On Thursday night, two post-Tommy John pitchers took the hill in Washington D.C. as the Nationals took on the Cardinals. Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter is a little less than three years removed from the surgery, proves as one of the cases where Tommy John surgery has saved a career. Carpenter is 14-4 for the Cardinals this year following a 2009 that saw him finish slightly behind NL Cy-Young Tim Lincecum and runner-up and teammate, Adam Wainwright.
Opposing Carpenter was Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman, who is one summer removed from Tommy John surgery. While Zimmerman was roughed up in his first start from Tommy John, having a pitcher return from the surgery healthy and able to perform at the big league level is a benchmark in the rehabilitation process from Tommy John.
It’s something pitching sensation and Zimmerman’s teammate Stephen Strasburg must face following the news that Strasburg has a significant tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. While Strasburg’s injury is a severe blow to the Nationals franchise and to the young career of the promising pitcher, there are many more cases where Tommy John has actually enhanced a pitcher’s career.
Chris Carpenter, Josh Johnson, Shaun Marcum, Tim Hudson, Francisco Liriano, Billy Wagner and A.J. Burnett are some Tommy John’s most successful cases. It’s something the Nationals will remind Strasburg of. This injury is not the end but the beginning of a very bright and, if surgery and rehabilitation is successful, long career for Stephen Strasburg.
Now, if you so happen to be a Strasburg owner in your fantasy league, it’s time to move on. Strasburg brought healthy amounts of strikeouts and ERA/WHIP relief while pitching for the Nats. We’ll be looking at some pitchers that could repair the damage left by Strasburg’s sudden injury.
Percentage of players available taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues
Bud Norris (HOU-SP): 10 percent owned:
Prior to his ugly loss against the Mets where he allowed five runs in five innings on Sunday, in his last 38.2 innings of work for the Astros, Norris has tallied 38 K’s while maintaining a neat 3.03 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over that time. While Norris struggled against the Mets by allowed five runs on eight hits, he still did manage to punch out five which is the primary reason owners looked for K’s should take Bud into consideration.
Ian Kennedy (ARI-SP): 19 percent owned:
Former Yankees farmhand has proved to be a valuable source of strikeouts this season in Arizona. Kennedy has racked up 140 K’s in 158 innings this year for the D-Backs and displayed his pure strikeout ability by fanning 12 San Diego Padres in 7 innings of 1 hit ball.
Daniel Hudson: (ARI-SP): 38 percent owned:
After a trade deadline deal brought Hudson over from the White Sox to the D-Backs for Edwin Jackson, Daniel Hudson has shined during his time in the National League. Post All-Star break, Hudson has a 2.44 ERA in 55.2 innings while striking out a little less than one batter per inning with 52 strikeouts.