Portrait of Tommy John

Tommy John PWhite Sox

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Career Summary
26 760 4710.3 288 231 4 3.34 36.9
Birth Date5-22-1943
Height6' 3"
Weight180 lbs
Age76 years, 2 months, 27 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
1963 CLE MLB 6 3 20.3 0 2 0 23 6 9 1 96 10.2 2.7 0.4 4.0 0% .293 1.43 3.10 2.21 82 3.18 80.5 0.4
1964 CLE MLB 25 14 94.3 2 9 0 97 35 65 10 99 9.3 3.3 1.0 6.2 0% .288 1.40 3.57 3.91 99 4.81 118.7 -0.1
1965 CHA MLB 39 27 183.7 14 7 3 162 58 126 12 92 7.9 2.8 0.6 6.2 0% .271 1.20 2.86 3.09 81 2.98 74.6 3.9
1966 CHA MLB 34 33 223.0 14 11 0 195 57 138 13 91 7.9 2.3 0.5 5.6 0% .264 1.13 2.82 2.62 82 2.89 72.3 5.0
1967 CHA MLB 31 29 178.3 10 13 0 143 47 110 12 90 7.2 2.4 0.6 5.6 0% .242 1.07 2.94 2.47 83 2.59 68.7 4.1
1968 CHA MLB 25 25 177.3 10 5 0 135 49 117 10 91 6.9 2.5 0.5 5.9 0% .242 1.04 2.67 1.98 92 3.05 89.1 2.1
1969 CHA MLB 33 33 232.3 9 11 0 230 90 128 16 97 8.9 3.5 0.6 5.0 0% .286 1.38 3.32 3.25 96 4.21 102.9 1.4
1970 CHA MLB 37 37 269.3 12 17 0 253 101 138 19 102 8.5 3.4 0.6 4.6 0% .270 1.31 3.54 3.27 99 5.04 115.6 0.0
1971 CHA MLB 38 35 229.3 13 16 0 244 58 131 17 99 9.6 2.3 0.7 5.1 0% .297 1.32 3.00 3.61 83 3.64 93.4 2.3
1972 LAN MLB 29 29 186.7 11 5 0 172 40 117 14 94 8.3 1.9 0.7 5.6 0% .267 1.14 2.94 2.89 80 3.17 86.1 2.5
1973 LAN MLB 36 31 218.0 16 7 0 202 50 116 16 96 8.3 2.1 0.7 4.8 0% .265 1.16 3.17 3.10 86 3.80 89.9 2.6
1974 LAN MLB 22 22 153.0 13 3 0 133 42 78 4 95 7.8 2.5 0.2 4.6 0% .263 1.14 2.74 2.59 88 3.47 83.9 2.3
1976 LAN MLB 31 31 207.0 10 10 0 207 61 91 7 94 9.0 2.7 0.3 4.0 0% .282 1.29 3.09 3.09 91 3.64 91.2 2.4
1977 LAN MLB 31 31 220.3 20 7 0 225 50 123 12 98 9.2 2.0 0.5 5.0 0% .297 1.25 3.04 2.78 73 3.66 81.6 3.8
1978 LAN MLB 33 30 213.0 17 10 1 230 53 124 11 100 9.7 2.2 0.5 5.2 0% .305 1.33 2.94 3.30 71 3.56 86.1 3.0
1979 NYA MLB 37 36 276.3 21 9 0 268 65 111 9 95 8.7 2.1 0.3 3.6 0% .279 1.21 3.12 2.96 82 3.47 77.2 5.3
1980 NYA MLB 36 36 265.3 22 9 0 270 56 78 13 98 9.2 1.9 0.4 2.6 0% .275 1.23 3.50 3.43 96 4.88 113.7 0.2
1981 NYA MLB 20 20 140.3 9 8 0 135 39 50 10 93 8.7 2.5 0.6 3.2 0% .262 1.24 3.65 2.63 103 4.09 102.2 1.0
1982 CAL 0 7 7 35.0 4 2 0 49 5 14 4 98 12.6 1.3 1.0 3.6 0% .349 1.54 3.79 3.86 97 6.04 140.5 -0.4
1982 NYA 0 30 26 186.7 10 10 0 190 34 54 11 98 9.2 1.6 0.5 2.6 0% .270 1.20 3.46 3.66 93 4.43 103.0 1.3
1983 CAL MLB 34 34 234.7 11 13 0 287 49 65 20 100 11.0 1.9 0.8 2.5 0% .305 1.43 4.02 4.33 102 5.98 138.0 -2.5
1984 CAL MLB 32 29 181.3 7 13 0 223 56 47 15 95 11.1 2.8 0.7 2.3 0% .308 1.54 4.29 4.52 115 6.26 146.3 -2.6
1985 CAL 0 12 6 38.3 2 4 0 51 15 17 3 96 12.0 3.5 0.7 4.0 0% .343 1.72 4.12 4.70 111 6.60 151.5 -0.6
1985 OAK 0 11 11 48.0 2 6 0 66 13 8 6 92 12.4 2.4 1.1 1.5 0% .311 1.65 4.90 6.19 110 6.19 142.1 -0.5
1986 NYA MLB 13 10 70.7 5 3 0 73 15 28 8 102 9.3 1.9 1.0 3.6 0% .274 1.25 4.18 2.93 93 4.82 108.9 0.4
1987 NYA MLB 33 33 187.7 13 6 0 212 47 63 12 99 10.2 2.3 0.6 3.0 0% .297 1.38 3.87 4.03 98 5.70 119.7 0.1
1988 NYA MLB 35 32 176.3 9 8 0 221 46 81 11 99 11.3 2.3 0.6 4.1 0% .332 1.51 3.59 4.49 96 4.89 117.8 0.2
1989 NYA MLB 10 10 63.7 2 7 0 87 22 18 6 101 12.3 3.1 0.8 2.5 0% .336 1.71 4.68 5.80 107 6.27 151.0 -1.0
1982 TOT MLB 37 33 221.7 14 12 0 239 39 68 15 98 9.7 1.6 0.6 2.8 0% .000 1.25 3.51 3.69 93 4.69 108.9 0.9
1985 TOT MLB 23 17 86.3 4 10 0 117 28 25 9 94 12.2 2.9 0.9 2.6 0% .000 1.68 4.55 5.53 110 6.37 146.3 -1.2

