Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Ask Boswell 3/30/15 … and Blevins move, and the Storen injury, and the Janssen MRI

34 comments

No respect for Harper. Photo: Sports Illustrated

No respect for Harper. Photo: Sports Illustrated

WP columnist Tom Boswell has been putting out some interesting content recently, and was sure to be asked about it in his 3/30/15 chat.  Lets review his baseball-specific questions.

Q: Can you give some examples of big time pitchers having a second Tommy John after eight years? Is the sample size big enough?

A: I cannot off the top of my head, but would immediately say that, no matter what examples pop up, it isn’t a large enough sample size.  If just a handful of guys have had X procedure done and Y% were successful, its kind of hard to project that percentage onto the entire population of baseball-throwing pitchers in the world.  You can certainly draw inferences though.  This is the age of the internet, so sure enough there’s someone out there who has collected every TJ surgery that’s ever occurred.  Searching down this list for “2nd” or “3rd” you can find a list of players who have had multiple TJs.  And for the most part you’ve probably never heard of them.  But then again, most of them are also middle relievers from 15 years ago.   But some of the more recent names  have shown themselves to be problematic.  What’s needed is an “average time to 1st” TJ, then average time to 2nd, then average time afterwards.  Of course, if you have your first at 28 and your second at 34 … who is to say that you weren’t that much closer to retirement anyway, so its kind of hard to draw inferences to pre- and post- surgery performance the older you are.  So we may be mixing aging with surgical concerns.  Boswell talks about how teams like to model everything these days.

Q: Nats Bench: who’s in and who’s out?

A: We’ve talked at length about this already, but my take (given the reading of the tea leaves *today*) is as follows: (link to spring training stats at b-r.com)

  • Werth, Span, McLouth and Rendon on the DL to start.
  • That means that (in order) Moore, Taylor, and Frandsen are in the starting lineup instead of these three.
  • Zimmerman and Escobar healthy enough to start the season.
  • With no injuries your bench was Lobaton, Espinosa, Frandsen. McLouth and Moore (arguable; maybe a lefty hitter instead of Moore).
  • But with 4 injuries, that means to me that Gwynn Jr, Taylor, Stewart and maybe Robinson make the team to start the season.
  • I don’t think the team keeps Uggla.  I think the likes of Carp and Ka’aihue have failed to impress this spring and are due to be released any day.
  • I could be entirely wrong about Uggla and Stewart.

Boswell just says that with three regulars out, “the whole world” will make the bench. 

Q: Given Bryce Harper’s very average offensive stats (career .272BA), why the continued hoopla?

A: Man, talk about someone who just doesn’t get it.  I was reading someone talking about Dodger’s phenom Joc Peterson the other day, talking about his great spring and how he might be the 2015 ROY.  Pederson is SIX MONTHS OLDER than Harper, who will be entering basically his fourth full pro season in 2015.   No, Harper’s career stats aren’t Mike Trout‘s.  Whose are?  If Harper had “played by the rules” and graduated HS on time (in May 2010), and then attended college, played 3 years there, and then would have been drafted in June 2013, played a handful of pro games in 2013 and would have played his first full pro season in 2014, likely in A-Ball.  Instead of what Harper was doing; hitting 3 bombs in the NLDS to single handedly attempt to keep the Nats in the playoffs.

Harper’s achievements are *historic* for someone at his age.  If he had a full, un-injured season, maybe we’d be talking about MVPs instead of whining about what he is or isn’t.

Boswell’s first sentence reaction says it all: You’re kidding, right?  Maybe we both took the bait.

Q: When do these NRIs have their opt-out dates?  Will any stay in AAA as depth?

A: I’m sure someone closer to the team knows, or has asked each guy.  I’d guess most have opt-out dates just prior to when they’d get sent down.  Maybe a couple of the vets would stick around as depth, but not likely; if I was their agent i’d be scouring the injury lists looking at teams with holes at the corners (or in Uggla’s case 2nd/DH) and looking for a move.  Boswell doesn’t know either, saying the beat writers might.

Q: When will Washington get an All-Star Game?

A: Good question; up to now I had assumed the snubbing was thanks to the questionable areas around the stadium.  Between 2008 and now, lots has changed for the better, so the area will show better to fans.  There have been plenty of parks to open *after* Nats Park but to have already been awarded games though, and it is kind of insulting to the team.  Boswell says that the commissioner coming to DC for opening day may be the day that he announces that we’ll get the 2018 game.

