FanPost

My Theory on Barry Zito

Let's take a look at the symptoms of Barry Zito:

  1. 4-5 mph off his fastball from last year to this year
  2. Inability to hit the strike zone with any pitch
  3. Arm slot out of wack, front side flying open
  4. A seemingly healthy arm unable to top 84-85 MPH at the age of 29
Now keeping this all in mind, the "workhorse" Barry Zito has thrown 200+ innings in 6 of the last 7 seasons, while averaging 218 IP a season starting from the age of 23.  In his 22 year old season he threw 92 IP.  The very next year he jumped up to 214 IP, and stayed there ever since, not missing a start for 7 seasons.
My big bad theory is Dead Arm Syndrome.  Put simply, the wearing away of the muscles of the rotator cuff, and a partial or even full tear of the labrum (rim of cartilage that holds the upper joint in the shoulder) which causes the condition known as Dead Arm Syndrome in which a pitcher loses miles off their fastball, arm slot gets thrown out of wack, and very often a pitcher doesn't know about it until an MRI is taken, as all they feel is a lack of "zip" in their delivery.  
Mark Prior threw his first 200+ IP season at the age of 22, and we all know how his career turned out.  While Zito hasn't had exactly the same amount of problems Prior has had, one can think that all those innings without missing a single start would begin to wear away at the arm of even the most durable pitcher.  I say get this guy an freakin' MRI before he tears something and needs surgery.  Just my two cents. 

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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