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Friday, July 10, 2009

Bloomberg: Pitcher Injuries Linked to Preseason Shoulder Strength in Study

Weakness in professional pitchers’ shoulders during preseason raises the likelihood of in-season injuries, researchers have found.

The study, written by Dr. Ian Byram of Vanderbilt Medical Center, tested rotator-cuff muscle strength of 144 major- and minor-league pitchers with the Colorado Rockies organization during spring training from 2001 to 2005. The researchers found that pitchers with weaker external or supraspinatus rotator-cuff muscles were more likely to have a throwing-related injury that resulted in surgery that season.

Major League Baseball teams paid about a half-billion dollars last season to players on the disabled list, according to the New York Times, meaning advancement in predicting injuries could be extremely valuable medically, and in turn financially, to professional teams.

“What we were excited to see was that there was an association,” Byram said in a telephone interview. “Our hope is that by testing pitchers in the preseason, we may be able to identify pitchers that are more likely to have an injury and use that information to tailor a specific preseason training protocol.”

Health: the new market inefficiency.

JH (in DC) Posted: July 10, 2009 at 11:29 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 12:28 PM (#3250052)
Weakness in professional pitchers’ shoulders during preseason raises the likelihood of in-season injuries, researchers have found.

Published in the journal of Duh. That which is weak tends to compensate by tightening up, and tightening up within the shoulder joint changes pitching mechanics. The advancement isn't so much in predicting injuries as it is in designing offseason training programs to counteract the issues of violently internally rotating the shoulder 100-130 times every five days all season long.
   2. akrasian Posted: July 11, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3250111)
I actually think this is a good study. I would go further than they said, though.

Our hope is that by testing pitchers in the preseason, we may be able to identify pitchers that are more likely to have an injury and use that information to tailor a specific preseason training protocol.”

I would test at the end of the season, and as Mirabelli says, have an offseason training program to build up shoulder strength.
   3. JH (in DC) Posted: July 11, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3250260)
It's also useful in terms of usage during the season. You can't really scout for "strong rotator cuff muscles". If you know who those guys are, teams can probably stretch them out a little more per start.

I'd be interested in seeing the whole study, including the list of 80 variables they tested.

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