Q: How do you reconcile Pete Rose’s banishment with MLB’s recent partnership with DraftKings?

A: Not a bad question.  Is the answer simply the parsing of gambling involvement as a direct participant (Rose as manager of the Reds betting on his own games) versus some nerd in his cube playing a daily fantasy game?  Boswell doesn’t really answer … but admits that he’s giving a “get off my lawn” answer.  Wow.

Q: How much of Spring Training is legitimate getting ready for regular season and how much is local tourism dollar generation?

A: Pitchers say they need every minute.  Hitters probably could cut a couple weeks out and be ok.  Its always been this way; i doubt it has much of anything to do with local pressure.  Boswell seems it could be a future column.

Q: Even with the possibility of TJ2, if Strasburg has a great season and contributes to a winning one for the Nats, isn’t it worth taking a chance on him rather than relying on unproven prospects.

A: I’m not sure it is so easy.  Strasburg is a Boras client.  That means he’s going to get to FA.  No ifs, ands or buts.  Strasburg is from Southern California.  There are several wealthy baseball teams that spend a lot of money in southern california.  The Nats could pretty easily get priced out of the market for Strasburg and opt to keep a hitter (ahem, Harper?) instead of a pitcher for their spare gazillions of dollars.  Especially since (and here I’ll disagree with the questioner) we have more than a few very highly touted prospect pitchers on the way.  There’s a difference between “unproven prospect” and “top 100 prospect,” and the Nats have a few of them.  If one of them pitches just as well as Strasburg but costs the team just the MLB min salary …well that’s quite a bargain.

Q: Should we ever again believe that Nat’s payroll budget is ‘topped out’?

A: Fool me once … yeah I dunno what to make of this.  I thought the proclamation of $135M as “the top” meant that the Nats were in line to move one of their $16-$18M players this past off-season.  Didn’t happen.  And then they committed $210M to Scherzer.  So who knows.  Boswell doesn’t know either.

Q: Do you see Gio getting traded during the season?

A: Nope, nor do I ever see him getting traded.  He’s a #3 starter getting paid #5 veteran money.  Great deal, workable enough arm,  you keep him and he’s a part of the rotation until his contract is up.   Boswell agrees.

Q: Does Michael Taylor start on opening day?

A: Yeah, I think he does.  Boswell agrees, and thinks he’ll lead-off too.

Q: How is the front office consistently wrong with the timetable back for injured players?

A: Misdirection, Stan.  Misdirection.  (link NSFW – language).  What benefit is it to tell the media the truth about anything?  Bill Bellichek is the master of lying to the media about his player injury statuses.  That being said … the Nats do seem to be a fragile bunch who take much longer than initially projected to heal.  Is there a problem with the medical staff?  How would you “prove” such an assertion even if you thought it was true?  Boswell tells some parable from his early Orioles days.

 


Last thing: as I was penning this masterpiece, I saw the Jerry Blevins trade float across the wire.  My initial reactions here:

  • Blevins was pretty good against lefties, but otherwise wasn’t great in 2014.
  • The team probably likes what they have in Thornton, Cedeno and Grace.
  • Blevins was out of options.
  • As is Cedeno.
  • The team’s OF crunch means they could use a guy who can play CF, and that’s what Matt den Dekker can do.
  • There might be some small bit of ego-driven animosity from their arbitration hearing, as noted in the Ken Rosenthal tweet in the above link.

End result; team saves a bit of cash and gets some flexibility, again dealing from a position of strength and thus enabling them to “keep” a guy in Cedeno who was on his way out the door yesterday.

Of course (in another bit of breaking news monday afternoon) it probably wasn’t the best day to be dealing a reliever.  Drew Storen left a ST game with an “apparent injury” and Casey Janssen is having an MRI on his shoulder, never a good thing.  Hey guys, Rafael Soriano is still a FA!

What the heck is going on with this team this spring injury wise?

 

Written by Todd Boss

March 30th, 2015 at 4:28 pm

34 Responses to 'Ask Boswell 3/30/15 … and Blevins move, and the Storen injury, and the Janssen MRI'

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  1. Wow–Rizzo with his hypnotist’s trick on yet another GM. den Dekker is only 27, not only can play CF but is considered a plus defender, has an option remaining, and will be $2 million cheaper than Blevins this year. His .827 career minor league OPS (.812 at AAA) suggests a guy who might have a little bit of room for improvement offensively and could become a solid 4th outfielder for several years. All for one year of a thoroughly meh veteran reliever who was being paid too much money to just be a LOOGY.

