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Travis Burten

Steven Strasburg SP WAS

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Here is the problem. Strasburg features something called the inverted W in his delivery. I don't know if you are familiar with this or not. Pretty much every inverted W guy has needed Tommy John surgery recently. Much more alarming than just "chit-chat."

Isn't an iverted W just an M? Weird, that's all ... carry on.

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Man, if I have that #1 pick, and hole at SS.... I think I'd go Grant Green over him to be honest. Polished kid out of USC, who should be able to stick at the position. The errors might look bad, but he has a good arm and good range, so the rest are fundamentals and can be worked on. I know mechanics aren't an exact science, but I've seen enough to be frightened by Strasburg and do with maybe the most important position on the field. Not only that, but Green won't take long to make it to the Bigs either with his college time.

Wow, this is interesting because I am currently working on a trade which would exchange Grant Green for Strasburg. Perhaps I should reconsider.

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i think you can pick up a grant green type anywhere, i mean hes khalil greene essentially.

strasburg is potentially a once in a lifetime player admittedly with much more risk than green. personally i think i take ackley, kipnis or pollock to be a better pro, but i doubt i take any of them with the first pick.

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i think you can pick up a grant green type anywhere, i mean hes khalil greene essentially.

strasburg is potentially a once in a lifetime player admittedly with much more risk than green. personally i think i take ackley, kipnis or pollock to be a better pro, but i doubt i take any of them with the first pick.

I'm also working under the assumption that the team with the #1 pick to get this guy, is in complete rebuild mode and won't be competing for 2 years at the least. If I'm not gonna legitimately compete for 3 years, and not make a serious run for 4 years, I'm going with Green or even someone else who might have more fantasy appeal. Strasburg just happens to be that much of a risk. In this case, I think you're better off to take a lesser talent, to have a better future outlook for 10+ years instead of maybe 5 or less. Another thing one could always do is trade Strasburg/rights to him, and completely replenish your farm system or for another young stud.

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Hey guys i just had a quick question..when do you think CBS keeper/commissioner leagues will add Strasburg? Will they wait for him to be drafted to add him to the database? I keep checking to add him to my team but he isnt in the database yet..

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Notice all of the pitchers with arm injuries on this list.

Nearly all of them were converted to RP as well.

Joel Zumaya Detroit Tigers 104 2006 21

Stephen Strasburg San Diego State 103 2009 20

Matt Anderson Detroit Tigers 103 1998 22

Mark Wohlers Atlanta Braves 103 1995 25

Aroldis Chapman Team Cuba 102 2008 21

Matt Lindstrom Florida Marlins 102 2007 27

Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers 102 2007 24

Bobby Jenks Chicago White Sox 102 2006 25

Randy Johnson Arizona D’backs 102 2004 40

Armando Benitez N.Y. Mets 102 2002 29

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I dont care. I still hate his mechanics. He's a TJ waiting to happen. If the Nationals were smart, theyd trade down a couple slots, get a prospect or 2 and still draft Green.

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Hey guys i just had a quick question..when do you think CBS keeper/commissioner leagues will add Strasburg? Will they wait for him to be drafted to add him to the database? I keep checking to add him to my team but he isnt in the database yet..

anybody?

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I dont care. I still hate his mechanics. He's a TJ waiting to happen. If the Nationals were smart, theyd trade down a couple slots, get a prospect or 2 and still draft Green.

Draft picks can not be traded in baseball.

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Hey guys i just had a quick question..when do you think CBS keeper/commissioner leagues will add Strasburg? Will they wait for him to be drafted to add him to the database? I keep checking to add him to my team but he isnt in the database yet..

I could be wrong, but I don't think they can until he's signed

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Does Ben Mcdonald ring a bell to anyone? Andy Benes ?

Bogfella how close where the scouting reports on Mcdonald coming out as they are on Strassburg.

I see they say he could be a #3 starter in MLB right now. The history of pitchers taken #1 is scary though.

Very few pan out . Most end up under 500% W-L .

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Does Ben Mcdonald ring a bell to anyone? Andy Benes ?

Bogfella how close where the scouting reports on Mcdonald coming out as they are on Strassburg.

I see they say he could be a #3 starter in MLB right now. The history of pitchers taken #1 is scary though.

Very few pan out . Most end up under 500% W-L .

