Dibble who made headlines last season in his criticism of Stephen Strasburg on the night he left the mound with what turned out to be a torn elbow ligament in his throwing arm is back at it again but this time he is attacking the Washington Nationals.
For anyone who may have missed Dibble’s most recent comments on MLB Network Radio’s First Pitch here is what he said
"“I mean, they rushed Jordan Zimmermann back. And just because these guys are younger, it doesn’t change the fact that for the most part, the majority of Tommy John guys, it takes them 18 months to 24 months to be 100 percent. Now, you may feel great, you’ve got a new tendon in there, new ligament, all that kind of stuff. You’ve gotten the injury fixed.“But there’s absolutely no reason, other than to sell tickets and to put butts in the seats, to bring Stephen Strasburg back to make a few starts at the end of the season. He’s too valuable, he’s too talented to even think about stuff like that.“But in their case, having worked with those people, the only thing I can say is that there’s some people there that think that they invented the game of baseball. Which they did not. And that they can do things differently than 29 other teams in the game. That’s the problem that I had when I was working there, and now, even working on this channel for the last seven years.”"
Now first of all I find it kind of funny that he would even talk about Strasburg being too valuable and too talented to rush him back considering it was Dibble who on the night of the injury said
"“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. Get out there and pitch. Period.”"
Ok so when he first got hurt he needed to suck it up but now he is too valuable to bring back this soon? Well to that I say Mr. Dibble you didn’t seem to think he was too valuable or too talented when you would have had him continue to pitch on the night of the injury so why so worried now?
Now as for the Nationals doing things different than 29 other teams as far as handling a return from Tommy John surgery goes well lets look at some some recent pitcher who have underwent Tommy John surgery
Chris Carpenter- surgery date July 24th of 07 first major league game back July 30th 08
Ryan Dempster- surgery date August 4th of 03 first major league game back August 1st of 04
Tim Hudson- surgery date August 8th of 08 first major league game back September 1st of 09
Josh Johnson- surgery date August 3rd of 07 first major league game back July 10th of 08
How things are looking now it appears that Strasburg will make his major league return a little over 12 months after having had Tommy John surgery which is not unheard of as I’ve already shown. Actually even though I only named 4 there are a number of pitchers who have return well before the 16 to 18 month mark mentioned by Dibble.
While recovery time tables are given for an injury the recovery time itself ultimately comes down to each individual case. For some people the recovery fits right in to the initial time table given and for some it can take a shorter amount of time or even a longer amount of time than what the time table given said.
Strasburg appears to be progressing along nicely in his rehab and is to the point where you begin to get him back in to actual real life game pitching experience not just simulated games and bullpen sessions.
While it should not be expected for Strasburg to look like he did in his rookie season he has to go through the process of just getting back out there much like what we saw Jordan Zimmermann do at the end of last season.
Strasburg is set to pitch for the Hagerstown Suns this Sunday and more than likely will only pitch for an inning or two before leaving the game. If all things go well he will make several minor league appearances and yes should be back in the majors sometime in September. Which could come at a perfect time for the Nationals with Jordan Zimmermann having only 27.1 more innings left before he reaches his season inning count limit of 160.