    It speaks volumes to me that Rizzo was willing to make this trade despite Clippard’s departure and Janssen being injured. The Mets seem to think they can contend for a WC spot this year, but this seems to be the kind of trade better made in July than at the end of Spring Training, especially since den Dekker still has that option left.

    Karl Kolchack

    30 Mar 15 at 6:59 pm

  2. Totally agree on Gio. He may only be a #3 or #4, but being paid as a #5. Not that he’s going to go hungry.

    As for the second TJ surgery, Bos gave a very specific success rate of 20%. Terrible numbers.
    His model of 8 years for that 2nd elbow is a guess, since there is no way to know for sure, but one I bet Rizzo is using for his thought process.

    Mark L

    30 Mar 15 at 7:33 pm

  3. I like the den Dekker move. His minor-league career numbers are .289/.352/.472. Where he fits in the whole bench puzzle once the starters get healthy, I’m not sure. Well, actually I am: he’s the guy who can play all the OF spots well enough to allow Taylor to spend more time in Syracuse. That seems to make McLouth expendable, but who would take him right now? I think it also means that Rizzo doesn’t have confidence Gwynn’s spring numbers. Gwynn, McLouth, and den Dekker all seem to cover the same spots.

    Grace made Blevins expendable, pure and simple.

    I’m not counting Uggla or Stewart out, particularly considering how gosh-awful at the plate Frandsen and Espinosa have been. I love Danny’s defense, but how long are we going to look at a .146 average and keep hoping he’ll improve? At some point, he is what he is. Uggla can play 2B (OK, he can stand by the bag), Stewart can play 3B, and Escobar can back up at SS. There could be more moves here. Frandsen has three hits in 35 ABs. You’re really going to start that guy? If the season started today, I’m starting Stewart at 3B.

    I’m also not convinced that Moore is on the team. He’s had a good enough spring to make himself marketable. But he doesn’t have a lot of defensive flexibility. Neither does Clint Robinson, although he’s had an intriguing spring, better than Moore’s.

    We’ll see. It will be an interesting week ahead. But den Dekker is a quality addition, all the more so in exchange for a borderline loogy.

    As for the ‘pen, the way they’re falling, Treinen could be closing. And that might not be such a bad thing.

    KW

    30 Mar 15 at 8:26 pm

  4. I liked Blevins, and don’t think much of den Dekker (or Cedeno, for that matter), so count me in the other camp on the trade. I am hopeful that this means Grace is up with the big club, but no one is saying that.

    As for the rest of the bench guys, only Uggla is interesting to me. The rest of the guys have not had any sustained success in the majors: Gwynn, Stewart, Carp, Robinson. I don’t care about their ST numbers, there just isn’t any reason to think that they will be able to be productive over any length of time, and it is starting to look like they’ll need to play a good amount. Uggla, at least, has been a productive guy, and at least there is a story to why he declined and could rebound (not saying it is right, just that it would explain the variance). I cannot understand why they aren’t trying him at third, though.

    But really, I think it is time to trade some of the pitching depth for a young IF type with a bat. We need to be enter prepared for a prolonged IF absence.

    Wally

    30 Mar 15 at 9:59 pm

  5. No on Uggla, particularly if he’s going to cause a stink over not starting.

    If you’re wondering why they don’t try him at third, I guess you haven’t seen him “play” second much. Bad reflexes, mediocre arm. At unfamiliarity (new position) to that volatile mix and you’d get something unwatchable. Except in a car crash sort of way, I suppose.

    John C.

    30 Mar 15 at 11:43 pm

  6. It’s true that den Dekker has shown no power in the majors (1 HR in two partial years), but he did get on base at a .345 clip last year, which is an improvement over most of the other options.

    I’ll also concede that Gwynn, Stewart, and Uggla haven’t been good in the regular season in a long, long time. But then neither have Espinosa and Moore. C. Robinson hasn’t had much of an MLB shot, and he’s 30. But he’s always hit, albeit not with as much power as his body suggests. I think he’ll end up in Syracuse, though, as he’s probably one of the few among these guys who would go to AAA.