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
1963 CLE MLB AL 6 3 20.3 0 2 0 23 6 9 1 96 10.2 2.7 0.4 4.0 0% .293 1.43 3.10 2.21 82 3.18 80.5
1964 CLE MLB AL 25 14 94.3 2 9 0 97 35 65 10 99 9.3 3.3 1.0 6.2 0% .288 1.40 3.57 3.91 99 4.81 118.7
1965 CHA MLB AL 39 27 183.7 14 7 3 162 58 126 12 92 7.9 2.8 0.6 6.2 0% .271 1.20 2.86 3.09 81 2.98 74.6
1966 CHA MLB AL 34 33 223.0 14 11 0 195 57 138 13 91 7.9 2.3 0.5 5.6 0% .264 1.13 2.82 2.62 82 2.89 72.3
1967 CHA MLB AL 31 29 178.3 10 13 0 143 47 110 12 90 7.2 2.4 0.6 5.6 0% .242 1.07 2.94 2.47 83 2.59 68.7
1968 CHA MLB AL 25 25 177.3 10 5 0 135 49 117 10 91 6.9 2.5 0.5 5.9 0% .242 1.04 2.67 1.98 92 3.05 89.1
1969 CHA MLB AL 33 33 232.3 9 11 0 230 90 128 16 97 8.9 3.5 0.6 5.0 0% .286 1.38 3.32 3.25 96 4.21 102.9
1970 CHA MLB AL 37 37 269.3 12 17 0 253 101 138 19 102 8.5 3.4 0.6 4.6 0% .270 1.31 3.54 3.27 99 5.04 115.6
1971 CHA MLB AL 38 35 229.3 13 16 0 244 58 131 17 99 9.6 2.3 0.7 5.1 0% .297 1.32 3.00 3.61 83 3.64 93.4
1972 LAN MLB NL 29 29 186.7 11 5 0 172 40 117 14 94 8.3 1.9 0.7 5.6 0% .267 1.14 2.94 2.89 80 3.17 86.1
1973 LAN MLB NL 36 31 218.0 16 7 0 202 50 116 16 96 8.3 2.1 0.7 4.8 0% .265 1.16 3.17 3.10 86 3.80 89.9
1974 LAN MLB NL 22 22 153.0 13 3 0 133 42 78 4 95 7.8 2.5 0.2 4.6 0% .263 1.14 2.74 2.59 88 3.47 83.9
1976 LAN MLB NL 31 31 207.0 10 10 0 207 61 91 7 94 9.0 2.7 0.3 4.0 0% .282 1.29 3.09 3.09 91 3.64 91.2
1977 LAN MLB NL 31 31 220.3 20 7 0 225 50 123 12 98 9.2 2.0 0.5 5.0 0% .297 1.25 3.04 2.78 73 3.66 81.6
1978 LAN MLB NL 33 30 213.0 17 10 1 230 53 124 11 100 9.7 2.2 0.5 5.2 0% .305 1.33 2.94 3.30 71 3.56 86.1
1979 NYA MLB AL 37 36 276.3 21 9 0 268 65 111 9 95 8.7 2.1 0.3 3.6 0% .279 1.21 3.12 2.96 82 3.47 77.2
1980 NYA MLB AL 36 36 265.3 22 9 0 270 56 78 13 98 9.2 1.9 0.4 2.6 0% .275 1.23 3.50 3.43 96 4.88 113.7
1981 NYA MLB AL 20 20 140.3 9 8 0 135 39 50 10 93 8.7 2.5 0.6 3.2 0% .262 1.24 3.65 2.63 103 4.09 102.2
1982 CAL MLB AL 7 7 35.0 4 2 0 49 5 14 4 98 12.6 1.3 1.0 3.6 0% .349 1.54 3.79 3.86 97 6.04 140.5
1982 NYA MLB AL 30 26 186.7 10 10 0 190 34 54 11 98 9.2 1.6 0.5 2.6 0% .270 1.20 3.46 3.66 93 4.43 103.0
1983 CAL MLB AL 34 34 234.7 11 13 0 287 49 65 20 100 11.0 1.9 0.8 2.5 0% .305 1.43 4.02 4.33 102 5.98 138.0
1984 CAL MLB AL 32 29 181.3 7 13 0 223 56 47 15 95 11.1 2.8 0.7 2.3 0% .308 1.54 4.29 4.52 115 6.26 146.3
1985 CAL MLB AL 12 6 38.3 2 4 0 51 15 17 3 96 12.0 3.5 0.7 4.0 0% .343 1.72 4.12 4.70 111 6.60 151.5
1985 OAK MLB AL 11 11 48.0 2 6 0 66 13 8 6 92 12.4 2.4 1.1 1.5 0% .311 1.65 4.90 6.19 110 6.19 142.1
1985 WMI A MDW 1 1 6.0 0 0 0 4 4 3 0 6.0 6.0 0.0 4.5 0% .000 1.33 4.01 3.00 0 0.00 0.0
1985 MOD A+ CLF 2 2 11.0 0 0 0 12 6 11 0 9.8 4.9 0.0 9.0 0% .000 1.64 3.09 5.73 0 0.00 0.0
1986 NYA MLB AL 13 10 70.7 5 3 0 73 15 28 8 102 9.3 1.9 1.0 3.6 0% .274 1.25 4.18 2.93 93 4.82 108.9
1986 FTL A+ FSL 3 3 13.7 2 0 0 7 1 7 0 4.6 0.7 0.0 4.6 0% .000 0.58 2.03 0.00 0 0.00 0.0
1987 NYA MLB AL 33 33 187.7 13 6 0 212 47 63 12 99 10.2 2.3 0.6 3.0 0% .297 1.38 3.87 4.03 98 5.70 119.7
1988 NYA MLB AL 35 32 176.3 9 8 0 221 46 81 11 99 11.3 2.3 0.6 4.1 0% .332 1.51 3.59 4.49 96 4.89 117.8
1989 NYA MLB AL 10 10 63.7 2 7 0 87 22 18 6 101 12.3 3.1 0.8 2.5 0% .336 1.71 4.68 5.80 107 6.27 151.0

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr%

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
1986-09-01 1986-10-05 DTD 34 30 Left Thumb Fracture - -
1986-06-09 1986-08-08 60 55 Left Lower Leg Strain Achilles Tendon - -
1981-05-23 1981-08-10 79 19 - Low Back Strain - -
1975-04-07 1975-09-29 175 162 Left Elbow Recovery From Surgery Tommy John Surgery 1974-09-25 -
1974-07-18 1974-10-18 92 69 Left Elbow Surgery Tommy John Surgery 1974-09-25 -
1968-08-23 1968-09-30 38 36 Left Shoulder Separation AC Joint From Altercation - -
1968-05-29 1968-06-15 DTD 17 15 - Not Disclosed - -
1967-07-23 1967-08-20 28 25 - General Medical Illness Gastritis - -


Year Team Salary


Service TimeAgentContract Status


2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

Weighted Mean?????0.0?00?.0000.000.00?0.00.0

BP Annual Player Comments

No BP Book Comments have been found for this player.

BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Tommy John

BP Chats

2018-07-30 23:00:00 (link to chat)What happened to Lucas Giolito? I think a lot of expectations were tempered, but how did his numbers fall THIS much?
(Ron from Texarkana)
Well, easiest answer is that Tommy John surgery is (still) a helluva drug. But beyond that, they've tried to overhaul his arm path and slot over the past couple months - he's throwing now from about a half a foot north of where he was at the start of the year, for example, and when you try to make those kinds of fairly dramatic adjustments on the fly against major league hitters sometimes you get your lunch money taken. It's generally just been a bumpy road back from Tommy John for him from the jump, and that does happen sometimes, unfortunately. The elite velo never came back, and both his heater variants lack wiggle. And when you combine unremarkable velo with below-average movement, sprinkle in poor command and stagnant secondaries that don't draw out enough whiffs to offset things...welp, that's how mommies and daddies make 7.66 DRAs. (Wilson Karaman)
2018-07-24 20:00:00 (link to chat)Who is the prospect you love that people aren't talking enough about?
(Andrew from Springfield)
Well, it can't be Alex Kirilloff because everyone's talking about him. I'm tempted to say Carter Kieboom, a guy I love, but I don't think he's much of a secret at this point either. I'll go with AJ Puk, a guy who was dazzling and knocking on the doors of the big leagues when he hit the sidelines for Tommy John surgery. If he comes back and is roughly the same pitcher, he could make an impact in the majors fairly quickly. (Scooter Hotz)
2018-07-24 20:00:00 (link to chat)What can you say on Brent Honeywell right now? What does his future hold?
(Rays Fan from Tampa, Florida)
I liked him a lot before he had Tommy John surgery in February, and as of last week, his recovery was going well. Tampa's unconventional starting pitcher deployments and the fact that he's coming off major surgery might keep his innings total in 2019 low enough to seriously limit his value, even if he's ready for Opening Day. I still like him a lot long term. (Scooter Hotz)
2018-04-05 20:00:00 (link to chat)Why does it seem like the Athletics get hit by the Tommy John bug more than most teams?
(Dave from Harrisonburg)
Don't know. It could be that a staff of mostly younger pitchers has to shoulder a larger burden and is at more of an injury risk. But I'm spitballing. I'd have to dive into the data. (Mike Gianella)
2017-02-16 20:00:00 (link to chat)What to make of the Alex Reyes TJS? Are the Cards cooked?
(Marty from tampa)
It'll definitely be a harder road for the Cardinals now, but this stuff happens. There's been no proven mechanical or physical factors that contribute towards Tommy John, other than the sheer fact that pitchers throw baseballs very hard. It's part of the risk calculus, and sometimes the talent outweighs that.

