The Nationals fan in me wants Stephen Strasburg's shoulder tightness to be just that, tightness; not some sort of indication that his shoulder can't handle the tremendous amount of strain pitching at his ability puts on the human body. So what if he misses a start or two, who cares about a trip to the DL, they were going to keep his innings down anyway; anything I can say to justify it to myself.
Meanwhile, there are some outside of the district and the Strasburg hype bubble, who see this not as a minor roadblock in the path to inevitable success, but as a sign of things to come. That includes White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who had this to say to MLB Radio Network, from an article by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
"(With Strasburg) The real concern is what I call an upside-down arm action," Cooper told MLB Network Radio on SIRIUS XM today.
"I am not wishing this guy bad, but for him to be having problems right now when they are really, really watching him what are they going to see when they are trying to get 220 innings from him? He does something with his arm action that is difficult, in my mind, to pitch a whole lot of innings on."
It's true, Strasburg throws it really hard. I thought one of the appeals of Strasburg was that he had nearly picture perfect mechanics, but if a major league pitching coach says he has a motion that could be damaging to his arm, than that is certainly a red flag. he continued:
"It reminds me a little bit of Kerry Wood, a little bit of Mark Prior. I hope I’m wrong about this," said Cooper, whose White Sox were held to one run over seven innings by Strasburg in his third major-league start. "When you throw with the kind of talent and force that he can throw, you can break easier than let’s say a Mark Buehrle type."
Those are two names you do not want to use as examples when projecting Strasburg's career trajectory. I am choosing to still subscribe to the, "everything is going to be alright" school of thought, but again, I'm not a major league pitching coach. Any way you slice it, I'm less confident now than I was at this time on Tuesday.