    Speaking of Rizzo’s Used Cars, I can’t believe that he got something (cash) for Leon, who is out of options and will have to be DFA’d at some point this year. With Leon gone, I believe that means there’s an open spot on the 40-man, although they’ve yet to add anyone from among Gwynn/Stewart/Uggla/Robinson. I would think there is more 40-man clearing to come.

    I’m disappointed that Carp didn’t do much. I really thought he was the best of the NRI bunch.

    KW

    31 Mar 15 at 5:20 am

  7. Uggla’s bat looks lively, and with Span, Rendon and Werth down and then rehabbing, and with RZim and Ramos fragile based on history, I’ll take subpar D to add a bat.

    Robinson has looked good this spring, but I am going with the ‘if it looks like a duck …’ theory on this one.

    Wally

    31 Mar 15 at 7:44 am

  8. apparently Escobar playing 3b today. Zuckerman speculating Nats may be considering Escobar at 3b, Uggla at 2B.

    Still don’t understand what about Uggla makes him even worse at 3B. I assume it is reflexes, since range is less of an issue.

    Wally

    31 Mar 15 at 10:02 am

  9. That’s a very interesting development as far as Espinosa is concerned, since Danny has been getting much of the 3B time.

    My first thought when they signed Uggla was OMG, which evolved to “he’s got no shot, but what could it hurt?” Now, I’m intrigued. He’s always been able to take a walk, and of course there are those five 30-HR years. But he is 35 and has a range of about two feet, so my expectations are tempered. Danny has been bad at the plate, though, and Frandsen has been awful. We’ll see.

    KW

    31 Mar 15 at 10:56 am

  10. If Uggla doesn’t have a good arm for 2B, he would be an absolute disaster at third. Today’s lineup does indeed appear to be an indicator that they may be considering Escobar for 3B and Uggla at 2B. Can’t say I blame them as it looks like stopping switch hitting has if anything made Espinosa even more feeble at the plate.

    Rendon better return sooner rather than later or this could get really Uggly.

    Karl Kolchak

    31 Mar 15 at 11:17 am

  11. I do have to groan at the Reed Johnson signing. He’s 38 and can’t make the Marlins. I doubt he has much left in the tank. Why would they keep him over someone like T-Mo who is a decade younger? He’s not even a former D-back, for cryin’ out loud!

    KW

    31 Mar 15 at 12:44 pm

  12. I’m guessing Reed is AAA depth. I’m *hoping* so anyway. Rendon getting his 3rd opinion is not good; are we looking now at 2 months without him?

    Todd Boss

    31 Mar 15 at 1:10 pm

  13. I don’t think the Nats filled the Kobernus 40-man spot, so I guess they currently have two. Don’t quote me on that, though.

    I’m seeing some panic-mode suggestions of a trade for Beltre. Sorry folks, but he’s still owed $34 million! Not happening.

    KW

    31 Mar 15 at 3:23 pm

  14. I count 38 on the 40-man. Erik Davis hasn’t pitched all spring so presumably will be put on the 60-day or released. That gives them three spots if they don’t other trades. The two guys out of options, Cedeno and Moore, could stick with most MLB clubs and therefore have trade value. As bad as Frandsen has been this spring, he’s played himself into being a release candidate, despite the $1M guaranteed.

    Gwynn seems a lock to be added, with his defensive versatility and hot spring. I’m not sure they’ve figured out what they’re doing in the INF yet, but Stewart (4th error yesterday) and Uggla are in the running. The final bench bat seems to be down to Moore vs. Robinson, unless Johnson somehow gets into that dynamic. He’s coming very late to the party, though.

    KW

    1 Apr 15 at 5:19 am

  15. To all whom I argued against about keeping the likes of Frandsen no matter what happened in spring training … i duly accept that I was wrong. Kinda shocked he was axed yesterday.

    With the Frandsen release, I actually think that puts the team at 37 of 40. Here was the litany of transactions from Dec when the team was at a full 40:
    – Fornataro DFA’d to make room for Janssen (40/40)
    – Kobernus released (39/40)
    – Leon traded for cash (38/40)
    – Blevins traded for den Dekker (stays at 38/40)
    – now Frandsen out (37/40)

    KW: agree though that Davis likely goes to 60 day immediately, Cedeno and Moore (our last two options challenged question marks) stay with the club for now.

    …. unless! this is April 1st after all :-) Maybe this is just a joke.

