Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett has had a rough 2015. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in early September, knocking him out of the 2016 season. And last week, he had surgery to remove bone chips and spurs from his left ankle. This, after finishing with a 4.60 ERA in 29 1/3 innings.
As far as the elbow problem is concerned, Barrett says his overuse contributed to the issue. Via the Associated Press:
Barrett said Sunday at Washington’s fan festival that “the bottom line was I was literally just throwing too much.”
Explained Barrett: “Just basically warming up, not going into the game, then pitching the next game, and then warming up in the sixth inning and then the seventh inning and then pitching in the eighth inning.”
MLB.com’s Andrew Simon provided more of Barrett’s thoughts on Twitter. Barrett talked about his position as a young player leading to feeling like he didn’t have any leverage with which to speak up about his workload. It’s an issue worth consideration. Barrett won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season, which means another year of being paid close to the major league minimum salary, and he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. Not only are young players prone to the daily up-and-down routines in the bullpen, they’re prone to being sent back-and-forth between the minors and the majors. It’s a tough life.