitching speeds after undergoing the surgery….Pitching improves because of the type of reconditioning and physical therapy that the athlete undergoes as he heals from the procedure.
#2: Certain other orthopedic surgeries will actually increase overall joint capabilities and, ultimately, performance.
See Myth 1
#3: There is sufficient medical oversight in scholastic athletic leagues.
#4: No pain, no gain.
To put it bluntly, no child or teen should ever play with pain. Period. If the body is alerting the brain that something is wrong, the brain should listen. Parents, coaches, and players all need to remember that nothing is more important than the the athlete’s health.
#5: The earlier a child begins a sport and the more he or she practices, the better the chances are for a scholarship or professional career.
While I am certainly an advocate of organized sports, this level [four to five hours a day] of intensity at such a young age is neither healthy or beneficial to the child’s overall health and long-term career prospects….Variance in motion is far more beneficial to a child than concentrated and repetitive instruction at a young age.
#6: Fast-pitch softball, with its windmill delivery, can’t produce injuries to the thrower’s shoulder or elbow.
Pitching limits matter in softball as much as they do in baseball.
#7: The sooner the problem can be diagnosed, the sooner the athlete can return to the game.
Sometimes the problem faced by young athletes is not an injury at all — it’s burnout … They recognize that their parents or coaches or siblings might not react well to the news that they don’t want a future in the sport, so they read up on injuries that would force them to take some time off. They know the causes, they know the symptoms, they know the right complaint to get them out of the starting lineup and into the doctor’s office – anything for a break. And I don’t blame them.
Recent injury data
• Matt Garza will start the season on the DL and says he will be ready by April. This injury has been full of the return date getting pushed back and back. I would not be surprised if it gets pushed back again.
• Christian Garcia may miss opening day because of a partially torn tendon. He was vying for 5th starter position with the Nationals. Garcia’s career has been full of injuries including two TJ surgeries.
Here is some great medical lingo from the article
The Nationals had been calling Garcia’s ailment a “strain,” and the partial-tear diagnosis is only a more specific label — all strains are small tears.
Player Return Timetables
|Name||Injury||Injury/Surgery Date||Early Return Date||Later Return date||Status||Source(s)|
|Scott Baker||TJS||4/17/12||Mid April||May||Throwing off mound||(1)|
|Grant Balfour||Knee||2/14/13||Late March||Middle April||Throwing off mound||(1)|
|Brandon Beachy||TJS||6/21/12||Mid June||Mid June||Playing Catch||(1)|
|Lance Berkman||Knee||10/1/12||Late April||Mid March||Working out||(1)|
|Jeremy Bonderman||TJS||04/24/12||Late March||Late March||Healthy||(1)|
|Tim Byrdak||Shoulder Surgery||07/01/12||Early July||Early July||Bullpen Sessions||(1)|
|Edwar Cabrera (**)||Shoulder||08/01/12||Mid March||Unknown||Unknown||(1)|
|Chris Carpenter (**)||Nerve||02/05/13||September||Retire||Rest||(1)|
|Andrew Cashner||Thumb laceration||1/25/13||Late March||May||Rest||(1)|
|Carl Crawford||TJS||8/23/12||Late March||Early April||Throwing||(1)|
|Scott Diamond||Elbow Surgery||10/1/12||Early April||Early May||Unknown||(1)|
|Kyle Drabek (**)||TJS||6/19/12||Mid Season||Mid Season||Unknown||(1)|
