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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

[Audio] Dr. James Andrews, surgeon, on increase in Tommy John surgeries - MLB Network Radio

Interesting interview with Dr. James Andrews about Tommy John surgery where he talks about how many players are developing elbow issues as children.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:53 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dr. james andrews, medical, tommy john surgery

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   1. bjhanke Posted: April 10, 2014 at 01:41 AM (#4683592)
Hasn't Little League had rules limiting pitcher arm use for at least 20 years now? High schools, at least in Missouri, do. I don't think this really counts as new news. - Brock Hanke
   2. Rob_Wood Posted: April 10, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4683604)

The trends toward travelling teams, year-round play, and youth coaches worshiping the radar gun are relatively new.
   3. Meatwad Posted: April 10, 2014 at 02:28 AM (#4683606)
interesting interview when he was talking about trying to do studys and how hard it is to get a control group
   4. KingKaufman Posted: April 10, 2014 at 03:42 AM (#4683607)
Haven't listened to the interview yet. I plan to tomorrow. But during my Little League career pitchers were limited to 6 innings per week. My Little League career ended in 1975 #yeartoremember.
   5. bunyon Posted: April 10, 2014 at 08:16 AM (#4683632)
When I played - 25-30 years ago now - there were limits but it was on innings. I once threw 145 pitches...in three innings. Walks, errors, etc. I know of a few leagues around me now that still have innings limits. Is that still the usual rule? Or have they moved to pitches?

Also, the rule can usually be "relaxed". And kids can play for multiple teams.

Anyway, I've long thought most of the injuries we see are not the result of professional pitching but pitching in college and summer travel teams. Just because we don't see the 200 pitch outing doesn't mean the 112 pitch outing is the culprit.


EDIT: I haven't RTFA either, but will after my meetings.
   6. bjhanke Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4683676)
Rob (#2) - Thanks. Good info! I hadn't considered any of these things. I just remembered that youth leagues had limits on pitcher usage. I think at least some of them have pitch limits for curve ball, because they are bad on the ol' arm there. I have no idea of how this is administered, but I have seen it cost a high school team a serious run at a state title. Their ace starter only had about 5 IP left out of his allotment for the week, and their #2 guys had about 5, this being the first week of the playoffs with them seeded first and the opponent seeded last. They started the #2, using the ace as a old-time three IP reliever. Unfortunately, their #2 pitcher pitched very well, but dug divots in the mound right where the ace needed stability for his foot to land. So when the ace came in to "relieve" the #2 guys, he gave up a few quick runs before he could settle in. But just comparing their seasons as a whole, the team with the two pitchers had been VASTLY better during the year and was in a fine position to make a title run, once they got past the week that had their first playoff game on it, which is the game I"m talking about. They also blew a bases-loaded / no out situation, because the runner on third didn't realize that he HAD to run on that dribbler to shortstop. He'd forgotten that he was forced. The SS got the guy at home, and then the catcher got the hitter. They'd have won, despite the pitcher problems, if they'd scored 2 runs out of that situation. Even one run would have sent the game into extra IP, and their ace would have been able to pitch the first two of them. - Brock Hanke
   7. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4683714)
I know of a few leagues around me now that still have innings limits. Is that still the usual rule? Or have they moved to pitches?


The league I coach in uses a hybrid. You are limited to six innings in a week but also 85 pitches per outing. In fact it's 65 pitches the first 3 weeks of the season then increases to 85 pitches. There is more than that though. You also need at least one day off if you pitch 1-2 innings, two days 3-4, three days 5-6.

Adding to that if you play for an AAU team outside the scope of our town league then you are only allowed to throw 20 pitches per outing in town league games regardless of whether or not you pitch for the AAU team.

If you play for our town sponsored "Elite" team (basically AAU) any innings you pitch for the Elite team count toward the six inning weekly limit.
   8. Jim Furtado Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4683758)
It's tough monitoring all the travel, local, and school team usage. Additionally, as Dr. Andrews mentioned in the interview, a lot of these kids play year round now. So, a lot of players have put a lot of mileage on their arms (which aren't even fully developed) as kids well before they ever turn pro.
   9. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 10, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4683834)
As a high school pitcher in Michigan the rule was, and I swear this is true, 10 innings max every three days. So I would pitch 10 innings on a Saturday doubleheader, and then seven more for Tuesday's game. My elbow never actually exploded, so I guess the rule worked.
   10. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 10, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4683858)
Years and years ago, I was talking with a parent at a tournament game (my brother was umpiring) and he told me that he figured that his son had played about 100 travel games that year or so (tournament was in December in Palm Springs area). I would imagine that he played in about another 30-40 youth league games if you count spring and winter ball.

The amount of games doesn't take into account practices either. If you are playing in a youth league and on travel ball, you are probably practicing 3-4 times a week as well.

The league I grew up playing in has a max of 10 innings per week, which is fine. The scary thing is that I looked at a "Perfect Game Super25" tournament rules for 14u and there are no pitching limits for the tournament. A kid could technically pitch in a youth league game (6-7 innings) during the week, go to a tournament for the weekend and throw another 10 or so innings (maybe more), and come back and throw in a youth league game again during the week. It might not be a calendar week, but a kid could possibly throw 20+ innings within about 7 days.

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