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Figuring out the starting pitching with Means and Wells gone from Orioles plans

Podcast Audio Vault

Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the arm injuries to John Means and Tyler Wells and what it means for the franchise as the Orioles will once again rethink the starting rotation for the rest of the pennant race.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

talking, pitchers, orioles, pitch, playing, years, tommy john surgery, ucl, john, nestor, work, point, yankees, game, sports, win, baseball, tommy john, good, team

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:02

We are W NSTA a 5070, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We’re taking the Maryland crabcake tour on the road. I wonder my pap is tshirts world famous crabcakes they have their golf tournament next week next Monday by the way this week I did the Mount Washington pediatric, a golf tournament on Monday with Leonard Raskin, Raskin global Pappas doing their golf tournament next week so big times to Tim and everybody get Pappas for doing that. We’re gonna be on the 25th at Pappas this month. Doing I probably won’t have the Pac Man even though I actually saw Mr. Costas open the lottery machine and put the tickets in. Never seen that before I saw people buying the Pac Man scratch offs at cost this on Sunday. Notice what will be a cost it’s on the 28th we’re going to be Papist on the 25th we will have scratches to pick one of the lucky sevens to do that. So harkens back to my Tony Mineiro seven and seven Saturday Night Fever thing. If you know you know Luke’s like I don’t know what he’s talking about. He’s gone. Dennis Miller on me. It’s all brought to you by our friends at Liberty pure solutions, keeping our water fresh and Jiffy Lube, multi care and I want to shout out our friends at Royal farms because chicken Palooza is around the corner and I’m trying to get lined to get a shirt that fits real good this year and some chicken then some Western fries. And by the way, Max Weiss is coming on this week and she doesn’t like Western fries. You know what she’s talking about? Coal roofing and our friends accordion energy for putting us out on the road. Bill Cole and I had a spicy chat last week about media access and all sorts of things. Looks for this now the baseball team, you know like this is this is so much fun because there’s a whole like nerd walk thing you and I did. And I did the screenshots for some of the looks you gave me at Bally’s on Friday, you have these looks of wonderment, joy, sheer fear, astonishment, disgust, like you make the greatest faces after you’re served to fade these crabcake on the set. But we do this a lot lately, we were doing a lot of radio we’re getting you’re getting out of bed early, you’re up, you’re down there late, I don’t have a credential you have to work both beats next week. That’s a big issue. And I will that will be addressed. Not in here and now. But that will be addressed. Trust me. Anybody who knows me knows that’s gonna get addressed. But all that being said, we have so much fun talking about the team. And a lot of times we’re pitching about the team, whether it’s Canberra on the bullpen and Lord knows, have we done radio two hours after we did radio on Friday, we would have been whistling a different tune with John means and and the well situated just kind of a bloody Friday and quite frankly, that you attended and Mike Elias with a rather somber you know, dugout speech while this team expects to win the World Series. But dude, we get together, we’re doing a lot of radio. They went to they lose one and whether you and I get together after they’ve lost one or one one. Usually it’s like, what you know, it’s like the turkey. Oh, wait, let’s watch the temperature. Yeah, you know, they lose a little bit even when they got swept by the Cardinals. It’s not like you and I are jumping off the cliff because we’ve been at this a while. And we know how good the team is. But there is the point where like, they’re taking on some hits there. If I’m writing a Orange Crush one, and they win a World Series, it won’t be without being a little bit of a roller coaster because this the you know this income and easy. There’s

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Luke Jones  03:32

no question about it. And you made mention of the St. Louis series and what really struck me Nestor on Sunday after let’s face it, we’ll get into this game specifically. But the Orioles let one get away on Sunday. There’s no doubt about it. I mean that they haven’t done that often when you’re talking about a team that’s on pace to win what 105 games at this point in time, but they let one go in contrast, the Yankees out in San Francisco stolen in the ninth inning and ended up winning. You mentioned the St. Louis series though. And that was the first time of course, that they’ve been swept in the regular season in two years and the streak and all that talk. But the Orioles have won eight, eight of 10 since then, and they’ve gained no ground on the New York Yankees in those 10 games when you go eight and two. And you’re still three games back. And I know you and I talked a little bit about the division race. I still think you’re a little more in the minority as far as downplaying that I think if you see Orioles fans talking about it on Twitter, there’s lots of discourse about the division race. We know it’s June. We know there’s a long way to go. But it just

