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Monday, June 11, 2018

Report: Shohei Ohtani likely to have Tommy John surgery, will be out until 2020

The Angels were going to reevaluate him in three weeks. At this point, waiting the three weeks before surgery would likely not harm his timetable should surgery then be decided, so it’s possible that the Angels will still wait and see.

If Ohtani does go under the knife, however, it would be sad, sad ending to his breakout rookie season. Ohtani has wowed baseball by being its first effective two-way player in nearly a century, going 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 61/20 in 49.1 innings as a starter and hitting .289/.372/.535 with six homers and 20 RBI in 129 plate appearance as a part-time designated hitter.

I can’t f****** even.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:27 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, shohei ohtani, tommy john surgery

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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5689636)
*&&%$@$#%$&%#@#&&**$@#%.
   2. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5689642)
I am not an Angel fan, but this really sucks.
   3. Man o' Schwar Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5689646)
It really does. Exciting young players keep up interest in the game, which is good for every team.

On the plus side, he'll be only 25 when he comes back in 2020, so still relatively young. And we've seen what he can do so far, which is pretty damned impressive. I just hope for a strong recovery and that we can get him back out there whiffing people and hitting HRs.
   4. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5689648)
If you can hit and you can pitch, you should probably just ditch the pitching and just hit. You'll make more money and help your team more. Pitchers get injured. That;s what they do.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5689656)
On the plus side, he'll be only 25 when he comes back in 2020, so still relatively young. And we've seen what he can do so far, which is pretty damned impressive. I just hope for a strong recovery and that we can get him back out there whiffing people and hitting HRs.

And a silver lining here is that he will accrue service time while disabled. So, assuming he comes back strong in 2020, he'll get a nice arb award, and be off to the races. Much better for Ohtani to have this happen now than in a year or two.
   6. Zonk is One Individual Posted: June 11, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5689660)
Put me down for a 'That Sucks' too...

I understand the returning to the mound timetable, but couldn't he be back at least as a DH well before that?
   7. DCA Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5689667)
but couldn't he be back at least as a DH well before that?

Not just "couldn't he" but "shouldn't he"

Hitting seems to be much more of a skill, that needs to be learned and maintained with constant practice and experience. Pitching is more of a talent. If you can throw bendy stuff hard, you can go from the low minors to excelling in MLB in a few months; this happens frequently.

Even if the plan remains for Ohtani to be SP first, DH second, it is probably a long-term benefit for him to get back to hitting soonest, even if it delays the pitching rehab.
   8. KronicFatigue Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5689673)
Interesting point in #7. Do we have examples of hitters who took that much time off and if we do, how did they recover?
   9. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5689674)
I understand the returning to the mound timetable, but couldn't he be back at least as a DH well before that?
His pitching arm is his hitter's lead hand. My WAG is to say that because his top hand is going to be perfectly healthy, I assume he COULD DH before that. The chances the Angels allow that to happen, have his surgically repaired elbow out in front to possibly get thrown at, is exactly zero.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5689676)
#8 Ted Williams a couple of times. Didn't seem to hurt him.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5689678)
Interesting point in #7. Do we have examples of hitters who took that much time off and if we do, how did they recover?

I think it's usually about 6 months. Gleyber Torres had TJS on his glove hand last June and was ready for Spring Training. Since Ohtani is a DH, I would think the timetable is similar.

His pitching arm is his hitter's lead hand. My WAG is to say that because his top hand is going to be perfectly healthy, I assume he COULD DH before that. The chances the Angels allow that to happen, have his surgically repaired elbow out in front to possibly get thrown at, is exactly zero.

Seems like silly risk aversion. He can wear a pad on the elbow.
   12. Batman Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5689683)
Sad. Last week Ohtani was the Japanese Babe Ruth. Now he'll just be the Japanese Ted Williams.
   13. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5689686)
My WAG is to say that because his top hand is going to be perfectly healthy, I assume he COULD DH before that. The chances the Angels allow that to happen, have his surgically repaired elbow out in front to possibly get thrown at, is exactly zero.


You are surprisingly calm about this.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5689687)
Seriously sad news, and I hope he comes back better than ever.
   15. Traderdave Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5689690)
I am not an Angel fan, but this really sucks.


