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It’s a real shame whenever news comes down that a pitcher might need season-ending Tommy John surgery.
The latest pitcher headed down this route is the highly-touted, hard-throwing St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes.
Reyes is certainly not the only promising pitcher to have suffered this fate as more pitchers today throw harder than ever before and apply immense pressure on the elbow in the delivery of every pitch.
And the effects of surgery and the recovery process differ from one pitcher to the other. We’ve seen some pitchers come back and adjust well, while others never truly gain their top form.
From a hobbyist’s perspective, that level of uncertainty and discrepancy needs to be accounted for. As a result, it makes investing in pitchers riskier than any other position player in the game.
A stud pitcher for a season or two whose rookie card is highly valued can easily plummet the next season after a serious injury. Tim Lincecum comes to mind. Others in question include Matt Harvey, Yu Darvish and the oft-injured Stephen Strasburg.
One notable exception is Clayton Kershaw who has had his share of injuries, especially over the last season. But it seems whenever he is back on the mound, it’s like he never went on the disabled list and performs at an exceptional level. His 2006 Bowman Chrome rookie autographed (BGS 9.5 graded) baseball card is valued at more than $1,000.
The lesson here? Invest in pitchers over the short-term unless the last name is Kershaw.