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:34

talking about we play each other two weeks from now, right? Sure. No,

Luke Jones  04:37

no good. No doubt about it. But my point is here you have a weekend where the Orioles win two out of three. And it felt like kind of a frustrating weekend with how it finished and because at the outset, it was the news about John means and Tyler Well, so it kind of felt like a frustrating weekend from that standpoint. And I don’t say that to knock the team or to be overly negative, anything like that. It’s just the team took a hit over the week, it took a couple of hits over short. Yeah, or so. So that’s where it’s frustrating because they’ve played really well since being swept in St. Louis to your point, and they’ve won eight of 10. And they’re still looking up to the Yankees and their three games back. I’ll be at only one game back in the last column. So, you know, nothing to panic over. But I think what we saw Sunday, and we’ve talked about this, but we’ll continue to talk about it because they have one more off day until July 1, you know, that one off day in the month of June. I think Sunday was a reflection of being in the midst of that stretch. Saturday, Kyle Bradish gets knocked out early. You know, we can we can talk about that. But just the the impact of that bullpen worked pretty heavily on Saturday, Sunday. Core of and pitched well, but I think compared to previous starts, probably had a longer leash in that game gives up the home run in what the seventh inning I guess it was, but you know, pitched well, but asked probably to pitch a little bit deeper into the game. And then Brandon Hyde gave Dylan Tate a much longer leash as a result of the guys that worked on Saturday. So I think tait had too long leash, I would have gone to Danny glulam. Probably a couple batters earlier than I did. But he was playing the matchups to righty righty and all that even though Danny coulomb what he’s right, gets right handers out at a very fair clip. But I think you saw a game where they had to stretch a little bit more with their pitching on Sunday than they normally would like to. But this is the reality now because you’re going to Toronto, there’s no off day you’re going down to you know, the trop after that. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s this is quite a stretch for them. And we’re going to continue to talk about the potential for maybe a six man rotation, but now it’s a matter of, okay, if you’re gonna have a six man rotation, who’s going to be in it? Are you calling up Cade Povich? I mean, Dean Kramer is probably still a couple weeks away, although it was a positive update on him on Friday when Mike Elias spoke. So, you know, it’s just there’s a lot going on right now. And they continue to win they they took two out of three, let’s be clear about that, you know, not being overly negative about that. You can’t expect a sweep every series by any means. But in contrast, the Yankees keep winning. And then oh, yeah, the news over the weekend coming out of Yankees, the Yankees world is Garrett Coles. His debut is imminent. So it very much is a case of boy, they’ve got to keep winning, because the Yankees won’t stop winning. The Yankees are losing very few games. So it just speaks to what kind of race this is when you’re playing 650 ball. And you’re three games out. So doesn’t mean you obsess over that keep winning, keep handling your business, keep winning series and good things will happen in the big picture. But yeah, we saw this last year with the race. It was a tight race throughout even though the Orioles were 101 Win team. And it’s feeling like they might need to be even better than that to win the division this year and just speaks to how competitive it’s been. But yeah, you take two out of three from the raise. You’d like to feel really good about it. But the weekend ended in a disappointing way just knowing that they let one get away. And then in contrast, the Yankees stolen in the ninth inning out in San Francisco and end up gaining a game in the standings.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:24