Concur.
   16. BrianBrianson Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5689693)
DO NOT WANT.
   17. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5689706)
That sucks. They have to seriously consider making him a full time OF IMO. He'd be completely ready for spring '19 given the usual 6-7 months for a position player TJ. If the keep him as a SP he's done until 2020.
   18. BDC Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5689712)
Do we have examples of hitters who took that much time off and if we do, how did they recover?

Both Joe Morgan and Rod Carew missed most of their age-24 seasons, and it set them back: both took a couple of years upon their return to get back where they were going. Those might be among the most relevant examples. In both cases, they were out with leg injuries, though, unlike Ohtani.

Ted Williams a couple of times

Though in WW2, Williams played a lot of service baseball. Not all against major-league pitchers, but at least he was in practice. (The same is true of many major-leaguers during that war.) Korea, not as much; Williams was in combat most of his time there.
   19. Spahn Insane Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5689717)
Echoing the many "man, this sucks" sentiments; I'd actually been tuning in to Angels games semi-regularly just to watch Ohtani hit and pitch. I hope he recovers quickly and effectively.

Minor hijack: the possibility that Ohtani will be out of action for a while prompted me to check in on Brendan McKay, who of course the Rays drafted last year as both a pitcher and first baseman. Looking at his 2018 hitting stats, I at first wondered why he was promoted from low- to high-A so quickly, as he's not hitting a lick. But his pitching numbers...oh my:

At low-A before his promotion: 24.2 IP, 8 H (for an .096 [!] BA against), 3 ER, 40:2 (!!!) K:W.

At high-A: Not as dominant, but still over a K per inning, 24 K's to 1 walk. So, between the two levels, 64:3 K:W in 45.1 innings.

My take all along has been that McKay's upside as a pitcher is much higher than as a first baseman (where his limited power makes his absolute best-case scenario Mark Grace or something--not that there's anything wrong with that, but Grace wasn't a superstar, and I see that as McKay's ceiling). So far, so good.

   20. Mark Armour Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5689721)
Although I rooted (and will still root) for Ohtani, I don't believe he (or anyone) will ever succeed as a two-way player. I don't know enough about his underlying skill set to advise on which path he should choose, but I recommend that he choose one.

   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5689725)
That sucks. They have to seriously consider making him a full time OF IMO. He'd be completely ready for spring '19 given the usual 6-7 months for a position player TJ. If the keep him as a SP he's done until 2020.

If they were theoretically willing to give up on the pitching, why wouldn't they just let him DH full-time next season, and keep rehabbing as a pitcher on the side. No reason to rule out pitching.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5689727)
Although I rooted (and will still root) for Ohtani, I don't believe he (or anyone) will ever succeed as a two-way player. I don't know enough about his underlying skill set to advise on which path he should choose, but I recommend that he choose one.

Why? he was succeeding. It's not like he wasn't going to hurt his arm if he was just a pitcher.
   23. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5689729)
If they were theoretically willing to give up on the pitching, why wouldn't they just let him DH full-time next season, and keep rehabbing as a pitcher on the side. No reason to rule out pitching.


If the medical experts OK that plan that's 100% what they should do, right? But I'd be curious if the rehab for DHing would impact the rehab for coming back as a pitcher or vice versa.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5689731)
Smoky Joe Wood went 34-5 with a 177 ERA+ for the 1912 World Series champion Boston Red Sox - going 3-1 in the World Series to boot. He had 35 complete games.

https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/9f244666

Joe played for the National Bloomer Girls in 1906. by 1908, Smoky made his Red Sox debut at age 18. The following spring, he was injured in a hotel room wrestling match with Tris Speaker and missed two months. in 1910-11, he put up ERA+s of 152 and 162. then came 1912.

from there, a series of injuries ensued (not all arm/shoulder related), and a 36-13 mark in 1913-15 came in a mere 416 total innings of work. he sat out 1916, and managed a mere 16 IP in 1917 - for the Indians.

Smoky - who had a 120 OPS+ in 1912 - reinvented himself as an OF from 1918-1922, mixing in part-time and full-time duty. he got another WS ring in 1920. 1921 was a 151 OPS+ in 234 PA, the year after was 108 OPS+ in 585 PA.

then, he quit at age 32.

almost 60 years later, Smoky Joe happened upon a writer while attending a Yale vs St. John's college baseball game.

The web of the game

the pitchers were Ron Darling and Frank Viola. the writer was Roger Angell.

