Stephen Strasburg: Next Kerry Wood or Mark Prior?

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By all accounts no matter what the results of the second MRI on Washington Nationals prized possession, Stephen Strasburg, he is expected to be shut down for the rest of the season. Base on the circumstances that seems to be a reasonable thing to do, but the way they are going about it doesn't give anyone any confidence in the situation.

The initial MRI taken Sunday indicated to doctors that Strasburg simply has a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm, and I guess they feel that a more detailed MRI is warranted to double check. It seems kind of silly to me however to not have to done the correct or most detailed MRI to begin with! What's the point of a doctor providing a half ass analysis the first time around only having to do it again causing more uncertainty, time and expense? That's like bringing your car into a mechanic because you hear a funny noise coming from the engine and having the guy call you at work to tell you,

"yep, there is definitely a funny noise there, we listened to it and it appears that it's coming from under the hood just as you said it was. All indications point to the fan belt. I don't want you to drive the car anymore until we actually open the hood and look to confirm that it is in fact the fan belt."

Why not just open the hood and look the first time?

Strasburg left Saturday's game after experiencing some discomfort in his right arm and was placed on the disabled list. This was already the second time in the short time he's been with the Nationals that he's had to be shut down.

I can't help wondering if Strasburg's career is destined to follow the path of the last to guys who toed the mound with anything close to the stuff that Strasburg has at such a young age; Kerry Wood or worse, Mark Prior.

Wood has been able to make a career out of it with some on and off success, but once the arm problems started, he was never anything like the dominant player that he was when he first came up. Prior for his part, has never really been able to get back on the field.

Ask Cubs fans and see what they think. - Brian James

Brian James is an independent sports journalist covering major professional sports for over 25 years.


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