Ben McDonald came into the draft with a lot of hype for his day but its difficult to compare hype now to hype in that era. Fantasy baseball was a fledgling activity, the Internet was geeks only, and Street & Smiths, Who's Who and a precious few other magazines were about all there was ... and the few you could find rarely hit on the prospects very hard if at all and most were "baseball," not fantasy publications. However, Big Ben was certainly one of the more hyped pitchers to come out (the guy was a monster at LSU and I actually saw him pitch in college once) but not like Strasburg is (or more profoundly will be - you think he's a hot topic now, just wait 'til the draft gets closer).

Andy Benes was even less talked about than McDonald although he was pretty highly thought of too.

Interesting that those 2 names should pop up ... both are former <drool> pitchers for me years ago and Benes was actually a cornerstone of some of some of my earlier teams. I had Ben a couple times too but he was usually overvalued. The guy was always right on the brink but never really got over the hump - then his shoulder started giving him problems so he only lasted a few years. Ahhh the memories!!!

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I dont care. I still hate his mechanics. He's a TJ waiting to happen. If the Nationals were smart, theyd trade down a couple slots, get a prospect or 2 and still draft Green.

That would be pretty stupid of them, actually, since you can't trade draft picks in MLB.

They're going to take Strasburg and pay around $15 million in bonus money. Contrary to what I said yesterday, I now believe he will be on the mound in D.C. later this year.

As for mechanics and TJ, if an organization is going to avoid the obvious pick over fear of something that no one in the world can accurately predict , then they should be folded up and eliminated from the league. The blogosphere is filled with any number of self-appointed experts who think "inverted W" is the Sign of the Beast, but don't highlight all the pitchers who magically don't suffer major injuries with that motion.

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That would be pretty stupid of them, actually, since you can't trade draft picks in MLB.

They're going to take Strasburg and pay around $15 million in bonus money. Contrary to what I said yesterday, I now believe he will be on the mound in D.C. later this year.

As for mechanics and TJ, if an organization is going to avoid the obvious pick over fear of something that no one in the world can accurately predict , then they should be folded up and eliminated from the league. The blogosphere is filled with any number of self-appointed experts who think "inverted W" is the Sign of the Beast, but don't highlight all the pitchers who magically don't suffer major injuries with that motion.

Can you enlighten me on who these guys are?

I've been asking over and over again if there are any older pitchers with the inverted W that DID NOT need Tommy John. Nobody has been able to list any for me. One name would be great. John Smoltz is old and he has it, but he has had arm issues. Give me another, please.

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The blogosphere is filled with any number of self-appointed experts who think "inverted W" is the Sign of the Beast, but don't highlight all the pitchers who magically don't suffer major injuries with that motion.

Such as...

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This just came through the free email newsletter from Fantistics (written by Paul Sauberer):

Stephen Strasburg- WAS- Rookie- Strasburg is not a National yet and can't officially be one until at least June, when he will be eligible for the draft. The most highly touted college pitcher since maybe ever, Strasburg is about as close to a no-brainer as can be for a #1 overall pick, which is owned by the hapless Nationals. He consistently hits triple digits on the radar gun and has been clocked multiple times at 103 mph. One major difference between Strasburg and some of the other flamethrowers who have flamed out in the past is that he has command of a breaking pitch, a slider that comes in at 88 mph, making hitters look silly, even with aluminum bats in their hands. Another factor in a likely meteoric rise of Strasburg through the pro ranks after he signs is that he doesn't have the wildness usually associated with young power pitchers. Since 2006, he has thrown 210 innings in collegiate and international competition. Strasburg has racked up 316 strikeouts but only issued 45 bases on balls. There is a possibility he could be in a major league uniform by the end of the season. He looks far ahead of his peers in the development department. The big question mark is whether a contract can be agreed to quickly. Strasburg is represented by Scott Boras, who has made noises about demanding a $15 million deal, unprecedented for a draft pick, even a #1. If the negotiations drag out, the chances of Strasburg pitching for DC (or Seattle, who will draft him #2 if the Nationals avoid Boras) will get slim. If, however, he signs quickly (as might happen since Washington needs something to give their fans hope) Strasburg will be worth grabbing as soon as possible in your league.

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Hey guys i just had a quick question..when do you think CBS keeper/commissioner leagues will add Strasburg? Will they wait for him to be drafted to add him to the database? I keep checking to add him to my team but he isnt in the database yet..

