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Mitch Williams calls Strasburg injury "a product of the pitch count"

Rob Dibble's comments on Stephen Strasburg and the difference between pain and injury have already gotten more attention than they likely deserved, but I'll press on, because now even more ex-Major League pitchers are using the Strasburg DL trip to talk about the modern-day pitcher.

"This is a product of the pitch count and a pitcher that has been raised with the pitch count," Mitch Williams said Monday night on MLB Network's MLB Tonight. "Today's pitchers don't know the difference between hurt and sore. I threw in over 600 big league games. I felt great in maybe ten games....

"The bottom line is you're going to have aches and pains....Am I saying Strasburg is not hurt? No, I'm not saying that. With the era of the pitch count, pitchers don't know the difference between injury and soreness. That comes with age and he'll learn that....It comes with innings, experience, all of that and he has none of it."

If I'm being totally honest, this is maybe just a more nuanced, less tough-guy version of what Dibble said. Nothing about steel plates and loving pain and sucking it up; just sober comments about learning what big-league baseball can make your arm feel like.

"There is a notion that you do have to learn as a pitcher about throwing through soreness," Joe Magrane said on the same program. "Once you start your Major League career, there are the first couple of starts and then your arm does not feel perfect every time. You really become a fantastic starter or reliever when you go out there and succeed when your arm feels less than sensational. But I think the Nationals have to be protective at this point. This is the first year that Strasburg has learned to throw on five days rest."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 24, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Comments

How about letting the doctors do their jobs? We're talking about a very important part of the Nationals' future, and it makes no sense for Strasburg to continue throwing in pain in a mid-August game on the way to 90 losses.

Neanderthals.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | August 24, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree we need to wait for the next scan on his elbow, which will determine if he needs surgery or not. If he needs surgery, there's nothing more to debate. If he doesn't need surgery, it becomes a baseball decision.

So far he's missed time with a tight shoulder and "strained elbow". He's learning how to pitch on 4 days rest for the first time, which is part of maturing into a big league pitcher. The only way to do that is to keep pitching. What Dibble and Williams are saying is from the perspective of MLB vets, they went through it too.

It will be unfortunate if he only has a mild strain, does not pitch anymore this year because of too much cautiousness, and gets another tweak next spring and misses more time due to growing pains. At some point he will need to suck it up, and so will the front office. If he needs surgery, they get spared that tough decision.

Posted by: LouLewis | August 24, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, just what Strasburg needs. Injury advice from two pitchers whose careers were essentially over at the age of 28.

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 24, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Almost wrote the ideas from the above post in the comment section of that last Dibble post. Pitch Count Theory is the lamest thing to come along in 21st century sports. Its pervasiveness is mind-boggling. Bunch of sheep. "Hey, what's a nice round number? Duh, a hundred pitches? Let's all agree to get nervous around that magic 100 and pull em." Everyone with a brain already knows not to throw until your arm falls off. But take care of your guys, don't baby them, or judge them on mostly arbitrary numerical systems.

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | August 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I wish SS could read this note: SS, the heck with all this noise...I'd rather watch you pitch than about 90% of what we have thrown out there this year. I'm looking forward to the Z man showing up cause then we will have 2 major league pitchers. So, if you need another trip to see your rookie season through, so be it....play some golf this off-season, go to the beach and relax...the media parasites won't let it go until they find something else to feast on.

Posted by: outrbnksm | August 24, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Yet another MLB player telling it like it is.

Stras is a softypants.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 24, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

So he should shut up and soldier on?

Same advice you'd give to a soldier with traumatic brain injury but no visible sign of the real damage that's been done?

Let him judge for himself and encourage him to be honest with management, sucking it up doesn't help anybody, and ultimately, he's the one that gets hurt.

Posted by: rvrtis | August 25, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

So he should shut up and soldier on?

Same advice you'd give to a soldier with traumatic brain injury but no visible sign of the real damage that's been done?

Let him judge for himself and encourage him to be honest with management, sucking it up doesn't help anybody, and ultimately, he's the one that gets hurt.

Posted by: rvrtis | August 25, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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