Elbow injuries abound in Major League Baseball

Dylan Hibbard

Contributing Writer

Spencer Strider for the Atlanta Braves is one pitcher that sustained damage to a ligament in his right elbow this season. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/JOHN BAZEMORE)

This Major League Baseball season has seen nearly 40 pitchers go on the Injured List in the past few months with elbow related injuries, and there is no sign of it slowing down anytime soon with it being called a “Pitching Pandemic”. 

Elbow injuries are nothing new to baseball as these problems have been around since the beginning of the sport. Over the past few years doctors across the world have noticed a rise in Tommy John Surgery and elbow related surgeries. What causes torn UCL’s to this degree is a big topic of discussion within the sport.

“There’s been an explosion of these injuries in these throwing athletes, and there’s a variety of factors but it’s almost at the point of an epidemic.” said Dr. Mark Cohen, the Chicago White Sox team physician. 

Dr. also stated, “The fastest growing segment of patients needing Tommy John is 15-19 year olds because of the common theme of kids throwing year round.” 

Doctors that specialize in throwing related injuries have said the recent rise in elbows being torn is throwing harder and spinning the ball at an all time high. Pitchers today are trying to throw 100 mph every single pitch they throw and the human arm and elbow is not made for that type of stress. To make it worse when you throw a “slider” or “curveball” , pitchers are trying to spin the ball so much that when you do that the elbow will be put under intense stress over and over. 

There isn’t a stop to this as with the trend of pitching and recruiting in the sport today kids will continue to throw as hard as possible because that is the best way to make it to college and eventually professional leagues across the world.

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