It is not just sad for the Washington Nationals or for Stephen Strasburg, who needed the Tommy John’s surgery, it is comparable to being a musician who can no longer play or an artist who can no longer paint as they used to; it is like an artist losing part of who they are. It has been said that it is not just a portion of a career or a game that is being lost but part of a human achievement. Stephen Strasburg was headed to not only becoming a very dominant pitcher he was handling a baseball in such a manner that many hall of fame players could not even begin to imagine.
According to the Washington Nationals, Strasburg underwent the procedure on Friday, September 3rd, with successful results.
Tommy John surgery is named after the first pitcher who had this surgery over 29 years ago; it is technically called Ulnar Collateral Ligament reconstruction and has about an 85% success rate. The surgery takes about one hour, about a third of the time it originally took, and most often you do not even have to stay in the hospital overnight, even though Strasburg did.
Perhaps man was not meant to throw a baseball at 102 mph, throwing as hard as you can overhand is actually one of the most unnatural acts of any sport and it is not uncommon for every pitcher to feel some pain in their arm at some point; in essence part of what made Stephen Strasburg a great pitcher also put him at risk.
While he may still become a really great pitcher he will not ever be the same pitcher that he was. Rehab from any surgery is never easy, but it can be done. He has a hard road ahead of him and we all wish him a speedy recovery.