Nationals fans need to talk themselves into Stephen Strasburg making a full recovery from Tommy John Surgery and rising again like he did last summer. We're optimists, and we need to think that Strasburg will be OK. That means we probably won't be too thrilled to read that Strasburg's mechanics may still be messed up beyond belief.
Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated checked in with Strasburg's recovery and pointed to a very specific point in his pitching motion that still isn't fixed.
The Nationals promise you will see a different Strasburg, but not in the mechanics of how he throws a baseball. Those mechanics are a source of some controversy that the Nationals dismiss as insignificant, even though a leader in the field of pitching biomechanics told me a very specific glitch in a delivery -- one that applies to Strasburg -- "is risky and dangerous. That's a red flag. Definitely."
That glitch? Find out below the jump.
Verducci notes that Strasburg's elbow is quite literally frozen higher than his shoulder at one point in the motion when his foot is already planted on the ground. That's the point where a pitcher should be throwing the pitch, but Strasburg takes extra time to cock his arm, which puts an incredible amount of pressure on his elbow. A sports medicine expert told Verducci that this motion is "risky and dangerous" for Strasburg.
Sadly, it doesn't appear that the Nationals are going to do anything to change Strasburg's pitching motion. Jim Riggleman simply said changing a pitcher's motion is a "big challenge," while Mike Rizzo said the injury was simply a "freak accident," which seems more and more careless the more I read the line.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But does it really pay to pretend like everything is just going to magically be OK with his pitching motion?