CBS Commissioner leagues, which our league uses, has an "Add a Player" option. Of course, it won't let you add the player's stats or anything, but at least you can add a dummy player with the right name.

My league had to use that feature when someone drafted Kosuke Fukudome for their farm system while he was still in Japan. They have changed the interface a bit this year, but still have the "Draft an Unlisted Player" option. To test it out, I currently have a catcher on my team named "Momma, Yo". It works.

--Ben

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Can you enlighten me on who these guys are?

I've been asking over and over again if there are any older pitchers with the inverted W that DID NOT need Tommy John. Nobody has been able to list any for me. One name would be great. John Smoltz is old and he has it, but he has had arm issues. Give me another, please.

john smoltz has had arm issues but has also pitched at an extremely high level for 20 years

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CBS Commissioner leagues, which our league uses, has an "Add a Player" option. Of course, it won't let you add the player's stats or anything, but at least you can add a dummy player with the right name.

My league had to use that feature when someone drafted Kosuke Fukudome for their farm system while he was still in Japan. They have changed the interface a bit this year, but still have the "Draft an Unlisted Player" option. To test it out, I currently have a catcher on my team named "Momma, Yo". It works.

--Ben

ahh i see...thanks guys

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Such as...

I don't know, you tell me. You're the "expert".

Answer me this. What percentage of all the pitchers in the modern era would you estimate you've analyzed in terms of delivery? I would wager it's less than 1%. I would wager that you've analysis has been limited to:

1) existing injuries;

2) touted pitchers for whom such an injury would be of major impact to their teams/fantasy.

What can you tell me about all of the other pitchers in baseball (major and minor leagues) over the past ten years who have not suffered a TJ-esque injury? How many of them had the dreaded "inverted W" delivery? What percentage? How could you know unless you've looked at everyone of them (or at leasy a sizable portion) and made that determination?

The "inverted W" brigade would like everyone to believe that the "inverted W" spells near-certain doom (if not certain doom). But the facts don't square. A pattern does not exist based on retrospective analysis and picking certain promising pitchers and none of the thousands of rank-and-file pitchers who've made it through their careers with or without injury. How do you know the problem is not "inverted W", but, perhaps, "inverted W plus (something else)"? Maybe it only applies to pitchers with "inverted W" who were overworked in high school and college. Maybe it applies to "inverted W" pitchers who threw too many curveballs during developmental years. Maybe it applies to none of them. Maybe it's genetic. Maybe it's a matter of tissue composition. Nerve composition. None of that is addressed. If Chevy builds a Corvette with a V-8 engine that results in a rash of breakdowns, does that mean carmakers should scrap the V-8 engine? What other factors are there? Were the workers lazy? Did they use inferior materials? What about all the other V-8 engines that were built throughout the years that didn't break down?

So, whereas you can hold up guys like Mark Prior as poster children against the inverted W, certainly the percentage is extremely low in terms of pitchers that actually sustain a major injury. Across the board, for all pitching types, major injuries occur with extremely low frequency. The inverted "W" garners attention because some high profile names have gone under the knife and the "inverted W" seems to be in common. It's far from enough of a complete picture to proclaim the "inverted W" the bane of all existence. And those who are theorizing that it is, need to prove it beyond the low-hanging fruit of existing injuries before it can be taken seriously.

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Can you enlighten me on who these guys are?

I've been asking over and over again if there are any older pitchers with the inverted W that DID NOT need Tommy John. Nobody has been able to list any for me. One name would be great. John Smoltz is old and he has it, but he has had arm issues. Give me another, please.

Given the infrequency of TJ injuries, I would assume that there are more than enough who had an inverted W and did not sustain major injury. That's just simple logic, and the only thing that can controvert that is if it can be proven that the inverted "W" delivery is a freak aberration and not frequently employed by pitchers across the years - in other words, prove that it's something so unnatural that one could assume the percentage of pitchers who fell into using it are few. I doubt that.

But then, inverted W is not my theory to prove. Those who promote it need to prove that there is a sustainable pattern, and they haven't done that.

