White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was on Sirius XM this morning, and the subject of Stephen Strasburg moving to the disabled list came up. Here’s Cooper, making every Nationals fan in the country faint:
“Strasburg does something that I call an upside down
arm action. Listen, I’m not wishing this guy bad by any stretch,
but for him to have some problems right now when they are really, really
watching him. What are they to think when they are trying to get 220
[innings] from him? He does something with his arm action that’s
difficult for a guy, in my mind, to pitch a whole lot of innings on. I
call it upside down arm action, some people call it an elbow lead, whatever you
want to call it. It reminds me a little bit of Kerry Wood. It reminds
me a little bit of [Mark] Prior. I hope I’m wrong with this because
he’s an oustanding pitcher.”
But that can’t be! Strasburg has perfect mechanics! Oh, wait . . .
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.