Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Why Patterson's Arm Scares Me, Part XXXIII

I was digging through the ol' memory vault, and two examples popped in my mind as to why Patterson's injury concerns me (as if Ryan Drese wasn't a big enough example).

To refresh, Patterson was diagnosed with a flexor strain, which is typically listed, in shorthand, as a forearm strain.

Mike Hampton reported 'tightness' in his forearm, putting him on the DL twice last year. Despite just being a 'forearm strain', when it didn't get better, they discovered an elbow injury, leading him to Tommy John surgery, which is keeping him out for the year.

Staying in division, but to the north, crappy pitcher Victor Zambrano had the very same flexor problem. He was able to pitch through it occasionally -- missing time here and there -- but eventually, it snapped. And how he, too, is undergoing Tommy John surgery. Since it's his second, his career's probably over.

These injuries can be tough to diagnose. Witness the two changes in Drese's diagnosis for an example of that. But Patterson's date has been pushed back twice (just as Drese's was), and he's had a visit to Dr. Andrews, where pitching arms go to die.

There are lots of alarm bells going off. I just hope it's all a false alarm.