Jeff Passan talks with Chris Sale and the White Sox. While Stephen Strasburg was shut down at 159 and a third, the White Sox’ young arm is still going at 188. No, Sale never had Tommy John surgery, but he had also never thrown more than 71 innings before this season.
It’s an interesting article, but not because it tells us which approach is right and which approach is wrong with a young starter. Indeed, try this little experiment: Read Passan’s article and check out the quotes from Don Cooper and everyone with the White Sox. Then imagine a future where Sale is facing Tommy John surgery or worse and think how horribly they’ll play. Heck, they’ll be used at a capital trial of those pitching war criminals. Do the same for Strasburg in relation to all of the cautious quotes from the Nats and their fans if Strasburg nonetheless gets hurt. Now reverse it, with both guys being healthy. You can take any and every possible lesson from it depending on the outcome.
The most interesting thing about it all is just how certain the White Sox are that they’re doing the right thing with Sale. And how, earlier, the Nationals were just as certain that they were doing the right thing with Strasburg. Sort of tells you that, no, no one has any freakin’ idea what the right thing is, the only validation, such as it is, that anyone will get is if either of those two get injured in the future, and even then we won’t know whether their treatment caused it, prevented it, was meaningless or not.