May 28, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT
We have posted about this a few times when Dr. James Andrews has given interviews on the subject of what he calls an “epidemic” in UCL tears and attendant Tommy John surgery. But now he and his American Sports Medicine have released a position paper on the matter.
In it he outlines the risk factors for Tommy John surgery, common misconceptions about it and his recommendations for pitchers and teams to limit the risk of needing it. As for that last part, this recommendation is likely to get the most play and, if heeded, affect the most change:
Do not always pitch with 100% effort. The best professional pitchers pitch with a range of ball velocity, good ball movement, good control, and consistent mechanics among their pitches. The professional pitcher’s objectives are to prevent baserunners and runs, not to light up the radar gun.
I think major league teams know that in practice once they have a pitcher and are developing him. But the defining trait of a scout is his radar gun, and young pitchers are conditioned to want to light it up when they see a scout checking them out. Good pitchers change speed and create movement. Young pitchers get noticed, however, when they throw in the 90s. It’ll be interesting to see if this changes that at all.
Anyway, consider thus must-click material. And something to bookmark if you’re at all interested in the subject.
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 0
- Tony Cingrani hits Bryce Harper in the back with a pitch, then complains he was too slow getting to first base 82
- Video: Josh Hamilton hits his first home run of the season 15
- Rockies starter Chad Bettis loses his no-hitter in the eighth inning 2
- Stephen Strasburg exits start in the second inning with an apparent injury 5
- More than half of polled baseball fans prefer having the pitcher hit 69
- The Marlins aren’t happy with the Dan Jennings hire 43
- Andrew McCutchen is doing just fine now, thank you 20
- The Big Unit: Wide Angle Watcher (90)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (89)
- Tony Cingrani hits Bryce Harper in the back with a pitch, then complains he was too slow getting to first base (86)
- Chipper Jones will fight you if you insult his “girl” (83)
- Alex Rodriguez is the all-time AL RBI champion. Sorta. (76)