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He is Luke Jones he is Baltimore Luke out on the the Twitter and the I G and the threads and you know trying to figure all that stuff out here. There’s some we just launched a brand new website, and if you haven’t seen it, please go check it out. A big thanks to Jessica vallas from Hartford design. She’s gonna be joining us out of the crabcake tour on booking crabcake tour dates all summer long. We’re trying to have some fun around here the Orioles have certainly made it a daily going effort and for Luca goes down to the ballparks six, seven days a week when they’re in town. The Ravens allowing him in a couple of times this week. Next week. It’s mandatory. They’ll all be there. We’re gonna be talking plenty of sports around here as well as at Bill Henry on from the comptroller’s office. In Baltimore City. We talked about invasive Blue Cat Fish Wildlife ate some invasive blue catfish before I eat some snakehead a little later on, but the baseball heartbeat of all of this and where the team is and the level of expectation and the disappointment of a Friday afternoon where by the time you got to fade Lee’s with me on Friday, and we did a really cool segment on walks like real nerdy baseball stuff that if you go back to the roots of me doing this in 1990 234, before there was a football team here, it’s the kind of stuff we really would talk about in regard to building a roster around Roberto Alomar and a ballpark around like Messina and and these guys are like scientists and people like you that cover it. And when I watch Major League Baseball network now, the more that I learn about where they’re going with all of this This Tommy John thing and injuries and means having it once needing it again, and Batista being out. And I don’t say it out loud, but we’re on borrowed time with Bradish. Right? I mean, like, we are based on where we were. And this is sort of an epidemic thing, right? I mean, this is a real problem. And I see this and whatever the Sports Science they’re doing and the health they’re doing. And look, my dad, Coach Little League, sort of famously, if you saw the 25th anniversary documentary brought to you by curio wellness and foreign daughter. You know, my dad, when I was a kid, like 1978, you don’t throw a curveball. We don’t like we don’t let you you know, you’ll throw your arm out. I learned that phrase when I was nine years old. 1977. And then like, there was a guy named Tommy John, like I saw Tommy John pitch several times, at the end of his career when he had nothing. He you know, I saw him pitch with the Yankees the whole deal. I remember what the Dodgers. So you know, and I’ve been up on this, I’ve been in journalism for two years and around pitchers around guys blow their arms out, elbows out all that stuff, but, but like, in the football parlance, and you cover football, and you’ll go out there next week, and they’re all trying to keep everybody healthy. I mean, the year a couple years ago, were horrible. The last time I spoke to hardball at the pool, and all he was doing was talking about all the injuries they had and all the injuries they add, and everybody was starting dieting, his trainer and what’s going on or the field or how the way they’re practicing or training in some way, this pitching thing, when you’re at a press conference in the middle of season two guys have blown arms out. And we’re like, next body come on in, you know what I mean? Like, this is this is an issue for baseball.

Luke Jones  11:49

Yeah, no question about it. And let’s be clear, I mean, it’s been trending this way for a while. That’s where when you hear the Players Association talk, and they talk about the pitch timer, and I’m not dismissing that being a variable, because you are talking about pitchers with less recovery time in between pitches, but it’s one variable. It’s not the only one because this isn’t a two year problem. This is something that has been trending this way more and more the last 10 If not 15 years. I mean, it’s it truly is an arms race Nestor, because you that this is a different kind of problem than say the shift, right or time of game, and you have a pitch clock that speeds things up. What is ultimately hurting these pitchers is also what’s getting them to this position, what’s getting them to the point where they’re in the major leagues and having success being drafted, making money, doing well in arbitration, getting a lucrative long term contract, velocity and spin. I mean, we’ve been, you’ve heard me how many times have you heard me say that over the last, let’s say five years? A lot, right? Because that’s what we see. And it’s not just a Tommy John epidemic. And just to clarify, we don’t know if John means and Tyler wells are having Tommy John surgery per se, they are having UCL revision, which could be another Tommy John surgery, it could be that the internal brace procedure, which is something you know, they actually repair the UCL point is it’s a major operation point is it takes them out until next year.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:27

