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Tackling the Epidemic: Understanding Increased Pitcher Injuries in Baseball

In recent years, baseball has witnessed a concerning trend: an uptick in pitcher injuries, leading to a growing number of players undergoing Tommy John surgery. From the MLB to minor league baseball, the rise in pitcher injuries has sparked debate and speculation about the underlying causes. While no single factor can fully explain this phenomenon, several theories have emerged, shedding light on the complex interplay of factors contributing to increased pitcher injuries.


One widely discussed factor is the implementation of the pitch clock across leagues, resulting in less rest time between pitches for players. With the pace of play accelerating, pitchers may feel pressured to work faster and deliver pitches more frequently, placing added strain on their arms and increasing the risk of injury. As the demand for faster-paced games continues to grow, pitchers are facing heightened challenges in managing their workload and maintaining their health over the course of a season.


Another contributing factor is the emphasis on throwing faster pitches, driven by the increasing importance placed on velocity in today's game. With hitters facing greater difficulty in making contact with 100+ mph pitches, pitchers are incentivized to maximize their velocity in pursuit of strikeouts and success on the mound. However, the pursuit of speed can come at a cost, as pitchers may sacrifice proper mechanics and overexert themselves in an effort to increase their velocity, increasing their susceptibility to injury in the process.


As the baseball community grapples with the challenge of increased pitcher injuries, it's essential to address the multifaceted nature of this issue and work collaboratively to implement solutions that prioritize player safety and sustainability. Through continued research, education, and innovation, we can strive to create a safer and more supportive environment for pitchers, ensuring that they can continue to thrive and excel on the field for years to come.


A picture of Statrat - a baseball stat tracking app



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