Questions/Answers 2017

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     On Sunday, January 08, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

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0001.  Rear leg typo?

In Q# 932 you wrote: "The rear leg does not push backward. It drives the entire pitching arm side of your body forward without the rear foot off the ground."

Should "without" be replaced with "with?"


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     Nope, "without" is the correct word.

     When the heel of the front foot contracts with the ground, the rear side of the pitching arm side of the body moves diagonally across the front knee without the rear foot applying any backward force.

     Whenever people walk and the heel of their front foot contacts the ground, the rear foot is off the ground and moving forward.

     The rear foot starts the rotating of the hips and shoulders forward together over their front foot to aim the acromial line at the strike zone, not push backward.

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0002.  Rear Foot

I'd like to explore the role of the rear foot in your pitching motion. Pitchers can only apply as much force toward home plate as they can apply toward second base.

Is Sir Isaac Newton happy with you?

You seem to be making a point lately that pitchers stop applying force toward home plate with their rear foot once the front (glove) foot heal touches the ground. Thinking through this it seems self-evident that you would no long apply force toward second base once the glove foot lands, but it seems to me that you don't want any type of force applied toward second base with the rear leg at any time.

I suspect the laws of Applied Anatomy (Shoulder Joint Plioanglos muscle contraction) are overruling Sir Isaac, but wouldn't less power toward second base with the rear leg eventually effect the velocity toward home plate?

Do you still want a power walk off the pitching rubber?

Are you saying that you don't want any effort to "kick" the front leg forward?

I want to make sure I'm not missing a message here.


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     The pull back of the front forearm to the front shoulder is mioanglos, not plioanglos.

     I do not want any front foot 'kick,' I want the heel of the front foot to contact with the ground.

     The heel of the front foot propels the forward rotation of the hips and shoulders together.

     When I realized that if my baseball pitchers were to power walk off the rear foot, then they would prevent the hips and shoulders from rotating which is necessary for aiming the acromial line at the strike zone.

     The two forces that my baseball pitchers need for aiming their pitching arm down the acromial line at the strike zone are the powerful pull-back of their front forearm back to the front shoulder and the powerful stabile pull backward that rotates the pitching arm side of their body diagonally forward in front of the front knee.

     In addition to aiming the acromial line at the strike zone, I want my baseball pitchers to always be within the same distance from the baseball such that my baseball pitchers are able to maximally apply force to the release of their baseball.

     Without changing the force that my baseball pitchers are able to apply, my baseball pitchers increase their velocity from 5 to 8 mph at release.

     If you read the 1971 study of the acceleration curve of my three camera views, you will find that when I bent forward at the waist, I realized that I have not bent forward, I would have increased my release velocity 5 to 8 mph.

     It is in my 1971 study.

     Unfortunately, when I lost 24 degrees of my pitching elbows ranges of motion due to releasing my breaking pitches (slider) over the top of my Index finger, instead of releasing my breaking pitches under the Middle finger, I lost those release velocity.

     An orthopedic surgeon studied the difference ranges of extension and flexion in the pitching elbow versus their non-pitching elbow in the minor league pitchers in the Cardinal organization. They found that all these baseball pitchers lost 8 degrees of extension and 8 degrees of flexion ranges of motion.

     Banging the olecranon fossa against the olecranon fossa destroys the pitching elbow. If you do not believe it, how many bone spurs do 'tradition' baseball pitchers suffer.

     The general manager of the New York Mets said that nearly all of their baseball pitchers eventually suffer bone spurs.

     My baseball pitching motion eliminates bone spurs and increases release velocity.

     It is time for someone to understand the difference between Pectoralis Major muscle and the Latissimus Dorsi muscle.

     'Traditional' baseball pitching coaches prohibit their baseball pitchers from mastering my baseball pitching motion.

     I am the only professional baseball pitcher that used the Latissimus Dorsi muscle and that is how I pitched 208 innings in 106 appearances and 27 innings in 13 consecutive games.

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0003.  What does the rear leg do after the heel of the front foot lands?

So, with your sentence construction you are saying, the rear foot stays on the ground when the heel of the glove foot lands.

That is confusing to me.

I would think you would not want to drag the back foot.


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     Instead of "Rear leg typo," I wrote a new question:

     What does the rear leg do after the heel of the front foot lands?

     Answer:

     The back foot starts to move forward.