I will say that the year I saw Alex Reyes in Double-A was also the year I saw Julio Urias, and I walked away thinking that Reyes was the better prospect. If you'd told me I could trade highly-rated prospect x, y, z for him, I probably would have. I hope for all of baseball that he comes back with his stuff intact, because baseball's better with a talent like Reyes. (Kate Morrison)
2016-09-07 19:00:00 (link to chat)I see you mentioned Devers. What else would have to be added to either side to make a Wheeler/Devers swap? Is it even remotely possible? I keep thinking the Mets should target him bc they need a 3B of the future, and RSox have no space
(Frank from NY)
I don't think Wheeler, coming off a Tommy John rehab with extensive complications, has a whole lot of trade value right now. Nor do I think the Red Sox are worrying about where Devers is playing yet to the point of a sell-low. I mean, Devers could be their future 1B with Hanley at DH, Moncada could end up in the OF or at 1B himself, people could get hurt or traded, etc. (Jarrett Seidler)
2016-05-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)Kenny any chance you can provide your own explanation i why the NYY have failed recently in developing SP's? Just thinking of Hughes as he had a lot of hype, & more recently Nova & Pineda?
(Bob from Northern Hemisphere)
not sure, Bob. Pineda wasn't really *their* guy, so it's hard to say with him, and Nova had Tommy John...seems like a lot of bad luck, but after a while you have to question what's up. I think we'll learn a lot from Severino and Lindgren. (Kenny Ducey)
2016-01-27 19:00:00 (link to chat)1) Do you think Strasburg will get better this year? 2) Over/under 2 years on needing another Tommy John for him?
(El Ashaban from Tierra Arboleta)
1) Yes. I'm expecting big things from Strasburg this year. I'm banking on him being a top-10 SP at the end of the year, and a top-5 finish wouldn't shock me at all.
2) I'll take the over, because who knows and I'd rather be positive than negative. (Matt Collins)
2016-01-21 19:00:00 (link to chat)If Jameson Taillon proves to be healthy, what kind of ceiling do you see with him. Same for Max Fried, knowing its a hard spot to judge players that havent pitched in 2 years
(Ken from Cleveland)
Hard to find a riskier pitching prospect than Fried, who's coming back from Tommy John. While he still possesses the ceiling of a number two starter, the odds of him realizing that potential are significantly diminished from where they were pre-surgery. Assuming the velocity returns, he's got the arsenal to succeed, but his command (his BB/9 numbers have always been high) still needs work. He's only 22, but he's missed a ton of developmental time, which is a huge concern to me. As far as Taillon, I'm always the lowest one in the room on him...His six starts at Triple-A were just mediocre to me last year. (George Bissell)
2015-12-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)How bad are A.J. Griffin's injuries that the A's kept the pitcher with two Tommy John surgeries and a fractured elbow in his history (Jarrod Parker), but designated Griffin for assignment?
(Tom from San Francisco)
Multiple setbacks after TJ, he feels like one of the 15 percent who just never get back. Maybe he does make it back, but it's not like he had huge upside in the first place. Parker is a higher-risk proposition, but also one with higher reward potential. That's what the A's were thinking. (Matthew Trueblood)
2015-10-22 14:00:00 (link to chat)As far as pitchers coming off of Tommy John, what becomes of Zack Wheeler? The Mets were willing to move him at the deadline for a controlled player, will they still consider that? That rotation will be fearsome with or without him.
(Danny from Chicago)
I think they're going to trade Harvey this winter, not Wheeler. It's what I'd do. Harvey is now a 3+ guy with Boras for an agent, with TJ on the resume, gonna get very expensive this winter. I'm not enamored. Wheeler is just a decent mid-rotation guy, but that's all they need behind deGrom and Syndergaard. (Matthew Trueblood)
2015-07-23 17:00:00 (link to chat)Any long term concern about Harvey this year or just expected rough patch after injury bounce back?
(rap from TZ)
A lot of pitchers go through their struggles year one after Tommy John. Harvey has even bounced back in-season, with his ERA closing in on 3 and he should be fine next year and close in on elite status again. (Mike Gianella)
2015-07-28 18:00:00 (link to chat)Jarrod Parker suffered a setback coming back (probably too soon) from his second Tommy John surgery. Jesse Hahn, another A's pitcher who has had TJ surgery, has been shut down indefinitely with forearm inflammation. Am I wrong to think neither of these guys is going to have another start for the A's?
(Jeff from San Francisco)
I don't think you're wrong there. The Jarrod Parker setback hurts the most because anytime you try to come back like that and it backfires it stings badly. (Mauricio Rubio)
2015-07-28 18:00:00 (link to chat)Wow, you don't think Jesse Hahn makes another start ever for the A's? So is the forearm inflammation just the prelude to a second Tommy John surgery?
(Josh from DC)
If you're an A's fan and you're worried about Hahn making another start I think that's a valid concern considering the inflammation and the rest option the A's have gone with. Best case scenario is that he makes a few starts at the tail end of the season but I don't have all that much faith after words like "elbow inflammation", "second Tommy John", and "Jesse Hahn" are thrown together. (Mauricio Rubio)
2015-06-30 19:00:00 (link to chat)Why doesn't organizations give all players eye surgery to improve their vision and hand/eye? Pitch recognition seems to snag many hitters as they grow.
(The Rude guy from My basement)
This is similar to the "why don't pitchers all get Tommy John surgeries" question. It's not especially ethical to operate on a healthy eye, and unlike TJ eye surgery wouldn't necessarily improve coordination, it would simply improve vision. (Mike Gianella)
2015-06-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)Marcos Molina was a buzzy name I heard about seemingly every time he pitched last year. Haven't heard much about him this season though. how has he followed up his breakout year?
(Brian from Mass)
Not so great. Last I saw Molina was undergoing evaluation for Tommy John surgery. That was a couple of weeks ago and he hasn't pitched since, so. (R.J. Anderson)
2015-06-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)What are the early season reports on Jeff Hoffman so far? Is he a top 5 pitching prospect in all of the minors?
(Chad from Minnesota)
Reports have been awesome in terms of the raw stuff, but inconsistent in terms of the execution. That's pretty standard when it comes to Tommy John rehab, so I see it as a positive. He's going to be highly rated. This is a guy who probably would have gone 1.1 last year if he hadn't gotten hurt, and certainly no lower than 1.5. He's a dude, and that's an industry term. (Jeff Moore)
2015-06-02 18:00:00 (link to chat)Have you heard any reports on John Lamb? It appears that his stuff may finally be back after his Tommy John surgery. He is missing bats and his control has improved at AAA.
(Alex from Towson, MD)
I haven't but we might have an update coming through soon. (Mauricio Rubio)
2015-04-07 14:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Doug, the large amount of Tommy John surgeries has gotten me thinking: Would pitchers be better off throwing all year round? It seems to me the whole process of throwing 95 after not pitching for a while could be bad for the arm. I know they "ramp up", but this seems to be a common cause of injury regarding other athletic feats as well. We also know injury rates for pitchers fall rapidly as soon as the regular season starts. Would pitcher be better of maintaining their throw day in the winter?
(Matt T. from Cambridge)
The big issue, from my perspective, is the lack of consistency and lack of knowledge of what these pitchers are actually doing year-round (particularly with amateurs). I do not think that these guys should be pitching competitively year-round, something that has been a focal point for Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Glenn Fleisig. The problem is multi-fold, and there is no one single answer that will fix these guys, but the modern emphasis on velocity and high-intensity pitching creates an even more unstable situation for developing arms. (Doug Thorburn)
2015-01-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Doug, what are your thoughts on Alexander Reyes & Steven Matz? Could both become role 6 type players, or are the concerns for Reyes control & Matz injury pass holding them back of that possibility?
(kiper90 from Rochester, NY)
I covered Reyes in the NL Central prospects piece, and I think that he has all of the basic ingredients to solve his walks issue. He just needs to iron out his timing, which is typically the last thing to come around for a pitcher it can also take the longest. Stay tuned.

Matz is an intriguing prospect, with three potential plus pitches. He put up 140 innings last year, and his Tommy John was back in 2010, so I think that he is breaking free of the injury shackles. (Doug Thorburn)
2015-01-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)How would you handle pitchers who are coming back from their 2nd Tommy John surgery? For some reason ~160 IP is sticking in my head for guys coming back from a 1st. Would this number decrease for guys coming back from a 2nd, or should the recovery process be the same regardless? Do you think teams may "try something different" (though not sure what that would be) with these guys as the 1st surgery was not as successful as others?
(Shawn from Cubicle)
Each player is different so I would avoid any sort of template, especially for a player coming back from his 2nd TJS. The aspects of recovery don't necessarily change, but the rate of recovery is dependent on the player and how he is developing within the rehab process. I don't put much emphasis on strict innings caps, as they tend to put pitchers in smaller buckets rather than appreciating the snowflakes. (Doug Thorburn)
2015-01-08 12:00:00 (link to chat)Jeff - How optimistic are you that Cliff Lee will return to excellence?
(hotstatrat from freezing Toronto)
So Cliff Lee's issues last year were in his forearm and elbow, with a Flexor Pronator Strain of the former and a flexor mass of the latter. Elbows are, admittedly, less concerning than shoulder injuries. Still though, when you hear about forearm & elbow issues, you start to wonder if Tommy John is coming soon.

