So, I can’t say I’m a die-hard follower of the MLB draft but I did tune in last night to catch who the Nationals took in the first round. And I found it fascinating to discover that apparently, the Nationals may really belong to a frequent Tommy John Surgery Club. With the 16th pick in the MLB draft, Washington snagged right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito from Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City, California. The good news is that by all accounts, the kid is blessed with overall #1 talent, buoyed by an electric 100 mph fastball. The not-so-good news is that Lucas has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
From Adam Kilgore’s Nationals Journal piece today comes the money quote:
He (Giolito) said he had been assured his UCL strain would most likely not lead to Tommy John surgery, about which, “I was 100 percent relieved.”
Most likely not lead to Tommy John surgery. Sounds about as convincing as when I say a third doughnut most likely won’t lead to any further weight gain.
Oh, and I should probably also throw out there that Lucas may opt for UCLA over the Nationals, especially if the team can’t meet his asking price. Given the recommended slot signing bonuses and overall draft spending cap, there is yet another mine in the way of a successful pairing of pitcher and team. I guess given the position the Nationals were in, these risks were worth taking on. To make it all work, though, the team better be prepared to punch another hole in the Tommy John Surgery Club card, and an expensive one at that.