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Jacob deGrom HOF Pitcher Or A Could Have Been Guy.

See you next year Cowboy / Latino Sports

Los Angeles: The news that two time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom will probably miss the first two months of the season is a shock to many in baseball, including the Mets loyal fan base. In the minds of many Mets fans, they must feel like they have been cursed.

MRI test results showed a stress reaction in his scapula, which caused inflammation in his right shoulder. How do these things happen to players, especially pitchers?

I was at deGrom’s first major league game at Citi Field on May 15, 2014 vs the Jeter led Yankees. His line was: 7 Inn, 4 Hits, 1 Earned run, 2 BB, 6 Ks facing 25 batters in a 1-0 loss.

The scouting report that my boss Tom ‘Tbone” Giordano sent into his scouting director that night went something like this: “Succeeds by pounding the zone and showing a clean arm action, is a bulldog. Fastball sits at 92-94 with plus sinking life, touches 98, straight changeup with sink, slurvy breaking ball. He has a ceiling as a No. 4 starter or better 3. Recommend we acquire.”

He was at best a number 2 or 3 starter in 2015 with the likes of Matt Harvey, Noah Synderrgard and Steven Matz in the mix. But nowhere in Tbone’s report did he mention a blazing 102 mph fastball.

deGrom became a CY Young caliber starter when he began throwing over 100 mph. After all, isn’t that what the new front office nerds from Analytic University were and still are looking for in a pitcher?

A brilliant athlete who knew how to pitch with command and control and he still does. The problem is, how do you keep him on the mound for a full season? In 2017 he began the transformation into a “Thrower.” launching 100 plus fastballs in the first inning. He was just un-hittable in 2018 and 2019 as well as the shortened 2020 season. He was on his way to another Cy Young performance in 2021 until he broke down again.

Yes there are special cases of “Throwers” not having arm trouble but they are predominately relief pitchers who maybe throw 10-20 pitches in a game. But for a few exceptions the human arm was not meant to do this.

Kids in little league on up to college are being developed with this “Throw as hard as you can for as long as you can if you want to get to the big leagues son!” Just like they are being taught to angle up to hit home runs or doubles and not to hit line drives.

I believe that it will be rare to see pitchers going 6 innings soon let alone 9. That is because the nerds from Ivy league schools feel their arms will explode if they throw more than 75 pitches in a game. Well guess what? The nerds are right! Keep your mask on at games this year to protect yourself from exploding flesh if they just throw and not pitch.

Changing speeds and using deception to fool hitters instead of trying to blow them away with a 102 mph heater is pitching. They can throw 100 or more pitches and go deep into a game by learning how to pitch.  Save that heater for when they need to strike a batter out late in a close game. Unfortunately player development is not working on that aspect of the game.

All the news today in baseball and the media promote some guy who throws 102 mph like the Cardinals Jordan Hicks or the Reds Hunter Greene. It’s only a matter of time before they break down.

Baseball drafts these kids and then spits them out of baseball because they only look at numbers. Baseball has created a quicksand pit and are seeing more gifted pitchers ruin their careers because of some smart person in baseball who doesn’t know the game. When we wrote scouting reports everything had to be short and abbreviated because the nerds had no time to read an extensive report. They mostly wanted to know how hard does he throw, what’s his spin ratio etc. We used to call it a hard breaking ball.  We would put down 98 and they would love it. We had to figure out how to word things that would make the nerds want to give us a call. Only then we could tell them, “He throws 98 but can’t hit a tractor trailer from 60 feet 6 inches and gets the shakes when a big lefty comes to the plate.

Jacob deGrom is a good example of how the Mets and other teams have taken a possible Tom Seaver HOF pitcher and turned him into a what if guy as in, “What if he didn’t have all those arm problems? He could have been another Seaver.”

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