If Lee is 100% healthy I think he'll be at least 80%-90% of his old self. The question is whether or not his elbow will actually be 100% healthy. (Jeff Long)
2015-01-28 19:00:00 (link to chat)In a 6x6 (QS and OPS are added but features SVHDs) 12-team league with 40 man rosters (keep 35) would you rather have Patrick Corbin coming back from Tommy John or Kyle Hendricks as the 35th keeper?
(Matt from IL)
I like Corbin better than Hendricks. Corbin is slated to return in June but even so I would much rather roll dice with him moving forward over Hendricks. (Mauricio Rubio)
2014-12-11 18:00:00 (link to chat)Thoughts on Speier going to Detroit good pickup? Does he stay a starter or eventually to the pen?
(Frank from Atlanta)
Speier is a nice flyer in the package that shipped Porcello out of town. He's still pretty raw after just coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2014. The fastball can work in the low-90s from the left side and there are some scouts that like the breaking ball as an above-average pitch down the road. The changeup and stamina will determine his long term role. He's a bit of a project but could move to Low-A West Michigan as a 20-year old next season. (Mark Anderson)
2014-10-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Where does D. Bundy start next year (AA?). Thoughts on his stuff this year. How concerned are you?
(Jay from Madison)
Yeah, Double-A seems about right. I know we say the recovery time from Tommy John is 12 months, but developmentally it's about two years. That year a pitcher returns to action isn't the same. They're either still getting their stuff back or on a severe pitch/innings limit. We also have to remember that despite that late season call up in 2012, Bundy still needed time in the minors. Then he lost all of 2013 and part of 2014 and spent the rest of the year still getting his stuff back. When it's all said and done, TJ will have set him back two years. Luckily, he was only 20 when he had it and he's still not yet 22. He'll start in Double-A, should be much closer to his old self, and could be in the majors by the summer. I'm not terribly concerned. (Jeff Moore)
2014-09-03 14:00:00 (link to chat)What did you think of Bundy's first year post Tommy John surgery?
(TGisriel from Baltimore)
I'd throw it out the window. Would guess the command will take a step forward next year in addition to a small velocity jump. Those typically come in the second year back. He's still got #2 upside for me. Extreme polish, and if they let him throw the cutter, he's got four legit major league offerings. (Jordan Gorosh)
2014-07-31 19:30:00 (link to chat)With all the TJS this year I was wondering who has come back from TJS and has had a good long career?
(scott from az)
Tons of examples here, that's why so many people are willing to discount a lot of the risk that comes with TJS right now -- Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, AJ Burnett, Jamie Moyer, John Smoltz, Tommy John himself, etc (Ben Carsley)
2014-07-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Dylan Bundy has been 90-94 since coming back from Tommy John. Is his velocity where you would expect it to be for a pitcher just over 12 months post-op?
(Frank from MD)
I have no problem with what I'm hearing coming out of his first starts back. While it is generally assumed that velo comes back first with all pitchers recovering from TJ surgery, there's not hard and fast rules in the process. For Bundy, the recovery process may be slightly different. At this point, I'm not worried and frankly, I won't be worried about his velocity even if it settles into the 92-94 range, given the rest of his arsenal. (Mark Anderson)
2014-07-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who are a few of your favorite non-first round prospects from this years draft? What makes them stand out?
(mbovie from Baltimore)
I really love Nick Burdi in the second round. I know people generally hate first round relievers, but his talent fit in the first round in most drafts. In the second round he's an excellent get.

I was a believer in Pat Connaughton in high school and think the Orioles getting him to focus on baseball could really allow him to begin putting things together.

Eighth rounder Artie Lewicki is a fantastic senior sign for the Tigers, particularly for only $60k. He was one of the CWS studs and moving another year away from Tommy John surgery as he heads into his first full season in 2015, he could be a really fast mover as a sinker/slider/cutter guy with solid potential. (Mark Anderson)
2014-06-27 14:00:00 (link to chat)In your breakdowns of pitchers needing Tommy John surgery, have you noticed any mechanical issues that these players have in common?
(asuit11 from South Jersey)
The injury equation is very muddled and loaded with variables, and the elements that can contribute to TJS include (but are not limited to): workloads, mechanics, conditioning, genetics, fatigue/stamina, and stuff/approach. The elements of mechanics are also intertwined, making it even more difficult to isolate the cause of injury.

That said, one element that we (at the NPA) identified as a precursor to elbow injury was elbow drag, in which the throwing arm lags behind the shoulder axis as the pitcher reaches max external rotation of the throwing arm. Elbow drag can be the result of a heavy scapular load, an "Inverted W," or an exaggerated delay of trunk rotation - a pitcher with all 3 of these risk factors will experience elbow drag more frequently, but there is still an element of variability in which some pitchers only show elbow drag on certain pitches (particularly when fatigued).

On the jukebox: Sublime, "Santeria" (Doug Thorburn)
2014-06-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)Am I the only one who worries about a guy who picks up velocity in College and then ends up getting Tommy John?
(faithdies from DE)
Don't a majority of arms pick up velocity in college. Seems like it would be tough to avoid that profile. (Draft Day Chat with Nick J. Faleris)
2014-05-28 14:15:00 (link to chat)Why has MLB done so little about the recent plague of Tommy John? Shouldn't they being pouring dump-trucks of money into medical research on trying to find the causes,risk factors, and better treatment instead of using a relatively crude surgery from 40 years ago despite our greatly expanded understanding of medicine.
(Matt from Cambridge )
Listen to our interview with Stan Conte on Effectively Wild last week--it sounds like they are making more of an effort. It's sort of an interesting situation, in that all teams want pitchers to stay healthy, but each of them has considerable incentive to try to gain an edge in injury prevention themselves, rather than sharing all of the information they have. If one team could crack the code before the others, it might be worth many playoff appearances. We talked about that conflict with Conte. At this point, though, it seems to be approaching the point where it's a threat to the sport, so I'd expect MLB to devote more resources to the problem. "We shall double our efforts," as the late Moff Jerjerrod said. (Ben Lindbergh)
2014-05-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)I have been struggling to find a way to properly analyze a bullpen on a team basis. I looked at the bullpen mismanagement tool but am I looking for a couple good stats to use for a whole team instead. I understand it's not the easiest thing to analyze but any advice here would be helpful. Thank you
(jkeywood from Toronto)
I'm generally inclined to look at a sum of the individuals in stats you like - whether it be FIP or FRA or ERA or whatever moves you. I guess if I had to look at one thing that ties it together, I'd look at the innings and appearances counts of your top 2 or 3 most used guys as we get into June.

Relievers can go from great to Tommy John on one pitch, but look at whether there's reason to believe they won't hold up. Has the manager been good with getting them rest when it wasn't necessary? That's how I'd look at a bigger picture. (Zachary Levine)
2014-05-02 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is there anything more to the fact that most of the pitchers undergoing TJS are US-born, other than the fact that the majority of pitching staffs are made up of US-born players? Could something like the AAU teams and National Showcase Tourneys be somewhat responsible? I'm not very familiar with how local leagues are run in Latin America, but I guess I'm asking if young American pitchers throw significantly more innings than young Latin American pitchers at the same age, and if that may have an effect on the number of Tommy John surgeries for US-born pitchers?
(The Dude from Office)
The queue is loaded with injury questions today, and I'd just like to reiterate that there exists a plethora of variables that enter the injury equation. We are all searching for that simple answer so that we can point fingers, but the reality of injury prevention is murky at best.

