Charter Oak ace Travis Santiago hasn’t pitched all season, coach Tom Quinley explaining that playing quarterback may have contributed to his sore arm .. Next question is what’s next?

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Charter Oak High School junior Travis Santiago may have a big decision to make this summer. The same kind of decision that Bishop Amat’s Jay Anderson made, opting to skip his senior season on the Lancers’ football team in order to concentrate on baseball, a sport he felt was his best opportunity of earning an athletic scholarship.
Amat junior infielder Rio Ruiz’s future is in baseball too, where he could become a 2012 Major League draft first-round pick, or opt to go to USC, where he has given a verbal commitment since his freshman year. Despite the risks, Ruiz, a quarterback on the Lancers’ football team, intends on playing football his senior year.
Santiago’s case is different, according to Charter Oak baseball coach Tom Quinley, because he’s a quarterback and pitcher. Santiago, 6-foot and 175 pounds, is one of the area’s best quarterbacks, but Quinley feels all the throwing he did during the summer and fall with the Chargers’ football team likely contributed to the sore right elbow that has kept him from pitching this season.
“That’s what the doctors say,” Quinley said of Santiago’s sore elbow. “When you throw around 75 passes in (football) practice with no caretaking to it, it takes its toll. That’s a decision (playing quarterback) he’s going to have to make. He’s a great kid and an incredible athlete. But if he wants to pitch next year, chances are he will have to make that decision.” (to continue click thread)

Like Anderson and Ruiz, Santiago is a great football player, but his future is likely in baseball.
And the Chargers have missed him, hovering at 8-7 overall and third place in the Sierra League at 4-2.
“We thought he (Santiago) would be a ten-game winner for us,” Quinley said.
Quinley felt that way because Santiago had a phenomenal sophomore season pitching and hitting for the Chargers. In fact, he was rated by MaxPreps one of the top sophomore pitchers in the state after going 8-1 with a 1.01 ERA. He also was a force offensively, batting. 370 with 26 runs scored.
But then again, he’s been the starting quarterback since he was a sophomore too, and a very good one. This past season he threw for 2,418 yards and 21 touchdowns.
“He loves football,” Quinley said. “You probably shouldn’t play quarterback if you’re going to pitch, but that’s up to him.”
Quinley said Santiago’s sore elbow is improving and he threw his first bullpen session earlier this week.
He has played in 10 of the Chargers’ 15 games, but has been limited at shortstop and is batting .273 with just two RBIs.
“Just throwing the ball and making routine plays have been tough on him at times,” Quinley said. “But he’s getting better.”
If Santiago does return on the hill, it will likely be in a closing role.
“You just have to be careful,” Quinley said. “I’m not going to hurt a kid who has a possible future.
“He’s been bugging us to throw a bullpen and we finally gave in. He will probably get in some more work on Saturday or Monday, and we will take it from there.
“I know he’s anxious to get back and contribute (on the mound) because he’s such a competitor. But we have to see how it goes.”

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  • I may be crazy, but I think that way more pitchers have blown out their arms than QBs.

    It would seem to me that a breaking ball does more damage than throwing a football.

  • Dan

    Aram, Not sure if it’s right or not but I’ve had more than one baseball coach tell me to have my son to throw footballs to build up his arm strength for baseball, maybe it’s the excessive amount of throws in football practice, day after day that does the damage.

  • Sheenman

    Santiago is a must have for the chargers, however, their junior staff is doing well in place of him. 3 Solid Junior starters from the 3 Games ive seen at CO. And a good lefty sophomore. Looks like next year CO is gonna have some strong arms out there, and probably the best staff around. Looks good boys.

  • jcaz

    Aram, I have to agree. It seems to me that it’s all a bunch hog wash.

    I mean, if the kid wants to pich, then let him do so but maybe later on in the season as opposed to at the begining.

    BTW, I am sure that this kid is an incredible athelete and just like Ruiz, he may very well be able to play other positions besides pitcher.

    In other words, he can contribute to his team in other ways. For the baseball coach to say that it has to be a choice between one or the other is silly.

