Word got out on Presidents' Day that Jair Jurrjens would undergo a precautionary MRI on his sore right shoulder. Though club officials are insisting that the procedure is merely prophylactic (team trainers are saying there appears to be no structural damage), there may be some reason for concern in the long term. The 24-year-old Jurrjens has already endured a heavy workload in his brief career, pitching 403 1/3 innings in his two major league seasons.
Additionally, it appears that the increased workload is having a deleterious effect on his base skills. Jurrjens' strikeout rate declined from 6.64 in 2008 to 6.36 in 2009, and his groundball rate dropped from 51.5% to 42.9%.
Still, Jurrjens came on strong in the second half of 2009, so maybe my concern is misplaced. Should Jair's shoulder falter, Kris Medlen will be at the ready to step in for some spot starts.
Jurrjens' 2009 Projections
The Bill James Baseball Handbook: 210 IP, 6.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.69 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster: 203 IP, 6.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 3.50 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Baseball Prospectus/PECOTA: 196 IP, 141 K, 66 BB, 3.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
CHONE: 172 IP, 6.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.82 ERA, 1.33 WHIP