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Toronto rookie Drew Hutchison needs Tommy John surgery

Aug 7, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Drew Hutchison Getty Getty Images

Back in June the Blue Jays shut down Drew Hutchison for 4-6 weeks with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, but framed it as good news because the 21-year-old rookie wouldn’t need elbow surgery.

Unfortunately now those 4-6 weeks have come and gone, and the Blue Jays announced that Hutchison will undergo Tommy John surgery later this week.

He’ll miss the rest of this season and most of next season, which is a shame because Hutchison looked pretty solid in his debut with a 4.60 ERA and 49/20 K/BB ratio in 59 innings at age 21.

  1. cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    TJS, yeah? Like, duh. So anyways, water is wet, that’s up ^, another Beaver Pitcher under the knife, and so on . . . -sigh-

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Three Tommy John surgeries so far this season and another shoulder operation for McGowan.

      • cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        Another shoulder op for McGowan? Sweet Jesus Montero, I didn’t know that. We gotta do something to lift the curse of the arm ‘splosion, man. You know any good voodoo PC?

      • missthemexpos - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        In future, pitchers that get yearly shoulder surgery will be known as going under the knife for McGowan Surgery.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        McGowan seemed to be over his injuries last fall. His velocity was about the same as it had been before his rash of injuries. The control was off a bit due to rust. Either Aaron or one of the other writers for Rotoworld has been questioning why the Jays signed him to an extension last fall. The reasons are as follows 1) he looked like his old self, 2) As the cost was not large, the risk reward parameters were good, and 3) the Jays did not want to see a repeat of the mistake they made years ago when they removed a chronically injured Chris Carpenter from their 40 man roster.

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Very unfortunate for Hutchinson. He is still young and has a chance for a good career.

  3. missthemexpos - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    This must be the all time record year for Tommy John Surgery league wide.

  4. geoknows - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    What I don’t get is this paragraph:

    “On June 15, Hutchison left his start against the Phillies after 12 pitches with pain in his elbow. He visited Cincinnati specialist Dr. Timothy Kremchek, who confirmed the team’s original diagnosis of a sprained elbow ligament. Immediate surgery was suggested.”

    So they said he didn’t need surgery, knowing that the second opinion doc had confirmed the diagnosis and recommended immediate surgery? Then an almost-two-month delay before he has it?

    • cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Its up to the athlete to say yes or no. The doc can only suggest surgery.

      • geoknows - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Well, sure, of course, I know that, and I almost added that point to my post…I guess my question is why did the team word it that he “wouldn’t need surgery” as opposed to “won’t have surgery?”

      • cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Dunno. We’re absent a few facts on this one. The circumstances of the team gainsaying the doc sure sounds foolish, though. One thing we have to remember, what gets posted on the team press reports isn’t always exactly what happened: its some PR guy’s take of what happened.

  5. sportsdrenched.com - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Can someone point me in the direction of any published research about the rash of TJS this season.

    Are MLB franchises bring up their pitchers “wrong”, or are we seeing a generational gaffe in training of these pitchers when they were in the MS & HS?
    Or are human arms not designed to throw curveballs and we’re just now putting medical sceince and media reporting to something that’s been going on for a hundred years?

    I think it’s in the best interest of baseball to look into this.

    • missthemexpos - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Maybe more young pitchers should consider the knuckle ball, much less stress on the elbow and shoulder.

  6. nbjays - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    So does Tommy John get a royalty check every time this surgery is mentioned (or performed)? Because he should… and he should send a thank-you note to the Jays.

  7. paulhargis53 - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Don’t know what’s up. You didn’t see this many pitchers from yesteryear with this many arm problems. They threw a lot more innings in a lot more games too.

    Is there such a thing as too much caution? Bodies too big? Steroids?

    • cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Do yourself a favour. Read Ball Four by Jim Bouton. I read it this summer. The notion that pitchers of yesteryear were healthier is pretty much a myth.

      • 24missed - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        Sounds interesting. I have an eclectic selection of baseball books, magazines and all that jazz, but haven’t heard of that particular book.

        I can’t imagine pitchers were healthier back-in-the-day. For lots of reasons. I also have lots of pure speculation and genuine shots in the dark that don’t prove pitchers are not as healthy these days. All of these ideas are completely backed by no statistics, sample sizes, facts or proof.

        I guess I have a bit ‘o reading to do. Thanks for the rec.

  8. paulhargis53 - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I have read Ball Four. Great book.

    Didn’t say healthier though. I said they were able to pitch more.

    You don’t see guys making 35-40 starts , complete games are a rarity. IP are way down.

    Maybe its because the arm are babied so much, that ANY overexertion causes issues. Don’t know.

    I just know the old timers pitched a lit more, on shorter rest etc. Sometimes newer isn’t better when it comes to sports.

    • cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      They did pitch more on shorter rest and many, many, many of them blew up their arms. It is my belief that lacking the internet age that news failed to be common knowledge. Lacking TJS till 1974 you never heard of those guys again because not every one of them was Nolan Ryan. Ryan is the exception (in our times I suspect Verlander is the Ryan of now). Jim Bouton likely needed TJS. As did many of the pitchers he describes working with. Lacking TJS they either dropped out of baseball or threw knuckleballs. When I think of Ball Four I think of a lot of kids throwing through significant arm pain and getting worse and worse till they can’t go on. The demise of the knuckleball probably mirrors the rise of TJS. I don’t know if the association between TJS and The Beaver Men is significantly related to the team. Its possibly related to the youth of the staff more.

  9. jaysjunkie - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    In the midst of this avalanche of one shitty thing happening after another this season, I would just get this knot of angst in my stomach when the latest bit of bad news came. At this point, my reaction to anything negative happening to a Blue Jays player has evolved (or maybe “devolved” is more accurate) to kinda just laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. I mean, this is just getting stupid, isn’t it?

    • cur68 - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Easy man, easy. Hang in there, right? No one’s died. TJS is highly successful and these kids will bounce back. Till then, well we still got some hitters in Bautist….er, Brett Law….er, um…Arenceb…er, um Rasmu…er, er, um…Lin…er, no, not Lind….er, ah, um…wait! I know! Dog’s gift to the DH: Edwin Elpidio Encarnación! We still got him and he can flat out hit! However I now watch his at bats to see if buzzards are circling him…so yeah, this is getting stupid.

    • 24missed - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      The positive you can cling to is that there is still ball to be played. With your crummy news may come some sunshine-y moments. The players that are forced to become your Blue Jays for the time being, may just inject some delightful energy. You’ll root for them and they’ll surprise you. They may certainly not be the team you anticipated, but it’ll be an interesting experience, if you hang in there.

      The 2010 RS were one of my favorite teams in recent history to watch. Completely injury plagued, all of the young guns and other scraps made the games events to watch. This school of thought, that all of the mish-mash, can actually be alluring, might have some appeal to you.

      Besides, what other options do you really have? :) Keep your spirits up.

  10. paulhargis53 - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Not really a shot in the dark. I’m sure there,are stats available on the internet, or hell in the backs of my baseball cards to prove it out.
    .:-)

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