  • reality

    When was the last time you heard of a quarterback out because of a sore arm from throwing to many footballs? I can’t think of one right now. Arm injuries from being hit yeah but not just from throwing. Never heard of a sore legged kicker either. Sheeeesh.

  • Thanks Coach

    Seriously? Thanks Quinley, thats what every Dad who has a pitcher and Quarterback for a son needed to hear. That is a crappy position to put a High School kid in. Sounds like the Coach is trying to send the kid a message. I hope the kid quits baseball and tell the coach to shove it. Thats what Big Lou needs to do as well.

  • Thank You Quinley

    This proves that the Football coach and Baseball coach are not on the same page at Charter Oak. Don’t send your son there if he wants to play both sports.

  • Sierra League Fan

    I think the reason so many HS kids are getting injuries is that they have NO dead time to heal up. Baseball players play year round as do Basketball, soccer and other sports. Even football teams are going year round now with passing leagues during the winter and spring. Back in the day, you had time off to heal unless you played 3 sports. Because of the year round programs these coaches run, it makes it very difficult for kids to be multi sport athletes CIF really screwed the pooch with this allowing year round sports with no limitation but a 3 week dead period.

  • Don

    The Sierra League Fan hit it on the head. Most of these arm injuries are repetitive motion injuries or are trauma induced and then worsened by overwork or premature return to competition. Baseball Pitchers and Catchers need a month off after the season simply to let their arms rest from the amount of throwing they did during the season but most prep players follow the school season with a summer team or two. If they are lucky, they can showcase those arms, sometimes doubling or trebling the amount of throwing they got in their High School seasons. If they play football, like Travis, most of the summer baseball gives way to passing leagues.

    There are more arm injuries sustained by QB’s than you would think. Some are caused by trauma, (mostly shoulder injuries), but there are enough RMI types to warrant a few ortho docs to write papers on the phenomena. Some believe the problem is a lack of real arm care for QB’s like baseball throwers from LL up seem to get these days. Ponder from FSU, the kid from Southlake HS (TX), and Sam Bradford are recent examples of QB only guys with chronic arm problems that come to mind and I can think of at least three prep guys (football only) locally who have been troubled with arm problems the past few years. It’s there.

    Before any of you guys go throwing Quinley under the bus for his candor, maybe you ought to look up Travis’ Dad and ask him what HE thinks. You might be surprised.

  • reality

    Don, I don’t know what obscure guy you are talking about in Florida high school ball but as for Bradford he was sacked hard in the BYU game in Sept. 2009 on his right shoulder. Rotator cuff, collarbone and elbow injuries were all feared. It had nothing to do with over use from tossing a football as you infer. When you make a statement like you have as a fact you are simply another know- it- all blogger that will say anything to make yourself seem valid. I would not be surprised that your anonomous player from Florida is NOT a repitive use injury from tossing a football either. I still have as of yet never heard of one kid injured from just throwing a football. At least no-where near as many sore-armed or tired armed pitchers which includes all most all of them. To try to intimidate this kid from playing two sports is stupid and smacks more of personal issues between coaches. I know that anomosity between baseball and football coaches exist at many schools and i think that what we stumbled onto here. You may be correct on one point I don’t know. If there are injuries from football throwing it is a phenomena but some doctors write papers on alien abductions as well.

  • 8

    Dr. Aram, How many curveballs has Santiago thrown this year? NONE. I haven’t seen him in your almighty box scores at all this year as a pitcher. By the way Dr. Aram, how many passes or curveballs have you thrown? Probaly NONE. Hey Fred, wheres those top hitters and pitchers stats you said you were going to put in the paper? Instead you put in an article the last 2-3 weeks on football passing leagues. Its APRIL ( BASEBALL SEASON ) NOT SEPT. ( football season ) Change your calendar!!!!!!!!