So obviously, point is it was a work related injury. Sure,

Luke Jones  13:31

sure. So. So you know, I think on a very simplistic level, we all lament for the days, even though let’s be very clear, pitchers have always blown out their arms, pitchers have always blown out their elbows, you can go back and find examples in the 60s and 70s. And people will say, Well, Jim Palmer, through this many innings and these many complete book on Steve Dahl cows, exactly, so, but there’s no disputing the frequency increasing. And I think what’s scariest about this? And I think what makes this so complicated, is this is truly a systemic issue that goes back and you made reference to being in Little League at age nine. I don’t think so much, maybe nine year olds having Tommy John surgery, but you’ll find 12 and 13 and 14 and 15. Yeah, so but, but but this is the problem, because this is a fundamental systemic issue that’s going all the way back to the youth level. I know I think it’s the Texas Rangers team, doctor, and others. I mean, I mean, James Andrews has talked about this at different points, you know, over the last 10 to 15 years, where at some point in time, we’ve just valued velocity, spin all of those things at such a high degree at such a young age because you have these showcases, you know, whether it’s to be drafted, whether it’s to get a scholarship somewhere, whatever it might be, that that’s just been the pressure. That’s been the expectation, and you have these drive line type academies and you know, training facilities and all this different stuff the year round. Baseball playing that you see amongst never

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Nestor J. Aparicio  15:13

leaves me but right like because I have baseball players like Brad Pennington, Mike bordick, or that a friends of mine in the real world, I see them on Facebook training kids. And Rick Dempsey, you know, with all the work he does now, like it’s all about how we can make you a ballplayer November, December, January, February, March, when you’re off with tackling dummies out knowings Mills thinking about football, like and people used to think about the Terps and hockey and like, you know, lacrosse and soccer and you know, MMA and anything else people get their kids into at this point, once they’re in it, you know, I always it’s become culty each one of these sports has become very, very country club, very expensive, very niche, very and very, very, very annual and very directed on mom and dad saving money with college and getting you know, Lulu or, or chip into their school of choice, and they’re gonna become a doctor or a soccer player or whatever it’s gonna be. It’s we’re asking a lot of kids, man, and like how we’re taking phone calls all day and playing Phil Donahue or Oprah ear, you know, on the radio and saying, Tell me about your kids experience. Anybody out there who’s had a kid, and my kid wasn’t that kid, you played a lot more sports, I was a different era. You know, I actually have little league pictures and five different uniforms and different sports because I played different sports and rec ball and like all of that stuff. And my parents didn’t drive. So like playing travel wasn’t like something I was even that would have eliminated me from being able to play right, like at any sort of level. Sure your parents have to spend money to get you into whatever the camp is. And then there’s the pay to play and soccer leagues. I’ve talked to Carl Delmon is involved in youth soccer here. And I And none of that is no play baseball for four months and play some soccer. And I would just think for any kid’s arm, if that’s what you’re doing, pitching and doing that, yeah, nine months a year, major leaguers don’t do that. Well,

Luke Jones  17:23

and that’s where that I mean, we’re talking, you know, the started talking about John means and Tyler wells. But what we’re talking about right here is that’s at the youth level, you know that we’re talking about pre high school kids even getting Tommy John surgery. So so how do you fix? How do you quote, fix a problem that begins at that level? So that’s where this is so troubling, I think for the sport in general. And, look, I’m not going to sit here and say that I have the solution for it. Nestor. I don’t think anyone does. Right? I think there are certain best practices out there. But Michael is even alluded to this. I still think so much of it for as much as there’s technology. And you have the high definition cameras, and you can track movement and release point, all the different things, right spin, velocity, all those different things. There’s still way more art than science when it comes to trying to take care of pitchers in terms of pitch counts, you know, we’ve pitch counts have been a thing for 40 plus years now, as far as really being mainstream, talking about a pitchers pitch count, you know, back in the 60s and 70s. You know, someone might, I’m sure people were keeping track of it, but it was just No, it was a byproduct, right? It was just shilling

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:43

through 140 some pitches one night, 20 years ago. He was trying to like, complete a game because that’s what he was. And yeah, you know, he had very much that old mindset about all that. I keep thinking about Jack Morris coming out of a game in the seventh inning like, you know, throwing a no hitter. Like I, I grew up with that. And that’s just not the level of expectation for Kyle Bradshaw, who well, like to our point, this is the last you don’t want the next press conference to be that period. Right. But what

Luke Jones  19:13

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you just said when you mentioned Jack Morris or Curt Schilling, or go back to Jim Palmer, or go back,

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:19

whatever era you want any man’s man, Doug Drysdale, you could go back to the 1890s.

