For the Love of Elbow Injuries.......PLEASE STOP THROWING
A disturbing trend is gaining acceptance in MLB and thus in baseball leagues around the country and it is alarming to say the least.......
How does one have 2 " Tommy John " surgeries and multiple elbow fractures ( thus requiring more reconstructive surgery ) by the tender age of 27 and still have a outlet on a Major League Team to continue to try and pitch?? When is someone going to step in and look out for the best interests of this young man's life??
This column could also be titled " An open letter to Jarrod Parker " - he of the now 4 different surgeries on his right elbow. This last one ( March 30 ) came after " he was heard screaming while throwing a warm up pitch on a back diamond in Spring Training " - how is this happening??
Jarrod Parker was acquired by the A's in late 2011 in a trade with the Diamondbacks, he had already had one "Tommy John " surgery by the time they acquired him, thus they assumed the risk of him having further troubles with his elbow, but they made the trade anyway. He payed dividends rather quickly and had a good 2012 and 13 season in which he pitched in the postseason and was slated to be the A's opening day starter in 2014 when................his elbow went Pop ( like it had done before ) and he had to have another " Tommy John " surgery.
Did this stop him though?? Of course not, he went straight into an intense rehab ( overseen by his employer ) and announced himself " fully healthy " and "feeling great" - predictably, while on rehab assignment in 2015 he fractured his elbow and thus lost for the season. The A's still signed him to a contract to keep his rights. Yes, they told him that we want you to still pitch for us even though this will be your 3rd surgery on the SAME ELBOW. Wow. When is enough enough? Not yet I suppose......
On a recent spring day in the dry desert air of Mesa, AZ , spring training home to the Oakland Athletics on a back bullpen, in yet another rehab session......." the scream that no one wanted to hear " was predictably heard - Jarrod Parker is now fresh off his 4TH elbow surgery, yes 4th......this time a new term has been coined that even would raise the eyebrows of the perennial kings of denial....the NFL - just listen to how the surgeon described his work, and I quote...
" we reconstructed the medial compartment of Parker's elbow, including reconstruction of the flexor tendon and ulnar collateral ligament complex "
Ulnar collateral ligament complex??? That folks is Tommy John surgery on steroids. Sounds way too close to military industrial complex doesn't it? :) This has to stop. What we are allowing to be done to these guys is inhumane and worst yet, it is filtering down to our youth. I'm watching 13 and 14 year olds having arm surgeries and it is sad.
Someone must step in and talk some sense into these poor guys. The surgeons aren't without blame here, as they are telling these guys that they can fix them, again and again as long as someone is $$footing$$ the bill - shame on them. But what really do we expect?? We push these guys year after year to perform starting at ridiculously young ages, as the competition for coveted roster spots grows more and more each year with an ever growing population. More people for the same # of roster spots = 4 elbow surgeries.
And the worst part is, the subject ( Jarrod Parker ) is hell bent on pitching again...........the only thing I see happening is a repeat of the video above, just with a different face screaming in pain.........you have to ask yourself, how is this becoming OK? And where are we headed?