Does Rob Dibble still think Stephen Strasburg should "suck it up" and "stop crying"?

20 Comments

I hope Rob Dibble feels about as good as he announces right now.
Dibble, who serves as the Nationals’ television analyst, made headlines for saying during a radio interview that Stephen Strasburg should “suck it up” and pitch through the arm pain that knocked him out of Saturday’s start.
Dibble’s anti-Strasburg rant included all sorts of cringe-worthy statements–all of which were particularly absurd given his own lengthy injury history–but here are some of the “highlights”:

OK, you throw a pitch, it bothers your arm, and you immediately call out the manager and the trainer? Suck it up, kid. This is your profession. You chose to be a baseball player. You can’t have the cavalry come in and save your butt every time you feel a little stiff shoulder, sore elbow. Stop crying. Go out there and pitch, period.

Turns out, that “little sore elbow” was a significantly torn UCL and requires Tommy John surgery. Of course, Dibble couldn’t have had any way of knowing that. Except he also claimed to know “exactly what the doctor who looked at Strasburg had said.”
Later, after he’d been criticized for his comments, Dibble lashed out at “bloggers”:

I’ve been playing baseball since I was six years old, so that’s 40 years I’ve been on a baseball field and around a baseball field, and so our opinions are formulated through facts, not fiction, not their little chat room jargon. And so they can try and twist it any way they want, and if a guy’s hurt, he’s hurt, he’s going to go on the disabled list, it’s a moot point, but if he’s not hurt get your butt out there and play. They’re two totally different scenarios, so, you know, stick to what you know, which is nothing, and stick to your little blogs.

To recap: Based on his 40 years of experience and opinions “formulated through facts, not fiction, not their little chat room jargon” Dibble concluded that a 21-year-old pitcher with a torn elbow ligament should “suck it up” and “stop crying” because “you can’t have the cavalry come in and save your butt every time you feel a little sore elbow.”
My hope for Strasburg, the Nationals, and their fans is first and foremost that he makes a full recovery and comes back stronger than ever in 2012. Beyond that, it sure would be nice if by the time Strasburg does return Dibble isn’t still spewing his special brand of macho garbage and grunt-filled commentary from the broadcast booth.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
Getty Images
7 Comments

Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.