If you’ve turned on ESPN, MLB Network, or MLB.com this year, you’ve seen a headline that looks like this: “Star pitcher to have Tommy John.” As a baseball fan, it’s really getting depressing. Just this season, here’s a list of some of the pitchers who have had to have surgery on their throwing arm:
If you pick 5 pitchers from that group, you have one of the youngest, most talented rotations in the league. Arm injuries don’t discriminate based on age or talent, and when they hit, they hit hard.
“In the end, Tommy John is like death. It’s going to get you.” That was Joe Kelly, the Cardinals’ starter who’s been on the DL with a Hamstring strain this year. Tommy John is now an expectation for young pitchers, but the doctor who has the name every baseball fan knows – Dr. James Andrews – is trying to erase that mindset.
Andrews, along with his longtime physical therapist colleague, Dr. Kevin Wilk, have created an app that’s designed to educate players, parents and coaches on how to prevent throwing injuries.
The app is called “Throw Like A Pro” and will feature four different sections of the app: recommendations for pitchers from the American Sports Medicine Institute, a preseason preparation guide, a pregame warm-up routine, and a pitch counter and rest calculator.
The purpose of the pitch and rest calculator, in use with the other aspects of the app, is to “reduce shoulder and elbow injuries in youth baseball players while simultaneously improving performance.”
“Based on the player’s age, Throw Like a Pro creates specific guidelines with regards to numbers of pitches. The rest calculator outlines appropriate rest prior to resuming pitching.”
This app, as helpful as it is, won’t stop arm injuries. As long as there’s a player throwing a baseball, there’s a chance for an arm injury. Hopefully, through education and careful observations to pitch counts and rest time, this app will reduce the the number of arm injuries in youth athletes, and eventually, in the MLB.
Is it worth a download? Let us know in the comments.