It was announced this morning that Stephen Strasburg will likely be on the shelf for 12-18 months while he undergoes Tommy John surgery and then travels the long road to recovery.
Back in May, I wrote about the uncertainty that comes with being the latest can’t miss star. Despite the strict pitch counts and swaddling clothes, the only thing that is certain today is that Strasburg will not be the next coming of Tom Seaver or Nolan Ryan. With a bit of luck, he is a guy that will have an inconsistent and occasionally spectacular career.
The following is a list of pitchers who have had the surgery and made it back to the bigs in time to have good careers:AJ Burnett Chris Carpenter Ryan Dempster Octavio Dotal Tom Gordon Tim Hudson Josh Johnson Francisco Liriano Kenny Rogers John Smoltz Joakim Soria Billy Wagner David Wells Brian Wilson
Below is a partial list of players whose careers were never the same:Erik Bedard Rick Ankiel Brian Anderson Chris Capuano Eric Gagne Mike Hampton Pat Hentgen Jimmy Key Joe Nathan Carl Pavano Jose Rijo BJ Ryan Jaret Wright Victor Zambrano
Time will tell which list Strasburg ends up on. Using Carpenter, Hudson and Liriano as examples, we might not know until 2013 or 2014 if his arm comes all the way back. Keep your chin up Nationals and Expos fans. Football season starts in two weeks.