Why are so many pitchers having Tommy John surgery?

Posted: May 16, 2014 in News, Opinion
Tags: , , ,

By Steven Inman

Matt Harvey has had to sit out the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery

Matt Harvey has had to sit out the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery

It’s very disappointing to say that 2014 has been a devastating year for pitching injuries. More pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery this season than any other year in major league history, and we are only in May.

While Mets fans have been worried about the surgeries of Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell, torn UCL’s have plagued the entire league all spring. The latest major injury has been to the Marlins young ace, Jose Fernandez, who will undergo the surgery Friday. Fernandez was my pick to win the Cy Young.

So why are all these pitchers having Tommy John?

Well there probably is no exact reason but there are a few likely causes for all of these injuries. For starters pitchers in college are consistently overworked. College coaches have no regard for their players anymore. In his last season at UNC, Harvey was rarely throwing under 120 pitches a start and would occasionally throw in the mid 150’s. It had gotten so bad for Harvey at UNC that the player considered leaving the school. Instead he didn’t but was considered to have “attitude issues” with the coaching staff. You would too if a coaching staff would consistently try to blow out your arm months before the draft.Matt Harvey UNC pitch count

Expected #1 pick NC State’s Carlos Rodon was also throwing way too many pitches in all of his starts. Now he is having arm and velocity issues and his status as the #1 pick in next month’s draft is certainly in doubt. The list of college coaches abusing their starters goes on and on. This likely has a lot to do with Tommy John surgeries but not every player who got the injury even went to college.

Another reason why pitchers keep getting hurt could be the fact that all baseball players are working out way too much these days. A lot of them are simply just hurting themselves.

The bottom line is there are many reasons why pitchers keep breaking now more than ever but there is no exact formula.

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Comments
  1. alexgiobbi says:

    Carlos Rodon. Bruce Rondon pitches in Detroit.

  2. moformvp says:

    I’ve heard the theory that pitchers have had arm problems because of how early they started pitching, and not because of how often they’ve pitched. They say that the ulner collateral ligament gets stretched early on in life so that it tears when under the stress of pitching in the big leagues. I guess it’s just a combination of a lot of things, though.
    http://stathead.mlblogs.com/

    • Steven Inman says:

      I think the problem is as you said, its a combination of things so there really is no way of knowing how the injury really happened, which makes it very difficult to prevent.

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