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.