There is no doubt that Hamels has a smart approach in preventing his chronic injuries from resurfacing. But according to Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, it might not do much good for Hamels. You see, Verducci has come up with something he calls “The Year After Effect” where he identifies young pitchers headed for arm trouble and/or stagnant performance. The flashpoint, according to Verducci, is an increase of more than 30 innings from one year to the next and he correctly targeted the Twins’ Francisco Liriano as the casualty for 2006.
Based on an increase of more than 80 innings, Hamels is looking at some trouble in 2007.
Verducci's Year-After-Effect Candidates for 2007
I’ve been trying to mine the depths of my memory and for the life of me I can’t think of a Major League pitcher who has gone through a career without getting injured. Of course I’m drawing just on the past six years, but if one is into masochism and wants to spend time in examination rooms there are two choices. The first one is to become a pitcher. The second is to get a motorcycle.
Those are two surefire ways to get some type of injury.
In the meantime Hamels will continue to remain diligent in his training regime. Will that make a difference in keeping the young lefty healthy? Definitely. But that doesn’t mean he won’t get injured. Health and a long career seem to be mutually exclusive for big-league pitchers.
Nevertheless, one veteran pitcher once told me “sometimes injuries just happen.” I respectfully disagreed. Injuries happen when one becomes a pitcher. It doesn’t appear as if anyone is immune.