Pitcher Injuries Newsbeat
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
So much for Yordano’s demotion.
Jason Vargas had an MRI today after he left last night’s outing in the second inning and the result was a torn ulnar collateral ligament, the injury most associated with Tommy John surgery. Typically for Tommy John surgery, a pitcher will miss 12-15 months, meaning Vargas is definitely out for all of this season and will likely miss most or all of 2016. The 32-year old left-hander had been out since June 8 with an flexor tendon strain, but returned last night after a rehab stint with AA Northwest Arkansas. For the year, Vargas had a 3.98 ERA in nine starts.
The 32-year old left-hander was 11-10 with a 3.71 ERA and 2.2 fWAR in his first season for the Royals in 2014. He signed a four-year $32 million contract before the 2014 season that will run through 2017.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Don’t want to get hurt, stop throwing so hard.
As you can see these results are more in line with Dr. Fleisig’s results (25% Major League pitchers). I don’t think it’s unreasonable there are some differences, however. This would depend on our methods of gathering the data and how we defined what a Major League pitcher is. My definition was very loose. Basically if a pitcher came up and threw one inning, then I put him in the results. The reason why I didn’t have a stricter definition of what a Major League pitcher was was because my goal wasn’t to find the percentage of Majors League pitchers who had Tommy John. Rather it was to examine the relationship between velocity and Tommy John surgeries. This is really just an added bonus. Also, Dr. Fleisig’s goal was to see how many current pitchers had Tommy John. My results are the percentage of pitchers who have had Tommy John since 2002 and 2007. We, however, now can accurately conclude, in my estimation, that Carroll’s results were way too high and that velocity does increase a player’s chance of having Tommy John.
This can make pitcher selection now very interesting. For example, if you are trying to decipher whether to get a pitcher who throws 96 MPH who is just as good as a pitcher who throws 90 MPH, you might be better off taking the guy who throws 90. By doing that you would be reducing the odds that that pitcher has Tommy John by about 7 to 10 percent, which is pretty good if you ask me. Also if you’re a GM or in fantasy and are terrified of relievers because you think they all tear their ulnar collateral ligaments, well you shouldn’t be. Your starters are actually slightly more likely to tear their UCL. There are of course other factors to consider here but these can serve as basic general guidelines. Finally velocity does increase your likelihood of tearing your UCL, although with starters the data is a little murkier.
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