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Given the infrequency of TJ injuries, I would assume that there are more than enough who had an inverted W and did not sustain major injury. That's just simple logic, and the only thing that can controvert that is if it can be proven that the inverted "W" delivery is a freak aberration and not frequently employed by pitchers across the years - in other words, prove that it's something so unnatural that one could assume the percentage of pitchers who fell into using it are few. I doubt that.

But then, inverted W is not my theory to prove. Those who promote it need to prove that there is a sustainable pattern, and they haven't done that.

Since I've been a member from before the 2007 season, I would say this about Chris - we've already covered that the data isn't there to confirm hypotheses on pitching injuries - from a purely scientific standpoint, the numbers needed would be far greater than what we've seen in the past 10 years in pro ball. Incidentally, this also applies to modern medicine, where it is estimated that 90 percent of clinical practice isn't proven by hard scientific fact, but first hypothesized, and then attemped with enough success that it becomes incorporated as a standard of care.

So, when we lack true scientific data to prove a hypothesis, we fall back on using the following questions to help evaluate a hypothesis (and a few more, depending on the situation, but these 3 apply to every hypothesis):

1. Biologic plausibility - does the hypothesis make sense? Is there a physiologic principle that can support this (or in the case of arm injuries, an anatomic principle)? In this case, the inverted W has some evidence from a mechanical standpoint (that Chris can explain better than I can.

2. When it's tested in small numbers, are there supportive cases? I think Chris' work provides that, albeit in small numbers.

3. Can it be used to predict future events (a near form of consequential validity)? It's still early, but I would point out that long before they were hurt, several of the big name pitchers to get hurt the past 3 years were identified by Chris *before* they got hurt - Liriano, Carpenter, McGowan, even a few like Marcum & others. Similarly, he's given a clean bill of health to other pitchers who've so far stayed clean - and *that's* an important distinction. It's easy to list 50 pitchers who might get hurt, and 10 of them get hurt, and someone says "SEE? I was right!".....it's the ability to distinguish both between high-risk pitchers and low-risk pitchers that would give the hypothesis more credibility.

Now, the numbers we're talking about are small, and under strict scientific definitions, there isn't enough evidence BY FAR to prove or disprove anything. And none of the questions above can be used as definite proof. But, the point is, we're not going to see those kind of numbers for *years to come*. So, until then, are we to simply scoff at hypotheses, saying they're not proven? I don't think so. I do agree wholeheartedly we shouldn't be too quick to embrace hypotheses as fact - but if they meet the 3 principles above, they have a *lot* more weight than other theories that have no real physiologic basis, and more confounding variables present (the Verducci effect is a prime example, but I digress, so I'll stop there - I'll just say a hard IP rise seems an oversimplification with a *ton* of other confounding variables present to attribute it to workload alone).

tm30, I understand the argument, but to be fair to Chris, he didn't come here and say "this is why this guy *got* hurt", he said "this is why I think he'll *get* hurt" BEFORE they got hurt, and in many cases, without any injury flag other than their mechanics - and that's a lot different than playing armchair quarterback with 20/20 hindsight. He's also taken the time to provide anatomic theories, and he'll be the first to concede the data isn't strong enough to call it fact - but his hypothesis at the very least has proven to predict injuries on a pretty impressive level *AND* it's also been able to give pitchers a clean bill of health - and that's what's more impressive than most so-called experts. It's why after 2 years of reading his stuff, I've come to at the very least respect his work, even if it's not a proven hypothesis. You seem like a very knowledgeable poster - if you actually read his posts about it and his site (he doesn't post here *that* much, so it doesn't take that much time to read it), then I think even if you're not convinced, it's a sound hypothesis that deserves some recognition as having potential. To say they need to *prove* it, well if we applied the same principle to modern medicine, we'd be giving antibiotics, aspirin, and a few other medications, and little else. FBB isn't medicine, but while the notion that a theory has to be proven is always the ideal, the practical aspects say that we need to find alternate solutions of testing and evaluating hypotheses, and I think that applies in sports medicine as well.

(As years go by, the proof will be in the pudding, and perhaps we'll understand injuries and mechanics at a much more sophisticalted level to find something that improves upon Chris's work - or it might provide a *true* cause whereas the inverted W simply turns out to be a *marker* of some more important mechanical flaw, or completely discredited altogether. But to be fair to him, he's predicted *both* injuries *and* clean health at a high enough success rate to my recollection that I credit his work as much more than just online guesswork.)

Food for thought.

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