Talked to a lot of folks today and news of the Scheppers injury was topic No. 1. The reaction pretty much came in one of two ways:
1. I’ve never heard of an injury like this. Not from pitching, anyway.
2. I wonder if this is the whole story.
Now, the scouting industry is skeptical by nature, and for good reason. As one scout told me, he’s seen a player sit out with a reported groin strain only to need elbow surgery a week later (who knew the groin and elbow were connected like that???). The point is that people don’t always tell the truth about injuries. Is the “stress fracture” just masking something else, like a torn labrum or rotator cuff? I don’t know if that’s true, but there is some concern out there that there’s more going on here.
Another worry was if Scheppers hurt the shoulder doing something off the field. No one, and I mean no one, had ever heard of a pitcher getting a stress fracture in the shoulder from pitching. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen — you’ll hear about elbow stress fractures from hard throwers like Bobby Jenks from time to time — but this would mark the first time many baseball lifers had ever seen anything like this. So even if it is just a stress fracture, there has to be concern over how a guy manages to do that while pitching.
I’m curious where people think he’ll end up going when all is said and done (leave your thoughts in comments). The main choices seem to be:
1. Back to school, like Kent State’s Chris Carpenter last year.
2. Much later in the draft, but he signs anyway because he really wants to play pro ball.
3. To a team with lots o’ resources near the back of the first round, a team that can afford to wait if it’s a lengthier injury recovery period than expected and can even afford if the pick never pans out.
My vote is for No. 3. Without any inside info on this one, I say the Yankees take him and let him hang out with Andrew Brackman. They can form one of the greatest rehabbing potential future rotation duos of all time.
A week ago, Fresno State ace
— and potential top 10 pick — Tanner Scheppers was scratched from his weekend start. The
Bulldogs tried to give him some extra rest and back
him up to Sunday, but ended up scratching him altogether. The reason given was shoulder tenderness. The word this week was that he’d be good to go for his planned Saturday start at Sacramento State.
It turns out that the right-hander’s injury is worse than originally thought. I’ve learned thatScheppers actually has a stress fracture in the shoulder and won’t be able to throw for six weeks, severely damaging his draft status.
In my first crack at projecting the first 10 picks, I had Scheppers going No. 10 overall to the Astros. Behind Aaron Crow, he was considered by many to be the next best college right-hander, perhaps along with Tulane’s Shooter Hunt. The chances of him still going that highly are now greatly minimized. Someone will surely take him with the hopes he’ll be completely healthy once the stress fracture heals, but obviously the risk involved should lower his value.