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Articles Tagged Pitching Injuries 

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June 29, 2012 12:00 am

Overthinking It: Why Some Pitchers Don't Get Injured

4

Ben Lindbergh

'Pitchers are going to get hurt,' says one team executive, but a select few pitchers defy the rule.

On Tuesday night, word went around: Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was working on a no-hitter against the Brewers. Through 7 1/3 innings, Arroyo had allowed only one baserunner, keeping the Brewers at bay after hitting Ryan Braun with a pitch in the first. Milwaukee had managed to get only four balls out of the infield.

This was unexpected, to say the least. Seventy-three pitchers have pitched at least 250 innings over the past two seasons. Only four of them have given up hits at a higher rate than Arroyo. The 35-year-old right-hander hasn’t thrown a pitch at 90 miles per hour all season, and his career ERA is just 3 percent lower than league average. Even if he did throw a no-hitter, no one would say he had no-hit stuff.

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November 18, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: The Season in Injuries: AL West

6

Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

Having completed our recap of the senior circuit's health problems, we turn to the American League.

Division: American League West

WARP lost Divisional Ranking (Overall Ranks—Best to worst):

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November 7, 2011 9:00 am

Collateral Damage: The Season in Injuries: NL West

7

Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

The Diamondbacks owed much of their surprising success to staying healthy, but

The end of the year brings joy to some teams—here’s looking at you, Cardinals—but for most it’s an offseason of “coulda, shoulda, wouldas.” Many of those regrets have to do with injuries, which regularly rob teams of their full potential. Everyone understands that injuries affect how the season plays out, but the extent to which they impact the outcome is harder to grasp. This season saw races come down to the wire in both leagues, with the Cardinals continuing their improbable run through the playoffs to become World Series champs.  How much easier would that have been for them if Adam Wainwright had been healthy? Would a healthy Daisuke Matsuzaka have made the difference in the AL East for the Red Sox? These questions and more will be answered as we break down each division over the next few weeks, starting with the NL West, home of two of the five teams with the most disabled list transactions.

In order to determine what teams were hurt most by injuries this year, we needed to get down to the only thing that matters in the end: wins.  Lost salary doesn’t tell us how injuries affected a team in the standings, but the significance of the wins lost to a team due to injury is clear. We decided that calculating the WARP generated by each injured player on a per-plate-appearance basis from 2009-2011 and multiplying by the number of plate appearances his injuries cost him this season would give us what we were looking for.

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March 30, 2010 4:14 am

Long Tossing

16

Gary Armida

Proponents saying throwing at long distances builds pitchers' arm strength and increases velocity.

Major League Baseball is more or less a standardized industry. Everything a player does can be quantified in some manner. Since the dawning of the information age, teams have trended toward statistical analysis as it gives more definite, calculated answers rather than general feelings that can often lead to overvaluing a player. Unfortunately, that precision hasn’t translated to on-field performance, as gut instincts still rule when it comes to pitcher conditioning. For pitchers, those gut instincts have led to an epidemic of pitching-related injuries. According to statistics compiled and confirmed by Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll, Major League Baseball has spent more than $500 million in salary on injured pitchers the last two seasons. It is apparent that the majority of teams are just following the herd rather than researching methods to keep pitchers healthy. The result of this lack of exploration has led to the epidemic that Carroll describes.

Allan Jaeger, of Jaeger Sports, believes he has the program that can save pitchers from injury while increasing their velocity. Jaeger’s program is rooted in a traditional baseball exercise, long tossing. Since the early days of baseball, players have been long tossing. Most performed long tossing because they believed it strengthened their arm. Jaeger agrees. "If muscles are inactive for a long enough period of time, or aren't used close to their desired capacities, the life is taken out of them. When muscles are given proper blood flow, oxygen, and range of motion, they are free to work at their optimum capacity. A good long-toss program is the key to giving life to a pitcher’s arm."

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July 13, 2009 2:31 pm

Under The Knife: Midseason THR Updates

13

Will Carroll and Michael R. Lewis

Reviewing how badly each team's been hit by its assorted hurts.

For the last five years, we've been collecting injury data based off the official DL reports. While this data isn't complete, since the DL alone doesn't tell the full injury story, it is the only consistent source. By adding extra information to the database, we've been able to establish timelines, baselines, and guidelines for injuries, as well as using it as part of the Team Health Report prediction system. Since teams are starting to take note of this type of exercise, why not take a mid-season look here at the All-Star break, and see if we can find anything of note?

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July 16, 2004 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Mid-Season Health Reports

0

Will Carroll

Sure, I'll admit my biases. Like Michael Moore and Fox News, you know where I stand: Injuries are often the difference maker. Look back to last year, when Oakland would have been a different team with Mark Mulder. Or think of St. Louis a few years ago, when when Scott Rolen's freak accident killed the Redbirds' attack. There are a million other examples of games lost because of players lost. After talent, health is the most important asset a team possesses. Instead of doing full breakdowns on each team--something time and carpal tunnel precludes--I'll focus on the team's overall health, as well as key injuries that help determine who holds the health advantage heading down the stretch. I'll use a grade system, rather than my typical traffic light. The rankings are just my impressions and are purely subjective, based on past and current health, the likelihood of problematic future injuries, and the whimsical nature of my late-night muse. Teams are listed in the order they stood in their divisions at the All-Star Break.

Sure, I'll admit my biases. Like Michael Moore and Fox News, you know where I stand: Injuries are often the difference maker. Look back to last year, when Oakland would have been a different team with Mark Mulder. Or think of St. Louis a few years ago, when when Scott Rolen's freak accident killed the Redbirds' attack. There are a million other examples of games lost because of players lost. After talent, health is the most important asset a team possesses.

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January 23, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Part I

0

Jonah Keri

Dr. Glenn Fleisig is the Smith and Nephew Chair of Research at the American Sports Medicine Institute, an organization founded by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews dedicated to improving the understanding, prevention, and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education. Fleisig has worked closely with players and coaches at all levels, from youth leagues to the big leagues, teaching performance optimization and injury prevention methods. With the 22nd annual "Injuries in Baseball" course starting Jan. 29 in Orlando, Fleisig chatted with BP about the growth of ASMI, warning signs for pitching injuries, and the challenge of generating awareness among major league teams.

Baseball Prospectus: What first attracted you to working at ASMI and studying biomechanics in general?

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