May 4, 2005

NO MORE 80+ APPEARANCE SEASONS?:

Rapid recovery is the key for pitchers in a long season (Ron Kroichick, May 3, 2005, SF Chronicle)

The popular steroid image of Herculean sluggers swatting long home runs does not fit Elvis Avendano, William Collazo or Ricardo Rodriguez. They weigh 165 pounds, 175 pounds and 185 pounds, respectively.

Avendano, Collazo and Rodriguez are among the 47 minor-leaguers suspended recently after testing positive for steroids, and they have something else in common: They're pitchers.

Twenty-one of those 47 players are pitchers, illuminating an often overlooked benefit of performance-enhancing drugs: Not only can they help increase muscle mass, they also can accelerate recovery after games and workouts.

That counts as a huge asset for pitchers and hitters alike. Rapid recovery could help athletes in virtually every sport, not only those where strength and power matter most.

The first major-leaguer suspended for testing positive for steroids, Tampa Bay's Alex Sanchez, is a 180-pound journeyman with four career home runs in nearly 1,400 at-bats. Monday's suspension of Minnesota reliever Juan Rincon, also for a positive drug test, reinforced the reality that pitchers are not immune, either.

"It's not about getting big as a pitcher, it's about recovery," said Tom House, a former major-league pitcher and coach who co-founded the National Pitching Association near San Diego. "A pitcher who recovers more efficiently over the course of the year will have more left in the tank at the end of the season. ...

"The prevailing thought is you take steroids to get big, hit the ball farther and be a gorilla. It's almost the opposite for pitchers -- they want muscles that repair quickly and recover."


You have to wonder if all these bullpen implosions aren't at least partly a function of the pitchers' inability to recover as quickly from appearance to appearance without the drugs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 4, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

Creatine isn't banned, is it? All that it's good for is boosting the body's post-workout recovery, so there should be plenty of legal things they can take.

Posted by: b at May 4, 2005 1:19 PM

Flash Gordon call your publicist.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 4, 2005 3:59 PM
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