The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said he did not tell the Washington Nationals to shut down their ace pitcher.
“I wasn’t asked,” Dr. Lewis Yocum told the Los Angeles Times.
Yocum said he had not talked with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year and had not talked with Strasburg since spring training….
Yocum said that, had he been asked, he would not have been able to provide conclusive information about whether Strasburg’s long-term health would be best served by shutting him down.
“There’s no statistic as far as studies,” Yocum said.
Yocum noted that Rizzo set his own standard with Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann….
Yocum said that process — and not any medical directive — essentially determined how Rizzo would proceed with Strasburg.
“It’s based on Mike’s experience,” Yocum said. “Mike is extremely confident. His track record speaks for itself. Zimmermann did extremely well.”
Yocum said the results with Zimmermann and Strasburg might well influence how other teams handle the progress of young pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery, in which a damaged ligament in the forearm is replaced.
“If there was a guarantee, everybody would be doing it right now,” Yocum said. “You just don’t know. This may be the beginning of a trend.”