Roger is 97 and still writing. he watched a baseball game game with Smoky Joe Wood, who won 34 games two years before Babe Ruth arrived to be his teammate in the Red Sox rotation.
   25. Spahn Insane Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5689733)
Roger is 97 and still writing. he watched a baseball game game with Smoky Joe Wood, who won 34 games two years before Babe Ruth arrived to be his teammate in the Red Sox rotation.

That's a pretty fantastic factoid.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 11, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5689735)
This article is based on a Pedro Gomez report for ESPN, which didn't provide any reason for its conclusion that Tommy John Surgery was more likely. Gomez didn't say that the injury was worse than originally thought, or towards the high end of a Grade 2 strain, just that surgery seemed likely. Perhaps someone passed him that assessment without the underlying details, but it seems like incomplete reporting at this point.
   27. Mark Armour Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5689745)
Why? he was succeeding. It's not like he wasn't going to hurt his arm if he was just a pitcher.


Modern pitchers (and Ohtani throws hard) require an awful lot of recovery between starts, and I'm not sure playing baseball, even as a DH, is recommended leisure activity. Teams forbid players from swinging a golf club during the season.

At the time of his injury, he had not hit enough to qualify for the batting title nor pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title. I find it hard to believe he would not help the Angels more as a full-time ... something.


   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5689753)
Modern pitchers (and Ohtani throws hard) require an awful lot of recovery between starts, and I'm not sure playing baseball, even as a DH, is recommended leisure activity. Teams forbid players from swinging a golf club during the season.

I don't think DH-ing is particularly physically stressful. Not judging by the grossly out of shape players who have successfully manned the position.

At the time of his injury, he had not hit enough to qualify for the batting title nor pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title. I find it hard to believe he would not help the Angels more as a full-time ... something.

Per Fangraphs, he has 2.0 combined WAR year-to-date. Only 11 pitchers and 27 hitters have more than that. So, I think the odds are pretty good that he can't help the Angels more as a full-time something. If he had 260 PA as a DH and kept up the 150 wRC+ pace, he'd be worth 1.8 fWAR.

Also, who cares what's better for the Angels? A two-way star is awesome.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5689756)
Teams forbid players from swinging a golf club during the season.

Is that correct? Reportedly, Maddox, Glavine & Smoltz were notorious for playing golf during the season, even bringing their clubs on some road trips. I can understand clubs banning the practice because it doesn't look good to the players actually working every game, but it didn't seem to have done those guys any harm.
   30. Mark Armour Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5689760)
Also, who cares what's better for the Angels? A two-way star is awesome.


I agree that its awesome, and I hope the Angels disregard my opinion on the matter. Perhaps we will get 2-3 years of fun out of it.
   31. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5689776)
Is that correct? Reportedly, Maddox, Glavine & Smoltz were notorious for playing golf during the season, even bringing their clubs on some road trips. I can understand clubs banning the practice because it doesn't look good to the players actually working every game, but it didn't seem to have done those guys any harm.


A lot of my coaches and coaches in general seem to think that for position players the tempo of the golf swing will miss with the tempo of your baseball swing. I have never seen any rigorous examination of this but it is a thing in the Baseball Coaching World. Does not seem to be a thing with pitchers.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5689778)
Reportedly, Maddox, Glavine & Smoltz were notorious for playing golf during the season, even bringing their clubs on some road trips.
Has anyone ever figured out why Garry Maddox apparently spent so much time hanging around with the early '90s Braves? I guess he would have played with Lonnie Smith on the Phillies. Maybe that was the connection.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5689781)
Is that correct? Reportedly, Maddox, Glavine & Smoltz were notorious for playing golf during the season, even bringing their clubs on some road trips. I can understand clubs banning the practice because it doesn't look good to the players actually working every game, but it didn't seem to have done those guys any harm.

Babe Ruth was a big golfer. When the Yankees finally forced him to give it up, it contributed to his weight gain and physical decline. The 4-5 miles of walking was the only real non-game exercise he got. BITD, they believe in "saving your legs", so working out was discouraged.
   34. Mark Armour Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5689783)
Has anyone ever figured out why Garry Maddox apparently spent so much time hanging around with the early '90s Braves? I guess he would have played with Lonnie Smith on the Phillies. Maybe that was the connection.


