Is the World Baseball Classic harmful to pitchers?
Don’t ask the Boston Red Sox about Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Don’t ask the San Diego Padres about Jake Peavy.
And maybe you shouldn’t even ask the Houston Astros about Roy Oswalt.
Coincidence or not, two of the three pitched in the WBC and are now out for long periods of time. And the third, Oswalt, hasn’t been the same this year since pitching in the WBC.
Red Sox Manager Terry Francona has gone so far as to suggest Matsuzaka’s ailing right shoulder – which could keep him sidelined the rest of the season, -- is likely the result of pitching in the WBC.
And to think this is a guy Boston invested more than $100 million into …
Peavy had perhaps his worst year ever in an injury-plagued 2006 (11-14, 4.09 ERA) after pitching in the WBC. This season, he pitched in the WBC, is 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA and could miss a couple months with a bum ankle.
So much for a guy the Padres are trying to trade away along with his $50-plus million contract ...
As for Oswalt, he seems to be OK physically. But what’s with his sub par 3-4 record and 4.48 ERA?
So much for a guy who’s supposed to be the ace of the Astros ...
All told, maybe the WBC should take place after the season, when pitchers are in top form.
Otherwise, you might expect some top pitchers to take a fall every three years after the WBC.