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Dr. James Andrews is developing an iOS app to keep pitchers healthy

May 30, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

Dr. James Andrews

Dr. James Andrews and his physical therapist, Dr. Kevin Wilk, are developing an iPhone app designed to educate players, parents and coaches on how to prevent throwing injuries:

The app, Throw Like a Pro, will be released in the coming weeks. When available, it will feature four main elements, all centered around scientific data and input from Andrews and Wilk.

One section includes recommendations for pitchers from the American Sports Medicine Institute, such as avoiding throwing to the target of a radar gun and instead focusing on throwing with proper mechanics . . . Based on the player’s age, Throw Like a Pro creates specific guidelines with regards to numbers of pitches. The rest calculator outlines appropriate rest prior to resuming pitching.

I still question whether a pitcher who knows he’s being scouted won’t try to light up the radar gun every time out, but as they say, knowledge is power.

DPS: Dr. Andrews blames youth baseball for Tommy John surgeries

  1. bfunk1978 - May 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Pitching is one of those professions where it pays to get hurt: Light up the radar gun, get paid, get hurt, get fixed…until something happens that provides disincentives to this cycle, it’s not going to get any better.

    • dowhatifeellike - May 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      That only works if you make it big before you get hurt. There are legions of former high school and college pitchers with bad elbows and shoulders because being able to pitch isn’t a “medical necessity” and insurance wouldn’t cover the surgery. To this day I struggle with any overhead lifts, push-ups and bench press because my right shoulder just can’t handle it.

      tl;dr: you have to be somebody first before someone will pay for your surgery.

      • bfunk1978 - May 31, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        I know that and you know that. Kids (or their parents, or their coaches – whoever is truly at fault here) throwing 150 pitches 3 days a week either don’t know it or don’t care. This is their chance at the big time.

  2. hansob - May 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I’m totally getting this. I’ll probably even pay the $9.99 to get the treasure chest of gems.

  3. ud1951 - May 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    If I were a high school age guy with some athletic talent (I’m actually neither) I would listen to all the advice and then focus on developing good repeatable mechanics and think less about the radar gun. I imagine even in high school, a pitcher that consistently throws strikes has more success and looks every bit as much a prospect as the guy throwing in the upper 90s with weird mechanics and is walking as many as he’s striking out. I guess I’d rather be Greg Maddux than Stephen Strasburg.

    It would be interesting to know if the app will do what it aims to do, keep someone like Strasburg or Matt Harvey healthy and on the mound longer. Not sure how you could test that though.

    • carpi2 - May 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      The way to test how effective Dr. Andrews’ recommedations are, would be to conduct a longitudinal study of kids, who follow his system. You can then compare their injury rates to the baseball population. This would require a 10-120 study, though

      • carpi2 - May 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        *10-20 year study.

  4. robmar924 - May 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    If I were a high school kid with a great arm id be working to be great at shortstop and third. If baseball is a potential career path for you, the risk of pitching isn’t worth the reward when position players get the big contracts and don’t blow out their arms all the time

    • dowhatifeellike - May 30, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Not to mention that by going the pitching route, you don’t get to hit from high school on, so it’s harder to fall back on that later.

  5. baseballa2 - May 30, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    They need to hurry and make this app available to Android as well. This is going to be a great app for those coaches who choose to follow it. Unfortunately there will always be those coaches who think they know it all, and they’ll ultimately put their players at long term risk.

  6. schlom - May 30, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    The app, Throw Like a Pro, will be released in the coming weeks. When available, it will feature four main elements, all centered around scientific data and input from Andrews and Wilk.

    Isn’t the problem that there isn’t any science behind their injury theories? It seems like they are either just common sense or total guesswork.

    • carpi2 - May 30, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      The app was developed by Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon with, arguably, the most experience working with the pitcher’s elbow, and Dr. Kevin Wilk, a physical therapist, who specializes on throwing injuries.

      I would have to imagine there was some scientific data infused into the development of this app. I doubt either guy decided to wing it on this app.

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