Everyone’s natural reaction to hearing about a pitcher feeling elbow discomfort is to scream to the high heavens. Rightfully so, as we’re in the age of Tommy John where it seems like getting the surgery is more a right of passage than something that went wrong in a pitcher’s career.
It’s even more concerning if you’re a Mets fan. New York will be relying heavily on their stud starters this year so when they hear that Steven Matz is once again having elbow discomfort it’s probably enough to make them ram their head into some drywall.
Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual for Matz. He was shut down last season to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. He also earned his TJ badge in 2010 when he had the surgery just a year after being drafted in the second round out of high school. All this with his elbow may overshadow the fact that he was having shoulder problems last season as well, though that seemed to be less serious as most shoulder issues are. Nothing a few Jobes can’t fix.
The good news is there hasn’t been no noticeable dip in velocity from Matz this spring training, which is usually a telling sign that a pitcher’s elbow needs further evaluation. However, just because Matz has had TJ in the past doesn’t mean he won’t eventually need it again. Just ask Daniel Hudson. So how worried should Mets fans be? What’s the highest worry level you can get to without stroking out?