Dr.'s James Andrews and Glenn Fleisig are proponents of the idea that showcases and year-round baseball are contributing to pitcher injuries as the youngsters have so little down time, and I trust the speculation of the docs. When comparing the players from different countries there are more factors at play, including conditioning at a young age as they develop. There could be a multitude of reasons for a difference between US-born pitchers and players from Latin America, if such a difference exists. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)When Sano went down, I started to hear from a lot of people that it almost guaranteed a move to first. I don't have any idea why TJ would increase/decrease the chances of that. If a pitcher can come back from that, you're telling me a 3B's arm is going to be gone?
(Brian from Wis)
Tommy John surgery wouldn't be a reason to move him to first in my opinion. There was at least a 50-50 chance he ended up there before the injury, so saying this suddenly changes those odds seems off to me. I think he's still a 50-50 bet to move long term, but much of that will depend on how well he maintains his body and agility during this rehab process. (Mark Anderson)
2014-03-19 20:00:00 (link to chat)Giolito - do I get to see him in the bigs next season? Or are the Nats extra cautious because of Strasburg?
(Nat Man from DC)
Absolutely not and it has nothing to do with Strasburg. He's a 19-year old kid who has already have Tommy John as a pro. If you see him in 2016, all is good in the world. (Bret Sayre)
2014-03-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)Ben Lindbergh said that "...even if everything goes well, [Tommy John surgery] often fails in 8-9 years" How, if at all, will this affect guys like Gioloto, Bundy, Harvey, Strasburg, etc. down the road? What happens after that 9th year?
(KJ from Yardley, PA)
I don't disagree with that statement. Pitching is a violent act. Every team is trying to predict injuries that would lead up to Tommy John surgery, and try to prevent it. People think Tommy John surgery is the cure, when it may just be a band-aid or a gauze pad. I think the rate of attrition is higher in post-TJS pitchers than those without it, especially for those that have underwent surgery twice.

For those pitchers that you named, we should be concerned, since they've already underwent surgery. But we should be concerned about every pitcher that throws hard and is manipulating their elbows to throw wicked benders. (Ronit Shah)
2014-03-14 09:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Mike, I would value an opinion on the effectiveness of Kris Medlen in the future , as I own him in a 20 team dynasty league where we keep 24 players.If as seems likely he needs a second Tommy John surgery, what is the likelihood of Medlen returning as a top 25 pitcher in the next couple of years, or would I be better off cutting him and keeping Erasmo Ramirez ? Thanks for the chat.
(boatman44 from Liverpool)
I wish I had any kind of real idea. Medlen had a higher ceiling before the surgery, but I would be purely guessing at this point and not giving you an honest answer. I'd roll with Erasmo and take the certainty over the complete unknown, particularly in your deep format. (Mike Gianella)
2014-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Would you care to elaborate on timing and consistency component of Josh Johnson 's mechanic report card in SP guide? Many analysts sees him as great rebound candidate due to moving to NL and Petco. But I am seriously worrying about his command and elbow, and wonder if those are mechanical related? Do you see him bounce back like Ubaldo, who was hit hard in 2012 and earned "Saloon door" on his mechanical issue?
(Jim from Seattle)
The key for Johnson is ironing out the transition from max leg lift to the stride phase of his delivery. He has a strong first move toward the plate, but then he slows down with an inconsistent pace that messes with his timing of rotation. There is reason to be worried about the elbow - it has been more than 6 years since his first Tommy John, and he had off-season surgery to remove bone chips. The timing issues potentially compound the injury concerns. There is not much comparison b/w Johnson and Ubaldo - Johnson doesn't have the saloon-door stride (not that has injury implications, more of a consistency issue), and I have more faith in Johnson's ability to rediscover his timing, that is if he remains healthy. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Danny Hultzen was considered one of the best LHP prospects in the game. Now, with his rotator cuff, should he even be considered to ever make the majors or to make any impact ever in the majors?
(Frank from Washington)
His abilities haven't changed, so if he returns healthy, there's no reason he can't. His career isn't over. That being said. shoulder injuries are an entirely different beast than elbow injuries. We take Tommy John for granted now, but even that's not guaranteed. Shoulder injuries have a much longer recovery time and tend to have lingering effects. This really isn't good for Hultzen. (Jeff Moore)
2013-09-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who will be the new Rays #1 prospect?
(Paul from St.Pete)
The top buy might still be Taylor Guerrieri, even with Tommy John surgery. (Mark Anderson)
2013-09-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)My 8yo has just started at the kid pitch level. He wants to pitch. I was finally able to see him from a side view. He has an "inverted W" delivery. How soon will he have Tommy John surgery?
(comish4lif from Alexandria, VA)
Call Andrews now. (Jason Parks)
2013-09-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Jason, talked to Reds surgeon Tim Kremchek who told me its best for pitchers to start throwing at age 7. How do scouts look at say, a converted outfielder? Is he a fresh arm, or does he have more risk of injury?
(Daniel from Evanston, IL)
Hell yes he's got more risk for injury. I talked with Rangers rehab pitching coordinator Keith Comstock about this last season, and he told me, "At some point, every conversion guy is going to have a setback. Some are minor (quit throwing and rehab for a few weeks), and some are major (Tommy John surgery), but every guy has a setback." On one hand it is a fresh arm, but when you make the conversion and start throwing off a mound, start throwing sliders and curveballs, etc., you're starting to put strain and stress on muscles and ligaments that have never really been used like that before. (Jason Cole)
2013-09-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)Are there any sources of pitching hope in the Yankee system?
(Alex from Anaheim)
Most of the Yankee rays of hope are buried deep in the farm system. If Manny Banuelos returns safely from Tommy John surgery then he probably has the best chance to make an impact in the near future. But I expect the Yankees to continue to use their prospects in trade in order to buffer the major-league roster. (Doug Thorburn)
2013-07-12 19:30:00 (link to chat)Thanks for chatting, Nick. As an A's fan, I'm happily shocked that they were able to sign their top 15 picks. Would have loved to see them land Iolana Akau, the Hawaiian catcher, but I don't think anyone expected the A's to sign all four of Dillon Overton, Chris Kohler, Bobby Wahl and Dustin Driver. Are you surprised they all signed? With all of them in the fold, do you think the A's draft cracked the top 10? Thanks!
(Ron from Washington, D.C.)
Good news, Akau actually was signed! And I agree, the Athletics did a really impressive job. They earned additional flexibility due to Overton's underslot signing (though that comes with the price of Tommy John surgery). Lots of upside arms, a really nice bat in first rounder McKinney, and I liked grabbing Edwin Diaz in the early teens. Pinder/Healy is a solid corner infield tandem early on, as well. In a hit-and-miss class, Oakland seemed to pack in a whole lot of highly interesting acquisitions. That's a great accomplishment. (Nick Faleris on Draft Signing Day)
2013-04-30 12:00:00 (link to chat)When is Manny Banuelos slated to return?
(padremurph from San Diego)
Banuelos underwent Tommy John surgery last October and the rule of thumb is usually a year. My guess is he probably won't return during the regular season. If he does it'll be near the end. (R.J. Anderson)
2013-04-12 14:00:00 (link to chat)Josh Fields was just placed on the DL with a "forearm strain." A few people I know have claimed that that can be a precursor to a need for Tommy John surgery, even though that has to do with an elbow ligament. Any truth to that? How worried should we be about the injury?
(Ashitaka1110 from Houston, TX)
There is some truth to that, in the sense that the elbow and the forearm are connected links in the kinetic chain. A forearm strain can be somewhat vague, and the UCL connects to the humerus, so there is some potential with respect to the injury precursor. We must also consider that any weak link in the kinetic chain can threaten the integrity of the system, and pitchers tend to experience cascade injuries when they attempts to pitch at anything less than full function.