    Todd Boss

    1 Apr 15 at 9:05 am

  16. I also see that Gwynn was sent to the minor-league camp, so den Dekker really was a replacement for him.

    With Frandsen gone, it seems more likely that Stewart and Uggla are making the team . . . unless another trade is in the works. Then I would guess that they’ve got to pick two from among Moore, Johnson, Robinson, and Carp. I would say that Carp is probably out of the running there. My preference would be that Johnson be sent to Syracuse to find his stroke, but this group has a track record of trusting the grizzled vet.

    KW

    1 Apr 15 at 9:36 am

  17. I am shocked they cut Frandsen; I have lobbied for it, but didn’t think they would do it. I give Rizzo credit for being smarter than he appears. He talked that old school stuff, but walks the newer GM style.

    Hmmm….. Let’s say that Rendon, Werth and Span open on the DL. I think the regular lineup starts off with Escobar at 3rd and Uggla at 2b, and LF some amalgam involving den Dekker. I’d say the bench is going to be Johnson, Lobo, Espy, … and then it gets cloudy. TMo looks likely at this stage and either Stewart or Robinson. But honestly, I see another trade coming for a bat first infielder type. How great would Uribe fit? Maybe LA sheds some salary and finds a place for Guerrero and then later Olivera?

    Wally

    1 Apr 15 at 10:37 am

  18. Frandsen gave them no choice – he had only three singles to show for 42 PAs. People can talk all they want about Spring Training numbers not mattering, but you’ve at least got to show up. According to the Post, he’ll only get 45 days’ worth of his million, whatever that may be. Frankly, I’m glad he played himself out of it, as he didn’t bring much to the table.

    Ah, but now who is the emergency catcher? Of course if they can fill the bench with PH’s who are actually better hitters than Sheriff Lobo, perhaps that won’t be such an issue.

    KW

    1 Apr 15 at 1:24 pm

  19. Emergency Catcher? His name is Dan Butler and he’s a plane ride away in Syracuse. I wonder if someone can remember the last time we ever used a 3rd catcher. I cannot think of a single time, ever, since this team moved here.

    Gutsy, surprising move dumping Frandsen.

    Todd Boss

    1 Apr 15 at 2:09 pm

  20. I meant the in-game emergency “third catcher,” which Frandsen supposedly was. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one used, but every team claims to have one. Of course the Nats actually have two experienced catchers in Werth and Harper . . . and Matt W. might be fired if he used either of them behind the plate! You know Harper would jump at the chance to do it, though.

    Who would have thought that Uggla might end up being the opening day 2B? Play him for three ABs then put in Danny for defense.

    KW

    1 Apr 15 at 2:55 pm

  21. I’ll bet Danny is the emergency C now, but it will never come to that as you each have said, since a manager almost never PH’s the backup C, so you’d need two C’s going down in the same game.

    I have been looking forward to Opening Day for a while now, but to watch Uggla, Stewart and den Dekker? Kind of sucks.

    I still think the Nats should pick up a decent pop IF, even if the glove is weak. Took a quick look at one of the prospect lists to see who Cole might bring back, and came up with Garin Cecchini as an interesting name. Enough doubts about his glove that he probably doesn’t make it to big league regular status, but should hit enough that giving him 400 PAs in a super sub role wouldn’t kill you (I am assuming that he could also fill in at a corner OF). If not him, maybe one of the ARI guys (Drury or Lamb), Forrest Wall, or my regular mention, Refsnyder.

    Wally

    1 Apr 15 at 3:04 pm

  22. You’d be buying high on Refsnyder, as he’s had a big spring, although the Yanks are insisting that Drew is their 2B.

    Moore started in LF today in what looked like a prospective opening-day lineup, with Uggla at 2B and Escobar at 3B.

    KW

    1 Apr 15 at 3:19 pm

  23. I read that he was horrible with the glove, though, bringing into question whether he can stick at 2B. Despite their rep as a buy-everyone kind of franchise, the NYY are actually fairly sophisticated in their analytical usage. That’s why I think he is interesting for what would fit the Nats roster. Like Cecchini, he looks like he doesn’t have enough to be a regular. But enough versatility to be a good use of a roster spot, and someone to fill in for a few weeks for injury reasons, once or twice a year. Btw, I see Johnson as a near lock. Just seems like Rizzo’s kind of guy, especially with McL out indefinitely.

