Monday, June 9, 2008

Young Arms

USA Today has a story up about the high stress on -- and high injury rates of -- young arms:
Increasingly, high school athletes and younger are facing a major operation developed for professional players: "Tommy John surgery," in which a torn elbow ligament is replaced with a wrist or leg tendon. The operation is named after the former major league pitcher who first underwent the procedure in 1974. One of the nation's leading sports medicine specialists, James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., performed nine of the operations on high school players from 1995 to 1998. He did 61 from 1999 to 2002 and 148 from 2003 to 2006.

In response to the rash of injuries, Little League Baseball rolled out a system last year that dictates the number of pitches thrown a game based on the player's age. An 11- or 12-year-old, for example, is allowed as many as 85 pitches in one outing. players 10 or younger can make up to 75 pitches.
Be patient, Yankees fans! Only a few more outings until Joba can handle the workload of an 11 year-old!


Jason said...

we were joking about this today at the office, where a co-worker's son (age 10), pitched 70 pitches or something close to whatever Joba pitched. And I don't think the kid was 6'2" and 225+/- lbs.

And I had over 100 throws (tennis ball, football, other foam-like things) each day in the pool this weekend. My shoulder feels fine. Dusty called, though, checking on my availability.

Anonymous said...

In my son's (ages 7-9 league) the rule states that anyone throwing more than 40 pitches in a single game cannot pitch in the next game... even if the next game is a full week away! His team has only two kids who can consistently reach home plate, let alone put it in the strike zone. SO the solution is... they throw 39 pitches.

Of course, my wife thinks everyone should get to pitch regardless of whether or not they can throw it far enough, even those who need to be reminded to watch the batter and not the birds, so this is what I'm up against. My 8 year old lefty can't reach home or direct his throws well enough to pitch, so he'll (try out to) pitch next spring and do just fine (and if not, at least he hits well for a rookie).

Anonymous said...

Has anyone with MLB checked Joba's birth certificate yet?