He was a Braves fan, from back when his uncle Lester was governor of Georgia.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5689784)
Has anyone ever figured out why Garry Maddox apparently spent so much time hanging around with the early '90s Braves? I guess he would have played with Lonnie Smith on the Phillies. Maybe that was the connection.


He was a Braves fan, from back when his uncle Lester was governor of Georgia.

Well done gentlemen. <Golf Clap>
   36. Spahn Insane Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5689785)
Has anyone ever figured out why Garry Maddox apparently spent so much time hanging around with the early '90s Braves? I guess he would have played with Lonnie Smith on the Phillies. Maybe that was the connection.

I've wondered the same about Gary Woods, why he spent so much time hanging out with the early-aughts Zambrano/Prior/Sosa Cubs. I mean, he was a fair 4th OF back in the early 80s, but nothing more.
   37. Rusty Priske Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5689790)
The Angels are denying the report:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/shohei-ohtani-rumors-tommy-john-surgery-angels.html
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5689796)
I've wondered the same about Gary Woods, why he spent so much time hanging out with the early-aughts Zambrano/Prior/Sosa Cubs. I mean, he was a fair 4th OF back in the early 80s, but nothing more.
Once a Cub, always a Cub. He probably wanted to show his teenage son Travis what the big leagues were all about.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5689797)
The Angels are denying the report:


Does that make it more or less likely to be true?
   40. Shredder Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5689803)
My guess they'll see how he responds to the stem cell treatment before making a decision either way. The Angels have two pitchers who have gone that route (Heaney and Richards), and it worked for one of them (Richards), though he still missed significant time. He just had it done, so I can't imagine they've had enough time to make a full evaluation. Of course, I'm not a doctor, but I did learn a significant amount of medical jargon while sitting in the hospital with my newborn for about 10 of the last 15 weeks.
   41. BrianBrianson Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5689810)
I don't think DH-ing is particularly physically stressful. Not judging by the grossly out of shape players who have successfully manned the position.


I remember a guy with type II diabetes throwing a perfect game with a fearsome hangover - don't mean pitching ain't physically stressful.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5689819)
I remember a guy with type II diabetes throwing a perfect game with a fearsome hangover - don't mean pitching ain't physically stressful.

Well yes. But throwing a ball 110 times at 85-100 MPH is a tad different than taking a dozen swings, and maybe running hard for 90 feet once or twice. Man, I really hate the DH.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: June 11, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5689829)
Yoenis Cespedes famously/infamously used to play golf every day he could as a Met. The team had a theory that it made Cespedes a little bit tired, thus more relaxed to play.

granted, the Mets are not the poster child for regulating anything.
   44. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5689835)

Yoenis Cespedes famously/infamously used to play golf every day he could as a Met. The team had a theory that it made Cespedes a little bit tired, thus more relaxed to play.

There were a couple of times where Cespedes played golf on game days and then left the game with an injury later in the day. I think he's given it up (golf, not the DL unfortunately) this season.
   45. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 11, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5689836)
You are surprisingly calm about this.
I'd kill you all to make him healthy again.
   46. Perry Posted: June 11, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5689837)
A lot of my coaches and coaches in general seem to think that for position players the tempo of the golf swing will miss with the tempo of your baseball swing.


Interesting. Back when Charlie Lau was the big hitting guru, I remember reading in a Boswell article that basically the Lau-taught swing WAS a golf swing, with all the same principles. That style of hitting is well out of fashion now, however.
   47. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 11, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5689838)
At the time of his injury, he had not hit enough to qualify for the batting title nor pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title. I find it hard to believe he would not help the Angels more as a full-time ... something.
Before he got pulled in his last start, Ohtani was on pace for about 140 innings pitched and just over 350 PAs. That's a lot of baseball. I don't think the injury has anything to do with him splitting time.
   48. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 11, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5689841)
My guess they'll see how he responds to the stem cell treatment before making a decision either way. The Angels have two pitchers who have gone that route (Heaney and Richards), and it worked for one of them (Richards), though he still missed significant time. He just had it done, so I can't imagine they've had enough time to make a full evaluation.
Heaney went under the knife after a few months of evaluations. Takashi Saito also went through something like this about ten years ago, and came back after about six weeks off to pitch in September and the postseason. He didn't pitch well, but came back the next season at age 39 without going through surgery, and was fantastic, and was pretty effective until he finally retired at 44. On the other hand, Heaney's tear was apparently large enough that it didn't respond to treatments at all, and after a couple of months they jettisoned the PRP/stem cell treatments for TJ surgery. I don't know at this point if anyone can tell with any certainty what will happen next. The Angels aren't giving any specifics on the extent of his injury, so we're all just guessing.
   49. RMc's Daps of the Dope Artists Posted: June 11, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5689873)
I don't believe he (or anyone) will ever succeed as a two-way player.

