Padres right-hander Michel Báez is slated to undergo Tommy John surgery, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune was among those to relay (Twitter link). The 25-year-old will miss the entire 2021 season and quite likely a significant portion of 2022.
Báez is a former top prospect but he has yet to carve out a consistent MLB role. Working almost exclusively out of the bullpen, the hard-throwing righty has picked up 34.1 innings at the major league level over the past two seasons. He has a 3.67 ERA/4.53 SIERA with slightly worse than average strikeout and walk rates (22.7% and 10.4%, respectively) over that time.
The loss of Báez deals a bit of a blow to San Diego’s bullpen depth this season. The Padres’ relief corps has a good amount of talent but also has a significant number of hurlers who are out of minor-league option years. That could lead to a bit of a roster crunch as the season progresses.
Always sucks when a young, electric arm loses a season+ to the dreaded TJ surgery. Hope he recovers fast, but at least the Padres have a ton of bullpen depth.
As much of an investment these arms are for an organization, one would think they would figure out what NOT to do cause the need for soooooooooooo many TJ surgeries
There’s not one concrete answer to what causes Tommy John surgery, but I do feel that it’s a little to do with all the new technology and advancements we’ve made to the sport of baseball. I attended the SABR conference last month and there was a good portion of one day where they just showed how much biomechanics go into the sport nowadays. You can literally track and record exactly how your body moved through your entire sequence and teams will use that information to improve velocity, breaking pitches, etc.
Ovbisously, velocity has a lot to do with it too. Baseball has just become harder and harder on the body. We’re not meant to throw 90 MPH, let alone 96-100 MPH. Walter Johnson’s fastball topped out around 93-95 MPH. Today that’s average.
Pitchers are also throwing more and at a younger age. In my area, kids are already throwing at 9-10 years old and some of my friends haven’t stopped since then and now they’re in college. Not to mention they’ve went to off season, winter/fall baseball camps, clinics and played fallball essentially every year.
When they get to the majors, they’re still keeping up this off season training routine, training all year around or going to play in like Australia, the Dominican Winter League and such. Up until like the 70’s many guys at the major league level had to get off season jobs, that weren’t baseball related.
All of this has combined into a Tommy John pandemic.
Doctors cause 100% of Tommy John surgeries.
I don’t know. Has anyone looked into the fact Tommy John surgeries have only happened while Tommy John was alive?
Maybe he is involved somehow?
If you don’t hear from after this post…just wait longer
Ducky Buckin Fent
What’s up, @Mohlers?
Opening day tomorrow, man!
Good work finding an unlikely scapegoat.
I will keep waiting…
Hey Ducky. Nothing much, but I will have MLBtv playing all day at work. What’s up with you? Ready for opening day?
Ducky Buckin Fent
Good stuff. Enjoy it man. Been a long time coming.
I am looking forward to this opening day more than I can remember since I was a little kid, man. I’m not ashamed in the least to admit that either.
I was Covid positive but never developed symptoms. Spent 5 days in South Dakota (where they were social distancing before it was cool) goose hunting & walleye fishing. Had my own stash of chloroquinine. Ran a course of it.
Yanks, Braves World Series. Yankees win in 7 in what becomes an epic series.
Glad you got through it brother. Always nice to get some fishing in.
Im definitely more excited this year. I like that prediction too, I’d maybe make one slight adjustment (but we already knew that haha)
Ducky Buckin Fent
Thank you. Sure is.
Oh, I know. Here we go, man. Full speed ahead.
Good comment. I agree w almost everything you are stating. So many guys are max effort now and the arm is just not meant for that type of strain. I sincerely believe the next wave that will replace analytics are the teams that can find ways to reduce injuries as that just has insane value to a franchise.
Also, just from an observational standpoint, it seems like deliveries have changed as well. Traditional deliveries used a more exaggerated windup which may have dispersed the stress more evenly throughout the body. It seems pitchers in the modern era tend to want to decrease the distance to the plate and maybe analytics has proven less movement delivery wise can in fact increase velocity. The downside is the arm becomes more or less the focal point versus the entire body. I don’t just seems like pull up highlights from pitchers in the 70s and 80s and compare them to today and it’s substantially different.
Although Bill James pointed out years ago that hard throwing pitchers usually had longer careers than those who were more successful with other pitches. Of course, we can find exceptions both ways.
It seemed like Baez became somewhat of a forgotten man in San Diego, but he’s still not far removed from being a top 100 prospect. I figured he would at least contribute out of the bullpen this season. Sucks to see him go down.
Where’s the MLBTR TJ Tracker?
Slider happy pitching coach that insists on more sliders than fastballs because “fastballs get hit.” I still blame Rothschild for Lamets injury, the rapid decline of Paddack, and I want Darrin Flipping Balsley back AJ! 2020 Lamet was a beast but at what cost? Locate more fastballs! Paddack has a crappy slider. Location of his fastball has suffered because of this coach. This coach says all his pitchers need to throw the slider more… Paddack will not be fixed until Rothschild is gone. Sonny Grey, the Yankees, and the Cubs think Larry sucks too. #bringbackballs!!!
Duck Da Duck
Paddack doesn’t throw a slider. He MOSTLY throws fastball and changeup, his 3rd pitch is a curve that he doesn’t use often.
Duck Da Duck