On the jukebox: Pink Floyd, "Goodbye Blue Sky" (Doug Thorburn)
2013-03-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)With Adam Eaton and Martin Perez injured, can the D-backs and Rangers send them down and place them on a minor league DL (while preventing service time), or because they were injured with the major league teams do they need to remain on the MLB DL?
(D from New York)
Major League DL, I believe. The example I have from covering the Astros is that when Sergio Escalona got injured in spring training last year and had to have Tommy John surgery, he ended up with a full year of service time and big league pay. (Zachary Levine)
2013-03-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)For my NL only team, I have several guy that I intend to keep. It is a 4x4 league, is this staff enough for me to survive? Greinke, Lincecum, Cahill, Beachy (not sure who to fill-in with), Shelby Miller, O'Flaherty, andCishek and plan on drafting Rosenthal & Fujikawa.
(Garcia from Rehabbing)
I'm wary of Lincecum, based on the things I've read this spring, and with Beachy coming off of Tommy John and Greinke dealing with minor elbow trouble, I'd look to add at least one more proven starter. (Daniel Rathman)
2013-02-15 12:00:00 (link to chat)Is Rymer Liriano worth holding on to in a dynasty league? Tommy John is going to cost him a year of development and he had a ways to go as is.
(Amazin Mess from Malone NY)
Yes, because he was young for the levels he was playing in anyhow. (Jason Collette)
2013-03-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)how do rymer liriano and jorge soler compare? ceiling and potential impact of both?
(Kai from SLO)
Kai, I'm afraid I don't have a good enough feel for Soler to give an informed opinion on him. I will say that I like Liriano a lot and am disappointed that he'll be sitting out 2013 with a bum elbow. I think he's got the talent to be a first-division starter, but he remains a work-in-progress. Assuming he suffers no lingering effects from Tommy John surgery and continues to develop once healthy, there's a lot to like. (Geoff Young)
2013-02-26 14:00:00 (link to chat)M.Pineda - worth a stash in fantasy? Any hope he comes on to pitch mid-year 2013?
(Al from Boston)
In a redraft league, I'd consider Pineda as a late-round flier that you could stash on your DL and hope for the best. We recently heard that he's ahead of schedule and actually threw a 25-pitch (all-fastball) session the other day, so there is upside here. On the other hand, recovery from a labrum tear is difficult to project, so if you're inclined to gamble on a pitcher coming back from injury, someone like Danny Duffy or Cory Luebke (both Tommy John surgery victims) might be a better bet. (Daniel Rathman)
2012-11-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Who plays Andrew Brackman in 2008 YANKEES SYSTEM?
(bradleyankrom from nyny)
Manny Banuelos. Pretty sure 2008 was the one Brackman sat out while rehabbing from Tommy John. But I can also see an argument for Betances--starter with lousy control becomes bullpen guy. (Ben Lindbergh)
2012-05-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who are some prospects at RP that you like (are there any)?
(McPaine from St. Paul)
There's rarely such a thing as a RP "prospect." The good pitching prospects generally start out in the rotation, and if they can't hack it, they move into the bullpen. That said, there are certainly some relievers in Triple-A that could prove valuable to an AL or NL-only team. Don't count on them for saves anytime soon, but they could provide good ratios. A few off the top of my head: Eduardo Sanchez was just recalled by St. Louis and has good stuff. Juan Abreu is interesting in Houston if he can improve his control. I like Zach Putnam for Colorado. Nick Hagadone's been up and down for Cleveland this year. Jose Ceda is out for 2012 (Tommy John) but is interesting next year, perhaps even getting in the saves mix at some point. (Derek Carty)
2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)How much will the Rockies limit their pitchers this year? How will pitch in September? They have the young, Juan Nicasio, Drew Pomeranz, and Chacin. They have the old in Jamie Moyer.
(will.I.ain't from roaming)
I'd bet that Pomeranz, who threw about 120 innings across four levels last year, will be capped around 150-160, and Nicasio maybe just a bit higher. I'd be surprised if Moyer makes it through the year, at least in the rotation, and I think it's important to remember that they have Jorge de la Rosa coming back from Tommy John surgery at some point this summer.

I don't think it's going to matter particularly how well they pitch in September, as they won't be contending. Their offense is mediocre even in a division that defines offensive mediocrity, and Jim Tracy is more hindrance than help when it comes to running a bullpen. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-03-15 12:00:00 (link to chat)When will the Braves tweak their organizational philosophy. They are always overflowing with young arms, but they refuse to trade any of them for bats, which they usually lack. Today comes word that Arodys Vizcaino might need Tommy John. They missed the boat again.
(Kyran from Malone, NY)
To be fair, it appears Atlanta did try to trade Jair Jurrjens this offseason. (R.J. Anderson)
2011-12-02 14:00:00 (link to chat)Any word out of KC on the status of John Lamb's recovery from Tommy John surgery?
(Paul from DC)
On pace, no setbacks. (Kevin Goldstein)
2011-10-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)What was a good comparison for Gibson until he had Tommy John? Bob Tewksbury? Mitch McConnell? Erik Estrada?
(richardkr34 from Saint Paul, MN)
I've always been a big fan of Estrada comps. (Jason Parks)
2011-06-27 14:00:00 (link to chat)Whatever happened to James Simmons and Michael Ynoa?
(Dave from Chicago)
Simmons missed all of 2010 after shoulder surgery, he's just getting back into action. Ynoa had a Tommy John and won't pitch this year. (Kevin Goldstein)
2011-06-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Brett Anderson is going to receive a platelet rich plasma injection for his elbow. How concerned should A's fans be about this both in the short-term and the long-term?
(Tom from Madison)
Quite concerned in the short-term and medium-term, I'd think. I'm a big believer in a healthy Anderson, but at this rate, it seems like the healthy Anderson might never stick around long enough to approach 200 innings. If you had to bet on Anderson's elbow not exploding at some point, given the problems he's had with it over the last year or so, would you?

Most of his serious injury issues are related to the elbow, so maybe a new UCL would solve all his problems, if PRP doesn't. In that sense, given the success rate of Tommy John surgery these days, maybe he's still a safe bet for the future, but I'd take a slightly less talented but slightly more durable pitcher over him at this point. (Ben Lindbergh)
2011-05-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)What's the current status of Michael Ynoa?
(HonusCobb from Hopedale, IL)
Rehabbing from last year's Tommy John surgery. No hiccups in recovery. (Kevin Goldstein)
2011-05-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)Whats your aproximation for Strasburg's return and your accessed trade value for him. I can keep him for the next four years in a 20 team head to head league
(mmaurer016 from Florida)
The Nationals have been very conservative with his rehab and I believe they will continue to follow that path. Thus, I'd say he will not pitch in a major-league game this season. As far as keeping him, absolutely. I think, barring something unforeseen in his comeback from Tommy John, he's going to be one of the game's elite pitchers. (John Perrotto)
2011-05-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)When they did the Tommy John surgery on Jaime Garcia a couple of years ago, whose left arm did they graft on, Warren Spahn's or John Tudor's? Put more prosaically, how long does this tantalizing left-handed unhittability last?
(Bill from New Mexico)
Well, Warren Spahn is dead, but I'm pretty sure arms are not part of the organ donor program. :) Garcia is going to progress to the mean at some point but I really believe he is going to be a top-shelf starter for many years to come. He's got pretty good stuff and a good idea of what to do with it. (John Perrotto)
2011-01-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)If Jack Morris doesn't pitch Game 7 in 1991, is he even on the ballot at this point?
(RMR from Chicago)
Well, Tommy John and Jim Kaat lasted 15 years with just shy of 300 wins, and other than Blyleven, Morris has the highest win total of anyone who's been on the ballot in years, so yes, I think Morris would still be on the ballot, albeit with well below 50 percent of the vote. (Jay Jaffe)
2011-01-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay, before you started JAWS who did you think were hall of fame players that you later disproved due to your analysis?
(mattseward from Cardiff, UK)
Funny you should mention that. Today I pulled my first piece on starting pitchers from my Futility Infielder blog, written back in January 2002:

