Not Circulatory But Circular

Books, Games, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players, Spring Training

I can understand why the Yankees are relieved that Phil Hughes doesn’t have a problem with his circulation that’s causing his dead arm and lack of velocity—NY Times Story—but I don’t see this as cause for celebration; they’ve sent him for MRIs and a battery of tests and still don’t have the faintest clue as to why he’s lost his fastball; why he couldn’t continue during his last bullpen session which launched this shockwave of fear throughout the organization and fanbase that the one of the vaunted three young “star” pitchers who made it in pinstripes was about to be shelved for a very long time.

How are they supposed to proceed when there’s no medical reason for the diminished velocity? For the absence of durability that cut short that bullpen session?

One quote in the linked piece is striking:

Now he will return on Tuesday to New York, despite having a locker set up for him in the visiting clubhouse, to rehabilitate his shoulder as the Yankees redouble their efforts to discover why it feels numb when he pitches.

Then what? Redouble their efforts how? Hughes was already on pitching coach Larry Rothschild‘s long-toss program and got worse. Because Hughes doesn’t have thoracic outlet syndrome or any other circulatory ailment doesn’t answer the initial question that began in spring training: Where’s Hughes’s fastball?

They can be happy he doesn’t have a long-term injury, but now they find themselves back where they started from, dealing with a question for which they’ve yet to find an answer.

If you don’t know the cause, how can you treat the effect?

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