The pitcher has become the new NFL running back (as is sitting is the new smoking…that’s another blog for another day).
If you’re a pitcher at virtually any level of baseball, there is a good chance you’re going to get injured. If you happen to have enough talent to be playing professional ball, it’s almost a certainty.
The merry-go-round of injuries has already started in 2015. Uehara, Cain, Wheeler, Floyd, Verlander, Nova, Darvish…and let’s not forget Tanaka, who is essentially a ticking time-bomb with the partially torn ligament in his elbow.
It used to be that we said running backs had a short shelf life. Age 26 is the peak of their careers and 30 is over-the-hill. With pitchers, even though many seem to have Tommy John, or other surgeries, and in many cases come back strong, the plethora of injuries just isn’t good.
And it’s spreading.
Check your local Little League and high school teams and odds are that there are a few kids that have had surgery to correct some kind of major injury…and there’s a good chance they weren’t even teenagers yet.
There has to be a fundamental change to the way pitchers are handled at all levels of baseball. I don’t know what the solution is. Less innings? 1 start a week? Less weight-lifting? Change the mound?
Whatever the solution is, something has to be done. In business, if I did something that hurt my product and I consistently did that same thing over and over without making an adjustment that would make me a bad businessman. So, what does that say about this situation?