  • Don

    mr reality,

    The obscure Florida QB with the arm injury is Christian Ponder, he of the obscure Florida Sate Seminoles and the equally obscure Senior Bowl. He was originally diagnosed with elbow problems in High School by an orthpod working out of the obscure Baylor University Health Center. Problems persisted through college and he has been treated by a variety of docs a couple of whom like James Andrews who works for the also obscure Healthsouth. I’m not surprised you haven’t ever heard of a single arm injury to a QB attributed to overuse. The diagnosis for baseball players is fairly new considering how long it’s been happening.

    Also for your general fund of knowledge, the rotator cuff injuries are only part of the bad news for QB’s as they also suffer rib pain, oblique injuries, and what’s called in the trade as damaged UCL’s (elbow ouchies for you playing at home). The last are beginning to be more common in kiddie QB’s who play their JAA or Pop Warner season and then go on to train the rest of the year with the Quarterback Gurus who bill by the hour.

    Look me up some time, I’ll tell you who the three sore arm local guys are. Two are still in school and trying to get a ride so I won’t mention any names here. Suffice to say none of the three pitched baseballs in school.

    BTW, I for sure don’t know it all but do get to read my fill of medical journals free as a perq of my job. The OB-GYN and brain surgery articles don’t hold much interest but I try to scan anything I have time for in sports med and ortho. Oh yeah, you wanna meet a sore legged kicker? I can hook you up there too.

  • sgv scouting

    Once again – and I am finding myself doing it these days – I have to defend big Aram again.

    Guys like me deal with facts with these types of issues… I can give you numerous studies that have been made on this subject, but I will give you one and leave it at that.

    This was an extensive study made by National Institute of Health that study elbow throwing injuries in football. Here is the link to the study

    Here is the key phrases to the study…”RESULTS: A total of 10 cases of UCL injuries in quarterbacks were identified starting in 1994. Nine cases were treated nonoperatively and the mean return to play was 26.4 days.”

    I respect coach Quinley and the job that he has done at CO. But the fact of the matter is the medical industry would disagree with his quotes in this story.

    Now back to the football…

  • reality

    Don You are another blogger clown that cites unnamed sources and reads medical journals while cleaning doctors offices. And we are to believe that young athletes or their parents confide in you their possibly career ending injuries Your retort is bloated with non facts and sounds like you a just trying to defend the coaches position. I resent folks that come on here and represent themselves as knowing something but are really no more than shills. I will not comment on Ponder because I don’t know the facts of his case. If they are public and after a little looksee, I would be surprised that just throwing a football caused his problems. As for your sarcasm of Ponder and the Senior Bowl not being obscure I doubt anyone on these blogs knew of Ponder or watched the Senior Bowl but we have read about Travis Santigo. Maybe you can hook me up with one of your quacks to treat the pain in my a…………

  • just sayin’

    anyone that writes “I doubt anyone on these blogs knew of Ponder…” deserves to have their post skipped over and go back to just watching kiddie football.If you don;t know Ponder – you don’t follow football. Ponder threw for nearly 7,000 yds and 50 TDs in college and should be a 1st round draft pick on most mock NFL draft boards – if his health was good he could be the top QB in the draft.

  • reality

    Whattya think knucklehead, this blog is kiddy football. As for this dude Ponder I am not questioning his ability. His sore arm and shoulder was caused by a tackle he made following an interception in 2009. His subsequent elbow problems were from his changed throwing motion he adopted while recovering from the injury. He says that himself in a interview on ESPN. You guys don’t mention that in your bathroom reading. I agree that football even the highschool variety can be dangerous and violent but injury from excessive throwing has yet to be a big concern. It is almost always from contact. That is what the coach should say he should avoid.

  • For what its worth,

    I have a son that played QB and was the #1 P. Before anyone acts like an expert let me say that every arm has so many throws in it and if you think that constant football throwing builds the arm up to the point that you do not have to worry, well think again and that player is headed for disaster either in the form of elbow, or worse shoulder issues.

    The biggest worry is the labrum and the fraying and wear and tear that to many throws cause.