Ohtani's injury officially kills any chance that any MLB team will allow a two-way player, ever.

Baseball is hard.
   50. RMc's Daps of the Dope Artists Posted: June 11, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5689875)
Joe played for the National Bloomer Girls in 1906. (Later), he was injured in a hotel room wrestling match with Tris Speaker

Tris kicked the crap outa him when he found out Joe wasn't actually a girl.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5689879)
Ohtani's injury officially kills any chance that any MLB team will allow a two-way player, ever.


I think he comes back as a two-way player. I'm sure he got assurances in the negotiations that he would be allowed to do both, as long as it seems feasible.

This injury is no reason to stop him from hitting. If his arm doesn't recover, then you stop the pitching.
   52. The Duke Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5689907)
I love it when people use Ted Williams or babe Ruth or some other top 10 guy to make a point. Yeah, Ted Williams sat out quite a while but he was freaking Ted Williams. I don’t think that’s the compare to use.

It’s inevitable. The stress of pitching ML ball creates these injuries. Look at Alex Reyes of the Cards. Simply gets so amped up he keeps blowing out his arm. Jordan Hicks likely won’t survive the season either
   53. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5689908)

I think he comes back as a two-way player. I'm sure he got assurances in the negotiations that he would be allowed to do both, as long as it seems feasible.

This injury is no reason to stop him from hitting. If his arm doesn't recover, then you stop the pitching.


I guess the question is how good of a hitter is he, really? Even if he's not a 150 OPS+ hitter, if he can maintain the 128 he put up in May then I would want to give him another shot as a hitter. He may never be any good again as a pitcher, do you really want him taking two years off from hitting while you figure that out?
   54. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5689909)
Ohtani's injury officially kills any chance that any MLB team will allow a two-way player, ever.

I don't see the logic here, especially if one accepts the consensus that Ohtani is more awesome as a pitcher than a hitter. If Ohtani had just pitched, he likely would have pitched more often, mostly every 5th day, rather than once a week. His injury might have occurred earlier, rather than been delayed or prevented, if he hadn't also been used at DH. If hitting or running the bases had caused Ohtani's injury, there might be an argument here, but they didn't. Although pitchers can get hurt hitting or running the bases, those injuries mostly aren't career threatening. It's pitching that does the ugly stuff.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:14 PM (#5689910)
Bummer.

Per Fangraphs, he has 2.0 combined WAR year-to-date. Only 11 pitchers and 27 hitters have more than that. So, I think the odds are pretty good that he can't help the Angels more as a full-time something. If he had 260 PA as a DH and kept up the 150 wRC+ pace, he'd be worth 1.8 fWAR.

But that's also the point. Obviously we can't just assume a 150 OPS+ going forward (nor could we just assume he'd be a good pitcher going forward) but using those numbers as a starting point, is the extra risk of pitching worth an extra 0.5 WAR per year? And that's in a "peak" year when he's good at both. (As a full-time starter, he'd have about 1.5 bWAR ... except he'd probably have hit the DL a few weeks ago.)

I agree that Ohtani received sufficient assurances that he would get to try to pull this off but I'm also sure the teams made it clear that if it wasn't working or if he got injured, they'd have to re-evaluate that.
   56. RMc's Daps of the Dope Artists Posted: June 11, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5690031)
Although pitchers can get hurt hitting or running the bases, those injuries mostly aren't career-threatening.

Chien-Ming Wang says hi.

Look, all I'm saying is that pitching is hard, and hitting is hard, and when you do both, it's that much easier to get hurt. Owners don't want to see their eight-figure investment go up in smoke, mmkay?
   57. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 12, 2018 at 12:34 AM (#5690110)
Do we have examples of hitters who took that much time off and if we do, how did they recover?