It was written prior to JAWS, prior to my learning about WARP, back when Win Shares was the newest thing. In it, I stump for Blyleven, Jim Kaat and Tommy John, and retain an open mind regarding Morris, whose Win Shares totals hadn't been published. Of those, the only one which holds up in the face of JAWS is Blyleven. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-12-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you see the A's doing with Josh Outman, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery? There doesn't seem to be a place in the bullpen or rotation.
(Dave from Chicago)
Gotta' wait and see what he can do when healthy and then make the decision. Perhaps he comes back and Gio gets hurt so you have another young starter to plug in. Or maybe he can be packaged elsewhere. You can never have enough good, young pitching, so it really wouldn't hurt to just keep him and figure out the role later. (Eric Seidman)
2010-12-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)How would you handle Stephen Strasburg when he comes back Tommy John surgery? Does he pitch at all in 2011? Is he in the bullpen in 2012 or just limited pitch counts in his starts that year?
(James from DC)
If possible, get him to throw a bit at the end of 2011. I have read numerous reports that athletes really like using those final games of a season to pitch after coming back from an injury. In basketball, it would help someone like Amare Stoudemire learn to trust his knees in actual NBA action, just like Strasburg would be able to get accustomed to pitching in the majors without the pressure of starting a new season without having pitched in a major league game. Even if it's something psychological and not easily measured, it seems to be important. (Eric Seidman)
2010-07-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think there's a chance Torre uses any other reliever than Broxton or Kuo the rest of the season?
(Dingers Blog from Los Angeles)
Man, watching the Dodger bullpen has become quite an ordeal lately, as Torre has burned through yet another set of high quality arms who were too successful for their own good - Ramon Troncoso, please join Corey Wade in the Scott Proctor Memorial Lounge, and if you see Ronald Belisario, tell him he's needed there too. Oh, and Mr. Kuo, your third Tommy John surgery is scheduled. Same side, correct? (Jay Jaffe)
2010-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you think of Trevor Cahill's season?
(Dave from Chicago)
That rant on Firefox must have seemed like a non-sequitur. See, I answered this question on Cahill, then finished by saying, "I think my browser is about to crash. Please give me a moment to restart." Apparently it took my answer with it. I'm quite enjoying Cahill's season, but I worry that he's going to regress, that his low, low BABIP is not just the result of a groundball-oriented approach but a goodly amount of luck. As a Tommy John fan going back to my misspent youth, I love this kind of pitcher as much as I do the strikeout artists, but very few of them are as consistent at it as TJ was. The sinker is just not an easy pitch to master. (Steven Goldman)
2010-04-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)What percentage of pitchers come back successfully from Tommy John surgery these days? If I am in the majority, any chance I pitch this September or are we really talking February.
(Jordan Zimmermann from 9 Months Removed)
95% is the last number I saw. There was a recent study on this, plus another really interesting one from Kerlan-Jobe that I'll have more on soon. As for Zimmerman, he should be back. 12 months is really the standard, though there's enough setbacks to say "12-18" as the standard. (Will Carroll)
2010-03-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Not baseball related, but was it a good idea for the Jaguars to sign Kampman, and what do you expect from him next season? Isn't he still recovering from knee surgery? Seeing as he's not a young player to begin with, this seems unwise.
(Tex Premium Lager from NJ)
I think this says a lot more about the predictability of ACL surgery. It's a lot like when a couple teams (Cubs, Yanks) were signing guys coming off Tommy John, knowing they wouldn't be back until the second year, but getting them cheaply. (Will Carroll)
2010-02-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)You think Tim Hudson bounces back to old form? Braves' hopes could hinge on it.
(AJ from Athens)
Yeah, if you apply the aging curve to him. No reason to think Tommy John is any different on him than anyone else. Remember, this guy had a LOT of mechanical questions coming out of Auburn and he held up ok. (Will Carroll)
2010-01-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)John, doesn't the concept of placing an aterisk beside certain players numbers, from the "steroid era", put baseball's record book on a slippery slope to oblivion? I mean what about the "apartheid era" in baseball. Ruth never had to compete with Gibson, nor did any major leaguer have to face Satchel in his prime. What about the "amphetamine era", a distinct advantage to dealing with the fatigue of a long season, or the "post Tommy John surgery era", which gives modern pitchers a distinct advantage over those of yester year.
(JayZfan from Toronto)
You are right on the money with everything you've said. I couldn't agree with you more. (John Perrotto)
2009-08-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Elbow woes? Does Johan's reported troubles scream Tommy John to you and your inner Will Carroll, too?
(Grant from Chicago)
Actually, yeah. TJ usually isn't a guy jumping off the mound in pain, but rather a burning sensation that gets pitched through for a while. I really hope I'm wrong about this. (Joe Sheehan)
2009-08-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Oh boy, Tommy John surgery. Now who will be the third best starter on the Nats in 2010?
(Charlie from Bethesda)
You're referring to Jordan Zimmermann, who's getting an 18-month timetable (no, I don't know why - seems ultraconservative unless there's another issue.) I guess we have to assume the Nats will have Strasburg ... then Lannan. Maybe Detwiler? McGeary won't be up quickly. Maybe the guy they got for Nick Johnson? (Will Carroll)
2009-07-15 14:00:00 (link to chat)Call me a naysayer, but doesn't Alroidis Chapman sound a lot like the next Andrew Brackman?
(Michael from (Las Vegas, NV))
Hmmm, a 23-year-old guy with no track record of success and a Tommy John surgery? Why no, he doesn't sound like Andrew Brackman at all. (Kevin Goldstein)
2009-06-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)With regards to Tommy John surgery, has there been any long-term negative affect noted on the ligament-less wrists?
(dcoonce from bloomington, indiana)
Good question ... I know some surgeons use the opposite wrist so it doesn't come into play, but no, I don't know of any. (Will Carroll)
2009-05-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Regarding your earlier comment on ADHD ... what is your take on the reported surge in the number of MLB players who have received therapeutic exceptions for ADHD-treating drugs? Is this the new wave of "PEDs" that baseball will soon need to grapple with?
(MentalMendoza from Detroit)
The "surge" puts them at something like 8%. If you look at my twitter stream, a friend of mine who works in HR looked up the general population rates of diagnosed ADHD and MLB was just slightly higher. Given the age and the all-male population, I'd say it's reasonably close to what we'd expect.

And no, I don't believe properly used ADHD drugs are an advantage. Like painkillers or Tommy John surgery, it gets someone back to health. I've used modafinil, now used for ADHD but indicated for apnea (so I was legal ...), and while it was amazing, it made me awake, not better.

As for the next wave, it's things like SARMs, insulin, or such now and then we'll deal with stem cells and genetic doping within ten years. (Will Carroll)
2009-01-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)What is the deal with Carpenter? Is it the nerve thing combined with Tommy John? Cardinals management is all over the place, talking about him starting 30 games and then talking about him closing. Please shed some light on this and what his prospects for this year look like...
(Kevin from St. Louis)
There's TWO nerve problems, one in the shoulder and one in the elbow. The elbow is a usual TJ side effect and is reportedly controlled. The shoulder's a tougher one. Because of all this plus his history, we just don't know. The closer stuff is TLR not wanting to go with a rookie in that slot, but who knows. I can't imagine that Carpenter could be a "normal" closer at this stage and would end up more like Percival in usage. (Will Carroll)
2008-12-23 14:00:00 (link to chat)It looks to me like K-Rod at 3/37 is better than Wood at 2/21 (with option for year 3). Did Shapiro overpay for Wood?
(hurling from Akron)
Actually, I take it the other way around--I like Wood's deal being segmented, because if he suffers a major injury in the middle of his first season, say another Tommy John, then the option's almost automatically dead. In that instance, his health would have had an impact on two seasons instead of three; in contrast, if K-Rod blows a gasket halfway through year one, that's two separate seasons that are impacted, *and* you're on the hook for a third. That matters more than the actual performances--they'll be roughly equally valuable in their roles if healthy. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-08-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)In his ultimate fantasy draft article, Nate wrote of Pujols: "The tiebreaker used against him was the fact of the high-grade ligament tear in his elbow, which Pujols opted not to have surgery on before the season. There is perhaps a 50:50 chance that the ligament will blow out at some point over the course of the next several seasons, which would require Pujols to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss at least a full season." Just curious as to (a) where that 50:50 number comes from, and (b) whether a position player (and in particular a first baseman) would require the same recovery time (a full season, give or take) as a pitcher.
(Matt from Chicago)
I think 50/50 is about right. He's had it for ... four years? Thing is, it was probably 50/50 that whole time, so is it like rolling the dice every season or a bit more wear? Is it scarring up? The full season number is a bit off, though it depends on when it happens. If Pujols went to get it done today, he'd be ready for Opening Day. If he did it on Opening Day, he'd miss the season. We've had several players have TJ and they tend to come back quickly. There was a Dback who did it in four months and I'm blanking on his name. Not Luis Gonzalez, but he came back well.

