May 15, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT
With all of the Tommy John surgeries lately, Dr. James Andrews has been interviewed a lot. His view is that abuse of pitchers between Little League and high school has a lot to do with all of these young major leaguers going under the knife. Their UCLs just haven’t developed all the way yet and they can’t take the strain that older pitchers may be better equipped to manage.
And that’s before you figure in that they often have workloads that older pitchers never deal with. Like this:
For Rochester (Wash.) baseball coach Jerry Striegel, why fix something that ain’t broke?
Striegel went with starting pitcher Dylan Fosnacht for 14 innings in a marathon, 17-inning game against LaCenter that Rochester won 1-0 on Tuesday. Fosnacht reported on Twitter that he threw 194 pitches in the contest, striking out 17 batters.
High school coaches have zero incentive to preserve the bodies of the kids under their command. And the kids themselves aren’t often in the position to object or even recognize that what they’re being asked to do is rather crazy. Listen to Dylan Fosnacht’s comments after the game:
People might criticize me throwing 14 innings, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to win
— Dylan Fosnacht (@DFosnacht5) May 14, 2014
Of course you are. Because your coach and maybe other coaches and maybe your parents and certainly sports culture at large has drilled it into your head that “doing whatever it takes” is the best thing to do. For a high school game.
That lede is the best, though. “Why fix something that ain’t broke?” To the coach I’d ask “why break something that ain’t broke?”
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