|Danny Duffy||TJS||6/13/12||Early June||All Star Game||Throwing||(1)|
|Neftali Feliz||TJS||8/1/12||July||August||Playing Catch||(1)|
|Frank Francisco||Elbow||2/14/13||Late March||Early April||Throwing||(1)|
|Rafael Furcal||Elbow||2/20/13||Mid March||Mid April||Rest||(1)|
|Matt Garza||Strained Lat||2/21/13||April||April||Throwing||(1)|
|Curtis Granderson||Right forearm||2/24/13||Early May||Middle May||Rest||(1)|
|Corey Hart||Right knee surgery||1/26/13||Late April||Late May||Rest||(1)|
|Daniel Hudson (**)||TJS||7/9/12||July||July||Playing Catch||(1)|
|Phil Hughes||Bulging Disk||2/28/13||Late March||Middle April||Rest||(1)|
|Derek Jeter||Fractured Left Ankle||10/1/12||Late March||Late March||Fielding||(1)|
|Ryan Kalish (**)||Shoulder Surgery||1/25/13||Early April||Unknown||Rest||(1)|
|Matt Kemp||Shoulder||8/1/12||Late March||Late March||Light Training||(1)|
|Colby Lewis||Elbow Surgery||7/1/12||Late May||June||Throwing||(1)|
|Francisco Liriano||Broken humerus||12/1/12||Early April||Late May||Rest||(1)|
|Nick Masset||Shoulder Surgery||09/07/12||Unknown||Unknown||Throwing||(1)|
|Jeff Mathis||Broken Collarbone||02/23/13||Mid March||Mid March||Rest||(1)|
|Brian McCann||Torn labrum||7/4/12||April||April||Batting Practice||(1)|
|Logan Morrison||Knee||9/1/12||Late March||Late April||Light Training||(1)|
|David Ortiz||Achilles||03/03/13||Late March||April||Hitting||(1)|
|Felipe Paulino (**)||TJS||7/3/12||Early July||Early July||Throwing||(1)|
|Carl Pavano||Ruptured spleen||1/25/13||Late March||Mid April||Rest||(1)|
|Mike Pelfrey||TJS||05/01/12||Late March||Late March||Throwing||(1)|
|Chris Perez||Strained Shoulder||03/01/13||Late March||Early April||Rest||(1)|
|Luis Perez (**)||TJS||7/1/12||Early July||Early September||Rest||UNK|
|Martin Perez||Broken Forearm||03/03/13||Late April||Late May||Rest||(1)|
|Michael Pineda||Shoulder Surgery||5/1/12||June||Early July||Rest||(1)|
|Wilson Ramos||ACL||5/1/12||Late March||Late March||Catching||(1)|
|Alex Rodriguez (**)||Hip surgery||1/16/13||Early July||2014 season||Rest||(1)(2)|
|CC Sabathia||Bone Spur||10/1/12||Late March||Late March||Throwing||(1)|
|Johan Santana||Back||2/25/13||Late March||Middle April||Throwing off mound||(1)|
|George Sherrill||TJS||5/1/11||Late April||May||Bullpen Sessions||(1)|
|Joakim Soria||TJS||4/2/12||Late May||Early June||Playing Catch||(1)|
|Eric Surkamp||TJS||07/24/12||Late July||September||Unknown||(1)|
|Tsuyoshi Wada||TJS||05/11/12||May||June||Throwing off mound||(1)|
|Josh Tomlin (**)||TJS||08/22/12||August||2014||Rest||(1)|
|Joe Wieland (**)||TJS||07/27/12||Early August||2014||Catch||(1)|
|Brian Wilson||TJS||4/19/12||Unknown||Unknown||Not ready to pitch||(1)|
|Delmon Young||Right ankle||10/1/12||Mid April||Early May||Rest||(1)|
* Player is officially on the 15-day disabled list
** Player is officially on the 60-day disabled list
Pitchers with Velocity Drops
For reference, fastball speeds stabilize quickly and spring training values are on average 0.6 mph slower than the regular season.
Players Returning From Injury
No information yet.
Players Playing Through Injuries
Here is the list of players who should exceed their power projections for 2013:
Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard, Cameron Maybin, Trevor Plouffe, Justin Upton, Paul Konerko, Dustin Pedroia, Luke Scott, Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Evan Longoria, and Troy Tulowitzki. New additions: Dustin Ackley, Matt LaPorta and Howie Kendrick
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.