With Pujols, the elbow worries me less than his feet do. Plantar fasciitis is no joke and surgery to fix that would cost him a lot more time. (Will Carroll)
2008-08-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)Wikipedia's list of position players who have had Tommy John surgery: Rocco Baldelli, Joe Borchard, Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Denorfia, Rusty Greer, Luis Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Norris Hopper, Cezar Izturis, Kelly Johnson, Xavier Nady, and Vance Wilson. Also, Jose Canseco could be included but doesn't really count since he blew out his arm while pitching.
(Gump from nyc)
Jimmy Wales is a great guy, but .... man, that's a really incomplete list. (Will Carroll)
2008-08-01 14:00:00 (link to chat)My five year-old son was getting autographs at last night's Snappers-Loons game in Beloit. He only got three sigs from Loons' players, but one of them was Bryan Morris, who had been traded to the Pirates about six hours earlier. It's funny how my son just randomly dumb-lucks his way into meeting this kid who may never be any more famous than he is right now! BTW, what are the prospects of Morris being more than just a footnote in the Ramirez trade? Thanks.
(jlebeck66 from WI)
As somebody who grew up in a Triple-A city (Salt Lake City) and spent a great deal of time in a Single-A one (Walla Walla), I saw a lot of minor-league baseball as a kid, and I still cherish those memories and the random luck of seeing the likes of famous (Tony Gwynn in A-ball, on the same team as John Kruk no less) and infamous (floppy former overall #1 Al Chambers). The only foul ball I ever retrieved was autographed by Bob Geren, who a quarter-century later became the manager of the A's. So I can relate. Tell the kid to hold onto those autographs.

As for Morris' chances of being more than a footnote, he certainly looks pretty good on paper; his numbers are about as good as you could hope for a guy coming back from Tommy John surgery. His upside, from what I can tell, is as a mid-rotation starter or possibly a late-inning reliever. You could do worse when it comes to putting your money on an A-ball pitcher. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-07-29 16:00:00 (link to chat)are you taking injury questions? if so, here's one!! What is the 2009 outlook for a 35 year old Chris Carpenter? odds he gets back to 90% of his peak form?
(makewayhomer from Boston)
80%? He made a HUGE leap in command from his first rehab start to second and command is the biggest issue post-TJ.

BTW, I heard the term "Tommy John graduate" today. Stupidest term I've heard in weeks. (Will Carroll)
2008-07-21 15:00:00 (link to chat)For older guys like Smoltz and Schilling (and possibly Glavine?) who are near the end of their careers and facing serious shoulder/elbow surgeries, what would the consequences be of simply retiring and not having the surgery? Could you live a normal life with a damaged labrum?
(Brent from Raleigh)
Yes or at the least it's a much different surgery. You or I could snap the UCL and they wouldn't do Tommy John on us. (Will Carroll)
2008-07-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Given your support of the Lincecum SI article, does this mean you've changed your opinion on 'correct' mechanics? I understand there might not be one exactly correct way to throw a ball, but his opinion on Prior, for one, seems to be at odds with many (including your) previous opinions on his motion.
(Mike W from Chicago)
My opinion hasn't so much changed as we've learned more. If we're not willing to look at new evidence and change our beliefs, we're not going to get anywhere. The implication that Prior's mechanics were the cause of his problem don't sit well with me. I've looked back at tape and still don't see what could have been changed and at the time, I thought Prior's mechanics were as good if not better than everyone. His mechanics didn't hold up to his workload and after his Achilles strain, his arm started to fly out more. The thing to remember is that the pitching Jeremiah's out there were saying that Prior was headed for Tommy John surgery, not the shoulder problems he's had. I wish Chris Lincecum had a couple more kids to work with; I honestly think the specific delivery Tim uses is so specific that even the slightest change would be devastating. When I did a video for last year on Lincecum, I pointed to the back arch as my biggest concern and continue to worry about it. It's the one part of the delivery that doesn't seem to need to be there. (Will Carroll)
2008-04-25 15:00:00 (link to chat)Do you see John Smoltz and/or David Ortiz making it to the Hall of Fame?
(bam022 from Chicago)
Smoltz yes, and well he should. Even from a traditional stat standpoint, his 3000 Ks, 210 wins and 3.25 ERA are impressive numbers, particularly when one considers he missed an entire year due to Tommy John surgery and spent about 3.5 seasons as a closer. His JAWS numbers are excellent as well (122.8 /58.5/90.7).

Ortiz is a tougher case. He didn't have his first great year until Age 27, and he doesn't look like a guy who's built to shine in his late 30s. From a JAWS standpoint, he's at 49.6/45.7/47.7, pretty low because he's only got four years of even 6+ WARP under his belt. Now, if he helps the Sox win another World Championship or two before he retires, he may get a Puckett Exemption for his short, high-impact career, but I wouldn't want to bet on that. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-02-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)As a fantasy player whose not adverse to some risk, what can I expect out of Liriano? What's the scoop? How did others with something similar come back?
(Roger from Pasadena)
Tommy John return is about as predictable as it gets. Most will come back with little or no problem and perhaps a skosh more velocity and less control. A small percentage will see a secondary shoulder problem, like Randy Wolf did last season. These TEND to be minor. I'd expect Liriano to come back well, but I'm very concerned if he gets much above 150 innings. (Will Carroll)
2008-02-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will, do pitchers experience control problems or any other lingering affects after Tommy John? Are players able to use and condition that arm while recovering? For example, can they lift weights?
(brianjamesoak from Alameda, CA)
Some, especially control. New rehab techniques that were pioneered by Kevin Wilk and Mike Reinold (now of the Red Sox) really helped return proprioception to the arm more quickly and reduced rehab times. Pitchers do condition the arm quickly, but I don't remember exactly when they get back to "normal", though they do lift SMALL weights more quickly (weeks, not months) than most would imagine. (Will Carroll)
2008-01-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)my prediction: Goose in. Rice misses by an extremely small margin. Much, much bleating commences over the voters who submitted blanks to protest roids users, thus depriving the "deserving" pre-roids slugger.
(TomH from Lexington Park MD)
The Goose is Loose! He gets 85.8 percent, and he's the only one who gets in on this ballot.

Rice falls just shy at 72.2 percent, setting him up for a 15th-year push.

Raines 24.3 percent. Oh is that ugly.

Player Total Votes Percentage Rich Gossage 466 85.8% Jim Rice 392 72.2% Andre Dawson 358 65.9% Bert Blyleven 336 61.9% Lee Smith 235 43.3% Jack Morris 233 42.9% Tommy John 158 29.1% Tim Raines 132 24.3% Mark McGwire 128 23.6% Alan Trammell 99 18.2% Dave Concepcion 88 16.2% Don Mattingly 86 15.8% Dave Parker 82 15.1% Dale Murphy 75 13.8% Harold Baines 28 5.2% Rod Beck 2 0.4% Travis Fryman 2 0.4% Robb Nen 2 0.4% Shawon Dunston 1 0.2% Chuck Finley 1 0.2% David Justice 1 0.2% Chuck Knoblauch 1 0.2% Todd Stottlemyre 1 0.2%
Jose Rijo 0 0% Brady Anderson 0 0% (Jay Jaffe)

BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-07-13 16:30:00All-Star GameWilson would have been a Top 100, maybe Top 50 pick, but he had Tommy John surgery that spring. (Kevin Goldstein)
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener Roundtableand there goes Marcum's bid for a no-hitter, as Vlad dunks one into right field. 6.1 innings of no-no ball in a return from Tommy John surgery is pretty impressive nonetheless. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener RoundtableWestbrook and the Blue Jays' Shaun Marcum are both making opening day starts as their first major league outings since undergoing Tommy John surgery. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-06-10 08:45:002009 Draft Coverage, Day TwoLuke Bailey goes to Tampa at 139. He was a first round catcher, maybe the best backstop on the board until Tommy John surgery. If they're willing to pay him like he was healthy, it's a great find here. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-10-13 17:00:00NLCS Game FourSpeaking of Pujols, he had surgery today in news that no one seems to be noticing. He had a nerve transposition, not Tommy John, but the surgeries are related. Think about this -- Tommy John, who needed transposition surgery himself, compared the pain he was in from it to being hit on the funny bone constantly.

Albert Pujols is the best player in the league playing through that. (Will Carroll)