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Did Liriano's injury or the Twins changing his delivery diminish his effectiveness?

francisco liriano pitching motion tommy john surgery twins
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#21 Guest_@_2244_*

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

I wonder if this thread somehow leads back to the questions regarding the Twins medical staff. I hear repeatedly that guys coming back from TJ surgery often see their velocity increase, and most players are as good or better than prior to their surgery...Strasburg is the latest example. Liriano took way longer than "normal" to recover and his velocity dropped significantly and he's NOT the same pitcher. It seems Nathan took longer to get back to normal and his velocity was down as well. I assume there is a standard recovery plan for this surgery, does the Twins staff alter it and mess things up some how? Not saying this is the case, have no way of knowing, just looking at the circumstances and asking the question.


I think it's kinda silly to think with any amount of certainty how any particular player is going to respond to TJS. As earlier stated, Liriano's arm was absolutely electric pre-TJS. Between velocity, movement, and that slider he had an awful lot to lose. Based on the field staff's insinuation that he did not come to camp as prepared as he should have last year, it's very possible that Liriano just isn't very dedicated to his craft. Regarding Nathan, he had a decision to make in 2010 if he should even undergo that extensive of a surgery at the age of 35. At what point is it reasonable to expect a healthy pitcher's velocity to start decreasing? When you factor in undergoing a major surgery, especially at age 35, when the body is supposed to be declining, I would expect a "longer than normal" recovery.

I'm not trying to be an apologist for the Twins' Med Staff, just saying that I don't see how they have any culpability in these two particular cases.

#22 spideyo

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:46 AM

I've heard that many people APPEAR to have better velocity after TJ surgery, but it's often because the deterioration of the ligament affects their pitching and they start to lose velocity before they actually become too injured to pitch. As far as being "better", that can sometimes be the result of simply changing their mechanics as a result of their injury.

#23 whydidnt

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

Pretty sure Nathan's recovery followed along right on schedule.

Really, I seem to recall him pitching poorly to start 2011, and then hitting the DL with an arm injury, taking closer to 15+ months to return to form instead of the 12 we see other guys take.

#24 Doug Y

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:47 AM

5 runs in the 2nd inning off of Liriano so far. Is it time to turn the page on Liriano? Or still early in the year?

#25 CDog

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:51 PM

Really, I seem to recall him pitching poorly to start 2011, and then hitting the DL with an arm injury, taking closer to 15+ months to return to form instead of the 12 we see other guys take.


I'm not an expert on it by any means, but I have always thought I've heard pitching again in 12 months and usually taking another few to really be back. I remember being very...leery?...of Nathan being the closer at the start of last year because of my impression that it usually took more than a year. Looking at what they're projecting for Gibson as another anectdotal piece of evidence, they're talking about him getting back into game action late this year, which will be a year after surgery, but I don't think they're talking about him being truly ready or back to full strength. Strasburg is another one that seemed to follow that path. Anyone have better than "seems to" or "thoughts" on TJ-recovery?

#26 whydidnt

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:06 AM

Actually Strassburg pitched great last year after 12 mos. Others that did include Tim Hudson and and a great comp for Nathan, a 37 year old Billy Wagner, back after 12 mos and dominating in the NL. There are plenty of examples of guys being back at or before 12 months and performing well. There are also examples of guys taking longer or never getting back at all, but you'd hope somewhere along the lines a Twin would end up on the positive end of injury recovery, and that seems extremely rare. I personally am concerned about Gibson, just because the Twins have yet to have a guy return from TJ and be as good as he was prior. Small sample size, but when you consider how Twins injuries seem to be misdiagnosed or stretched out (see Scott Baker) more than typical, it's worthwhile to ask the question.

#27 CDog

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

Actually Strassburg pitched great last year after 12 mos.


See why I hate "seems like" now!?! My memory was that when Strasburg came back he pitched very limited amount to start. It was just over a year, and they did limit him a little since it was the end of last year, but he did come back pretty strong as far as results.

I just scanned a few sites and the most common thing I saw for recovery was "12 to 18 months." At least one (webmd is the one I can recall for sure) said recovery was "about a year" but that full performance recovery could take up to two years.

The most noteworthy thing I read was that before doing the surgery on Tommy John, the pioneering doctor estimated the chance for success at...1 in 100!

#28 CDog

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:16 PM

but when you consider how Twins injuries seem to be misdiagnosed or stretched out (see Scott Baker) more than typical.


What I've read today on Baker's injury makes me think that he was neither misdiagnosed nor mistreated. The injury he had is typically treated successfully with rest and only in some cases after that hasn't worked is surgery necessary. And to be clear, because it's on the intergoogle highway doesn't make it so, but that's what I found out there this morning. I should stay at a Holiday Inn Express and see if I gain any better insight from that.

#29 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:23 PM

What I've read today on Baker's injury makes me think that he was neither misdiagnosed nor mistreated. The injury he had is typically treated successfully with rest and only in some cases after that hasn't worked is surgery necessary. And to be clear, because it's on the intergoogle highway doesn't make it so, but that's what I found out there this morning. I should stay at a Holiday Inn Express and see if I gain any better insight from that.


lol... I tried the Holiday Inn Express for the purpose of clearer thinking. I locked my room keys in my room and I couldn't figure out why the remote wouldn't turn the channel but the bed seemed to be getting softer.

#30 CDog

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:38 PM

lol... I tried the Holiday Inn Express for the purpose of clearer thinking. I locked my room keys in my room and I couldn't figure out why the remote wouldn't turn the channel but the bed seemed to be getting softer.


For future reference, if you're in the room where you can use the remote and feel the bed...having the room keys locked inside the room isn't really much of a problem.

#31 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:49 PM

For future reference, if you're in the room where you can use the remote and feel the bed...having the room keys locked inside the room isn't really much of a problem.


At a different hotel I would have figured that out. I called the front desk and explained the problem with my room keys and they ran me up another card. When they knocked at the door... I told them I couldn't open the door because my room key was locked in here with me. They slid it under the door.

In the end I don't think holiday inn does what it implies in the commercials.

#32 whydidnt

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:30 PM

What I've read today on Baker's injury makes me think that he was neither misdiagnosed nor mistreated. The injury he had is typically treated successfully with rest and only in some cases after that hasn't worked is surgery necessary. And to be clear, because it's on the intergoogle highway doesn't make it so, but that's what I found out there this morning. I should stay at a Holiday Inn Express and see if I gain any better insight from that.


I guess I'll disagree on this one. It's the same injury he's been dealing with for 2 years, the Twins staff urged rest over and over again for the injury, including after the latest flareup. Baker finally decided to get a second opinion and was told he needed surgery to get things fixed. He misses the season. If he had the surgery at the end of last season he probably would have been ready by late April. Brad Lidge is a perfect example of a guy with the same situation that was addressed properly at the end of a season. Now, admittedly we don't know the conversations between Baker and the Twins staff, maybe he was adamant about avoiding surgery and the Twins had no choice but to go along, but it just seems to be another in a line of injuries that have persisted for the Twins. They are either the unluckiest team in the history of baseball, or their Medical staff isn't properly equipped to manager a multitude of sports injuries.



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