This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.
The Nationals ace was lifted after just one inning during his most recent start due to a hamstring strain. Despite being one of the most commonly strained muscles, we don't normally associate hamstring injuries with pitchers. However, the lower leg muscles remain an integral part of pitch delivery.
Pitching mechanics are broken down into five different stages. It starts with the windup and progresses to the cocking phases and acceleration before ending with the follow-through. Energy is built up in the initial phases and is transferred throughout the body until it is released during the late-cocking and acceleration phases.
Scherzer's injury is on his right leg, meaning the involved leg is his plant or stance. As a result, the phases most impacted by the injury will be the initial phases when energy is being generated. As a pitcher begins his windup, his center of gravity is located above his stance leg. This positioning allows the pitcher to generate a maximum amount of momentum. As the pitch progresses and the pitcher reaches out with his stride leg, the hamstrings of the plant leg extend the hip and begin transferring energy from the legs and hip, and into the pelvis, torso, and ultimately the upper extremity. If the hamstring is limited due to injury, it can create an imbalance, causing the muscles of the shoulder and arm to assume a greater amount of stress. As a result, the pitcher can not only experience a dip in velocity but open