Luke Jones  19:24

And pitchers were starting every other day at that point in time. I mean, it’s a different sport, but the Gibson would hit you in the head that hit a grand slam. But the difference with those individuals that you mentioned, they were not throwing max effort for every single pitch through the fifth inning, or the sixth inning or the seventh inning when they say okay, you’re done. We’re gonna go bring in our other three, four or five relievers behind you, and they’re going to do the same thing. So it’s just it’s a different sport in that way. And I when I say different, that doesn’t mean I’m saying better. I think aesthetically, it’s not as good Gather the flame throwers and the spin and the crazy break on the ball and, and all that. I mean, there’s a fascination with that. And we’ve talked about it a big part of our conversation with the walk conversation when you fade Lee’s was about what I said how the offense is down. So it works from a result game, the game results standpoint. But in terms of longevity, in terms of keeping pitchers healthy, it’s really tough. But where do you fix this, because you’re talking about, like I said, 12 1314 year olds who want to be good enough to be on their high school team, their high school team, they want to be good enough to either be drafted or get a scholarship, some major D one program, and if you’re pitching in college, you want to make it to the major. So it’s easy to say, Okay, well, they need to use, they can’t be using max effort, every single pitch every single start well. That’s getting results. It’s working, it’s successful in terms of the game itself. So they’re getting to that point, they’re having success with it, but they also know that that approach, it leads to this high injury rate. So it’s it’s very difficult, there isn’t just an easy Oh, the shift it’s ruining ruining the game while we’re going to limit that or all the games are too long. We’re going to throw a pitch timer in there, there is not an easy fix like that. I’m not saying it can’t be fixed at all. But boy, you’re talking about fundamental changes that need to happen and again, I don’t really know where they are because the whole culture of it is there’s a lot of money to be made you know what when you’re talking about these offseason facility training facilities and and all that that, I mean, you see it with major leaguers on down guys go and work with you know, and drive lines, just one example that has gained acclaim because major league pitchers have worked there and everything, but there are 100 Drive lines out there in terms of, oh, we’ll tweak your mechanics and we’ll have you spin the ball this way. And you’re gonna add two or three miles per hour to your fastball. Point is your UCL is still a ligament, and there’s only so much you can do. I mean, you can strengthen the muscles and all that but a ligament it’s not like you can train a ligament that it becomes stronger in the way that you do bicep curls and your biceps get bigger. So it’s it’s fragile. And it’s something that, frankly, the human arm, you know, you can find pitchers 50 or 60 years ago telling you that the human arm wasn’t intended to do what they did 50 years ago, let alone now where you’re throwing as hard as you can and spinning the ball as much as you can. So Eddie favor played softball and Jennie Finch you? Yes. So so that, but this is why it’s, you know, it’s tough. It’s a tough conversation. And it’s something that is not trending in a way but because and I’ve made this point already at different times. But when guys would have Tommy John surgery, there was at least at that point, a general expectation that Okay, going to have TJ it’s going to be a year to 16 months. But once your rehab assuming the surgery was done correctly, and your rehab goes smoothly, there was generally an expectation that you’re going to be okay then right, you’ll be good to go. Well, now we’re seeing guys I mean, Tyler Wells had Tommy John surgery five years ago. You know what, when, you know, that’s why he was a Rule five pick a year and a half later and the Orioles got him. John means is 25 months removed from Tommy John surgery. Now. Sometimes it’s and I think in John means case, I’m not accusing the doctor, because there’s also life, right, and a doctor can do everything well, and your body just doesn’t respond. Well. So it’s not like a malpractice accusation. But sometimes and this is why I said, you don’t just cut on a on a pitcher. The first moment you hear UCL because you have a situation like John means where it’s not a smooth return, and sometimes you have to get another surgery but you’re seeing more and more guy Spencer Strider is an example of this with the Braves, where you know Otani had Tommy John surgery and then had to get another UCL surgery last year so you know it you’re only seeing now for five, six years where then pitchers are having another issue with their UCL I mean that that’s where things become really alarming because it’s one thing to have Tommy John surgery once and the data as of a few years ago was that I think at one point in time, and it’s probably higher now. And in fact I bet a lot of money. It’s higher now. But as of a few years ago, I think it was roughly a third of the pitchers that were active in Major League Baseball had had Tommy John surgery at some point, that number is only going up so You know, when is enough enough in terms of how we’re going to curtail this, I think the next frontier, for pitching and for success and and look, this is across sports, really. But I think it’s really more on the sports science and help front of it. Is there something that we’re missing? Is there some kind of tracking? Is there something here that can curtail this, but I’m not so sure, because this is all about max effort, max velocity and Max spin and mat, Max, horizontal and vertical break on the ball. And that’s why I said pitchers are from a pure talent standpoint, not longevity, not complete games or anything like that. But from a pure talent standpoint, the game has never been better in terms of guys throwing hard and having wicked break on the ball and all that, but they’re also they’ve never been braking at the same high rate. So that was a long winded answer to tell you. I don’t know what the solution is Nestor. But this is not tenable in the sense of not not and I’m not speaking specifically on the Orioles just in general, that we’re seeing so many pitchers just not be able to stay healthy for more than a handful of years. We