    For the ‘pen, I hope that Rafael Martin makes it. I’d like to see him, Treinen and Barrett all in there, with Storen, Stammen, Thornton and Cedeno rounding it out, at least until Janssen is back. In truth, I’d rather see Grace than Cedeno, but I just don’t think that has a chance, and it would be a lot of newbies in the pen.

    Wally

    1 Apr 15 at 3:34 pm

  24. Harper! He had a 1.87 pop time per perfectgame.org. that’s at least MLB average from what I can tell, and it was in HS without professional coaching. And of course he has a gun for an arm, so between average pop time and awesome arm he could control the running game.

    If uggla is the starting 2B … Espinosa might cry.

    Todd Boss

    1 Apr 15 at 4:25 pm

  25. “If uggla is the starting 2B … Espinosa might cry.”

    If Danny is the starting 2B … I might cry. :)

    For all the talk about Frandsen not showing up this spring, Danny is sporting a robust OPS of just .435. Had Rendon not been injured, he might have found himself back at Syracuse again.

    Karl Kolchack

    2 Apr 15 at 2:15 am

  26. I agree completely about Espinosa. He’s to be back to his lowly 2013 level. He had a starting spot almost handed to him but did nothing to step up and take it.

    Stewart has been sent out, which seems to all but confirm that Uggla has made it. The last bat battle seems to be between Robinson and Carp. If they’re going by spring performance, it’s not even close, but Carp has a once-good MLB track record, which Robinson doesn’t.

    Speaking of once-good, I fear that Reed Johnson is the latest in a long line of pinch hitters who have passed their expiration date.

    According to Wagner, the pitching is down to R. Hill (who has options) vs. Cedeno (who doesn’t).

    KW

    2 Apr 15 at 5:18 am

  27. Karl — I’m with you.
    When you’re a fringe-type player with all the money involved you’d think these guys would do everything possible to get a leg up with time spent in the winter leagues, etc.
    Instead, Frandsen & Espinosa look like they hadn’t swung a bat once all winter.
    You simply can’t give Espinosa any meaningful at-bats against lefthanders once the season starts.
    He’s pathetic!

    Mark L

    2 Apr 15 at 6:43 am

  28. Sorry, got Espinosa’s splits backwards. He can only hit against lefthanders.

    Mark L

    2 Apr 15 at 6:44 am

  29. Mark, I think you’ve hit on part of Danny’s problem – he still doesn’t realize that he’s played himself into being a “fringe player.” It’s really too bad, too, as he’s much more talented than that, WAY more talented than someone like Frandsen, who had to scrap for everything he got. I think that’s also why the Nats have put up with Danny for so long – they still think of him as the 20/20 guy with 30/30 potential who plays ++ defense. But he hasn’t been that guy since 2011.

    KW

    2 Apr 15 at 7:40 am

  30. Todd Boss

    2 Apr 15 at 4:28 pm

  31. Very classy goodbye tweets sent out by Kevin Frandsen.

    Mark L

    2 Apr 15 at 7:10 pm

  32. I’ll put this here since the post did begin with a TJ discussion. It might be worthy of a separate post once we get past all the angst of Uggla (.925 OPS) vs. Espi (.425 OPS) (yes, a 500-point difference).

    Anyway, a Dan Patrick sidebar in the new issue of SI reads as follows:

    2015 Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz is concerned about how many young pitchers are getting Tommy John surgery. “This is not normal,” Smoltz said. “I’m the first-ever Tommy John recipient to go into the Hall of Fame. I can make a good argument that I’ll be the last.”

    Wow. Here’s a link to the full interview:

    http://www.danpatrick.com/2015/03/26/john-smoltz-very-worried-about-tommy-john-surgery-trend/

    KW

    3 Apr 15 at 6:55 pm

  33. Actually, Smoltz is technically wrong; Paul Molitor had TJ surgery too. Smoltz will be the first TJ *pitcher* into the HoFame. I’ll argue he won’t be the last; not with 33% of major league pitchers having the surgery.

    Todd Boss

    6 Apr 15 at 9:43 am

  34. I don’t think he’ll be the last either, but I thought it was an interesting comment.

    One difference with Smoltz from so many of the TJ guys now, though, is that he didn’t have his surgery until age 32, basically after his prime.

    KW

    6 Apr 15 at 2:29 pm

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