    Any young man that has pitched his entire life and been a QB his entire life, well sooner or later the arm is gonna give out. Have you heard of “tommy john surgery”. Choosing one over the other makes a ton of sense. Or maybe do QB and just play SS. And if QB scholly does not come up then he can go back and pitch and be healthy. I will add that this young man is a natural and could take a vacation from pitching for 1 year and come back in juco and be lights out.

    Realty , you do not really get the arm issues.

  • Don

    The problem with you reality is you’re ignorant. A small thing, and one that can be corrected with a little work but unfortunately you won’t try to see beyond your bias which, sadly, condemns you to a course of ignorance. Better to be just stupid which wouldn’t really be your fault at all, just genetics. Your problem, however, comes from obstinacy and laziness. Under-informed and too lazy to educate yourself. Just wrong.

    That you have chosen the moniker reality is curious too in light of the fact that you won’t make the effort to accept what is real. In this most recent case you contend that injury from excessive throwing has yet to be a big concern because you didn’t hear about it on Sports Center. In this you are clearly wrong as injuries from overhead throwing injuries have been identified by medical professionals for over seventy years. Weight lifting, tennis, football, swimming, volleyball, baseball, Jai Lai, you name it; any overhead sport that strains the shoulder can cause pain and injury, and yes, even without impact. But you won’t ever believe me because you think I clean Doctor’s offices, (an honorable job, but not mine).

    People like you aren’t usually worth the effort to engage but I have a concern that someone reading your malarkey might take it to heart, Oh no Junior, you can’t really be injured. That reality guy on the blog says you can’t get hurt that way.

    So call this guy, Albert Chong M.D. (909) 629-4604, he’s local, he’s a USC grad with a fellowship in Sports Medicine from Stanford. Or visit one of the Casa Colina sports clinics across from APU, they’re free. Or brace Steve Bast in the Damien parking lot before a baseball game or call Dean Edell on the radio, anything, just educate yourself before your loud misinformation does some real harm.

  • USC

    Anyone ever hear of Carson Palmer and his elbow injury. i don’t believe he got tht by throwing baseballs in the offseason.

  • Keep it Real


    I agree with you but I truly believe that an arm injury usually starts earlier in a kids life. Improper coaching/abuse and arm aligns generally don’t get fix until it’s to late.

    ESPN did a segment on the amount of surgeries and abuse going on today. It’s a serious situation, and one that “winning” at any cost is just wrong.

  • reality

    Mr. Sanitary Engineer. Checked back and found out that you have been Googling on your breaks rather then reading. I will call your docs right after I call Art Bell. Don’t know what misinformation your talking about genius but so far everyone of YOUR examples has proven to be bogus including the latest from your USC supporter about Carson Palmer. He was injured in a vicious sack while throwing. Sure you can be injured doing anything to excessive amounts including bending over cleaning commodes. I’am mystified about your concern on this issue but you must be the employee of someone from Santiago’s baseball program. If a parent is involved in his son’s life like this kid’s are they know if he his throwing to the point of hurting himself. It’s the families call, not mine and certainly not someone using scare tactics and lies. And if he wants to use his fine arm to throw footballs or screw in lightbulbs that is up to him and his parents. I have offered opinions mixed in with refutation of examples you used but I would not tell a parent what to do like you clowns and the coach. You also took out of context my post like liars are prone to do to make their point seem more valid when i said excessive throwing is not a concern. When you read my post it was in relation to throwing the football only and specificly locally. QB’s do not typically practice throwing and holding a ball with a variety of different motions,grips and angles anywhere near the amount that pitchers do. At game time a starter can throw what 100 pitches at 100% effort each pitch. A highschool qb throws what 20-25 and only 1 or 2 are bombs. Your disdain for a baseball pitcher playing football is really you and your cronies agenda.

  • Quinley cares!

    I would have my kid play for coach Quinley any day of the week. He actually cares about his players and isn’t overthrowing Santiago like a lot of coaches would. Think about it, most coaches keep throwing their #1 guy over and over until his arm falls off. They don’t care about the kids future once they leave their program. I give Quinley respect for not only looking out for Santiago’s baseball future but also his football future.
    Don, thank you for being one of the few sane ones on this blog.