Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus was doing his usual round of Spring Training Under the Knife for Florida and this came up.
Want to hear one of the weirdest indicators for injury? No-hitters. Just getting close, as Curt Schilling or Phil Hughes did, can lead a pitcher to push himself beyond his normal capabilities, to cause high-stress throws well past a normal fatigue point. Anibal Sanchez has never really recovered from his no-hitter, ending up losing all of 2007 to a labrum tear. He's reliant on a change, so any loss in velocity is going to be problematic, and he's already shown that the rehab program he was on this offseason hasn't gotten him back to function. Getting shut down in the first week of camp is an even worse indicator than a no-hitter; putting the two together just reminds us what might be lost. This kid was good.
When Mr. Carroll uses this kind of language to describe a player's condition, it means there is a very high probability of a couple of things happening: either Sanchez will never return to form or that his career may be over.
I've read Will Carroll's reports for years and he knows what he is talking about. We can only hope that he isn't correct in this instance or that I'm completely misinterpreted what he is saying.