Bill James looked at this in one of his Abstracts. Most prominent example I recall from that was Bruce Bochte, a semi-decent OF-1B of the 70s-early 80s. Took 1983 off, came back and had the worst year of his career. One decent year after that, another poor season, retired at 35.

Anybody else have access to that article to see if there were other, better examples?
   58. Rally Posted: June 12, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5690201)
Look, all I'm saying is that pitching is hard, and hitting is hard, and when you do both, it's that much easier to get hurt. Owners don't want to see their eight-figure investment go up in smoke, mmkay?


Impossible to know for sure but I think if the Angels had not allowed him to swing the bat once, but instead put him in the rotation every 5th game and expected 100-110 pitches the injury chance would be greater than what they actually had him do. Especially the chance of the specific injury that is keeping him out right now.

Injury risk, from worst to least, in my opinion:

1. Starter every 5th game, bats the other 4 games.
2. Starter every 5th game
3. Ohtani schedule - start once a week, off days as hitter before and after each start, plus on bench often vs. LHP.
4. Ohtani hitting only

What's the big deal about an 8 figure investment? That's what teams spend on one year deals for crappy back of the rotation starters. You need to get to 9 figures before the player involved qualifies as an investment.
   59. Rally Posted: June 12, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5690208)
Anybody else have access to that article to see if there were other, better examples?


A-Rod was forced to take a year off due to steroids.

Dave Winfield missed the 1989 season due to injury. Those are players towards the end of their careers.

At the beginning, Chipper Jones missed the entire 1994 season. Only 3 big league AB before that, but he would have been in the big leagues that year. He played the full 1993 season in AAA and raked there.

Doing this by memory, I'm obviously choosing really good players. I'm sure there are other examples of ordinary players who missed a full year due to injury.
   60. DavidFoss Posted: June 12, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5690238)
I'm sure there are other examples of ordinary players who missed a full year due to injury.

Jason Kubel was a more ordinary version of the Chipper Jones story. He had a late call-up in 2004 and even made an appearance in the LDS but then he blew out his knee in the Arizona Fall League and missed all of 2005 (majors and minors). He certainly never approached the pre-injury ceiling that Twins fans were hoping for -- the injury made him a much more one-dimensional player -- but lots of players don't reach their ceilings anyways.
   61. Rally Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5690255)
Jurickson Profar missed the whole 2014 season, and did not play in the majors in 2015. He played all of 12 games that year during the minor league season, and then played in the AZ fall league. He was at the top of prospect lists before the injury. Seems like it's been forever, but he's only 25 and this year has been close to league average batter this year (97 OPS+) while playing shortstop.
   62. McCoy Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5690273)
Ryne Sandberg walked with about only a third of the season played (and it would end up being about half the season), took off all of the next season and came back and put up a 97 OPS+ as an aging 36 year old second baseman.

Smoky Joe Wood was a pitcher for 8 seasons before injuring himself and not playing at all in 1916. He got 6 PA in 1917 and then put up a 120 OPS+ in 481 PA in 1918 and was an above average hitter the rest of his career. Rick Ankiel of course had the meltdown in 2001, didn't play at all in 2002. From 2003 through 2006 Ankiel played had a grand total of 401 PA with the vast majority of those PA coming in the minors in 2005 with none of them coming in 2006. He then had a 119 OPS+ and a 120 OPS+ in the majors in 2007 and 2008.
   63. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5690408)

Most guys who take off a year do so because of an injury, so if they are bad when they get back it would be pretty difficult to separate the effects of the injury and the layoff. With PED suspension we'll begin to get some interesting datapoints, but those also raise a similar issue.
   64. Rally Posted: June 12, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5690452)
With A-Rod you had both a PED suspension and a hip injury. He had mostly recovered from the injury, allowing him to finish out the 2013 season, and could have played 2014 if not for the suspension. But I suspect the forced rest was a factor in him being able to play as well as he did in 2015.
   65. Rally Posted: June 12, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5690463)
On the pitcher side we've got more data points than we can count with TJS.

Bartolo Colon had a bunch of injuries from 2006-2009, but I don't think a specific injury forced him to miss the 2010 season. He just didn't sign a contract. Most people probably assumed he was retired. Then he came back at age 37 and made at least 24 starts 7 years in a row. Looks well on pace to make it 8, and that even includes a 50 game suspension in 2012.

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