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Tyrell Jenkins and The TINSTAAPP

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TINSTAAPP stands for the acronym "There is no such thing as a pitching prospect" and no other Cardinals prospect fulfills that more than Tyrell Jenkins.

Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

In case you missed it, yesterday the news broke that Tyrell Jenkins underwent shoulder surgery and would be out 6-8 months, which puts his return between February and April next year. Odds are the Cardinals take it slow with him and he returns closer to the April side. Jenkins has been battling shoulder soreness since June and he has not thrown more than 83 innings yet in a season in his professional career.

The Cardinals took Jenkins in the supplemental first round in 2010 out of high school in Texas when he was still 17 and bought him out of a football scholarship to Baylor to be the successor to Robert Griffin III. In parts of 4 seasons, Jenkins has not yet lived up to his potential, which was that of a top of the line starter based on his athletic potential. The key word was (and still remains) "raw" with Jenkins as he continues to refine his repertoire.

Jenkins has always been a high risk, high reward prospect and at this point with shoulder surgery ending his season prematurely, Jenkins is leaning more towards the "high risk" side of the spectrum. Jenkins will be 22 next season and may still be younger than a few players that the Cardinals will draft in June, so the shine is not off his prospect status yet, but he is looking slightly duller than he did last year at this time. Jenkins has not taken the minor leagues by storm, he has pitched only 200 innings in his minor league career

Tyrell Jenkins' (yet uncompleted) story is why so many people repeat the mantra TINSTAAPP (There is no such thing as a pitching prospect) as with the increased chance of injury for all pitchers (let alone pitching prospects) and how much can go wrong within the 4-5 years it takes for a normal prospect to go from draftee to major leaguer. The Cardinals have taken the right approach, adding a quantity of pitching prospects and we have seen them roll into the major leagues over the past two years without losing the quality. Consequently, they have the ability to take on a (relatively) expensive risk in the form of Tyrell Jenkins.

Shoulder injuries are actually not as an easy recovery for pitchers as elbow injuries have become over the past few year and Jenkins will have a long way to go to get back to where he should be at his age. That being said, Jenkins and the Cardinals were smart to go ahead with the procedure if this was going to be something that could possibly bother the prospect even more as he moved up the ranks.