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:17

got three down right three guys down Batista. And now these two and Bradish was is was meandering. And we’ll see. Yeah. And Kramer’s hurt. So I mean, all of a sudden you look at what happened to Tampa last year, or you look into what happens that could decimate and really f up the Orioles efforts here. And then you start to think of John Angelo still were owned the team not just ran it because his people were still running the team. But if John Angeles were still here with that Corbin burns thing have even happened? You know what I mean? Like for real? And you think about well, they’d only be in trouble. They would look like Tampa did last year. So my great starts and how great New York’s playing Tampa was that team last year, like let’s take a break Luke and I I don’t know how we meandered into this. But we started talking about arms and like we talked about when we’re gonna talk about this rotation. It’s all we’re going to talk about, but you and I hadn’t gotten given any oxygen to the Tommy John. Thanks. I’m glad we did that. We’re going to be doing the Maryland crabcakes we’re a bunch of places for Cooper’s north on Tuesday of this week promoting next Friday. We’re Fleet Week we’ll be taking over when the Phillies come to town and talk with the Phillies right. You know, I mean, like good baseball teams. It’s gonna be it’s a big month of baseball around here. So we’re looking forward to it. Starting at Toronto this week and Tampa this weekend. Thursday morning. We’re going to be at State Fair in Catonsville. Before the Orioles take on the Blue Jays in the wrap of that four game series. And then next two weeks after that, that the 20th will be before the Orioles Yankees game at cost this we’re going to be Papist on the 25th and Coco’s next week on a Wednesday afternoon with Marcel and again a lot of friends stopping by for that when Everybody Loves Coco so it’s in laurelville Kneisel lunchtime thing going on. Also the Orioles playing a lunchtime game against the Braves. I might be going to that game. So big couple of weeks here. Lots going on on the field lots going on with offense. Another Grand Slam John Martin had to run out fine five grand to pay that for home run riches. So we got things going on around your well being crabcakes I’ll be drinking beer is the first segment I’ve done since my wife broke her foot. I don’t even know what to say she broke. She broke her fibula. So it’s sort of like her ankle. Her foot was at the bottom. She’s in a cast. It sucks. So a long summer around here. So big appreciation everybody sent they get well to my wife. She is resting comfortably and trying to get more comfortable. So I’ll bring her home crabcakes we have great sponsors around here and make me feel better. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson, Baltimore. Lots of baseball, a little bit of football and a whole bunch of lots of other stuff. We’re Baltimore positive.com Stay with us.

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