     Think of the phases of walking.

     My baseball pitchers start with the heel of the front foot landing.

     What happens after the heel of the front foot lands?

     The answer: The rear leg has to move forward.

     In the Marshall pitching motion, the acromial line has to point at the strike zone.

     If the rear foot pushed backward, then my baseball pitchers will be not able to aim the acromial line at the strike zone.

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0004.  Marshall's Training Video

I got your video.

Thank you so much.

I'll have plenty of questions, but will want to watch it a few times before I ask them.

I was struck by how clean his pitching motion is.

1. Are you planning on having him start with his front foot in front of the rubber on all pitches?

2. Is he planning on pitching with these mechanics in games?

3. Is there supposed to be audio in the video?

I can barely hear you at times. It might be my old computer.

I loved his warmup routine.


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01. My baseball pitchers are able to have their front foot in front of the pitching rubber or behind it.

     However, when my baseball pitchers have their front foot behind the pitching rubber, they try to use the rear leg to move their body forward, which will prevent aiming their acromial line at the strike zone.

02. I like the set position.

     Everything is smooth and powerful.

03. I provided the list of what my baseball pitchers need to perform every day.

     Get to work.

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0005.  Former local pitcher returns to help with pitching clinic as young players learn basics
The Seymour Tribune
December 17, 2016

Winter sports are in full swing, but last week the boys of summer gathered at Seymour High School to work on pitching techniques during the school’s third annual winter pitching camp.

Over 50 youths used Christmas break to learn more about pitching from two teachers that know a thing or two about throwing from the mound.

Zack Brown, a 2013 graduate of Seymour and pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and Elvis Hernandez, Seymour’s pitching coach that spent time in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, led the two-day camp that focused on exercises and techniques last week in the school’s auxiliary gymnasium.

The camp is organized by the high school team to help build excitement for the sport and to give youth something to focus on to improve their skills.

Jeremy Richey, Seymour High School varsity coach, said he thinks the camp is always a great way for kids to remain interested in baseball, learn some techniques and get to spend some time around a professional pitcher.

“It’s a good time to get kids to throw a little bit over break, and some of them will start practice with their travel clubs after the first of the year and it kind of gives us a chance to show them some things they can do on their own,” he said. “It kind of gets them moving and thinking about baseball.”

Richey said the camp also serves as an opportunity to get young players interested in pitching, something the program needs each season because of its size and schedule.

“The goal is to get as many kids able to pitch as possible and to progress them as they go through,” he said. “We’re really excited about this year because we are incorporating some of the drills our high school kids do.”

Those drills include strength training that uses heavy balls and plyo balls.

Richey said the team is teaching the kids the exercises without the weighted balls so they can get the experience and then build up to using heavier balls.

“As they keep getting older, they have done these drills and when they reach that level, they can use the heavier balls to increase some strength in areas they haven’t had before,” he said. “That will incorporate what we do and help them when they’re older.”

Brown played for Richey and is a pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and recently finished up his first year in professional baseball. He also left the University of Kentucky a year early to pursue a professional career.

In a couple of weeks, Brown will fly to Arizona to meet with his farm director and work out with trainers at they Brewers’ athletics complex outside Phoenix for five days. Then spring training will begin, and he will find out where he will be assigned at the conclusion.

Some of the drills and techniques Brown will work on in Arizona are the very ones he shared with participants in the camp. “They’re starting to use velocity training here at the high school and, honestly, the things I’m showing these kids are the same things I’m doing in my offseason program,” Brown said. “These kids are throwing early, and it’s going to be better for them, and just the main thing I want to show them is the routines and mechanics of pitching.”

Brown said he thinks the winter camp is a great for Seymour’s baseball program because it shows excitement for baseball during the offseason.

“That’s a huge thing for these kids,” he said. “It’s fun because every kid is different and you have to deal with each of them differently, and it’s fun to help them with something I love and see that they love baseball too.”

Richey hopes the kids enjoy working with Brown because of his ability to pitch professionally.

“I hope that’s pretty cool for them,” he said. “For them to work one-on-one with him is something that’s pretty special, and I think it really validates what we’re doing.”

Christopher Pumphrey of Seymour, 6, had a simple reaction to learning from Brown.

“It was really cool,” he said between drills. Pumphrey said he enjoys playing.

Eli Reasoner, 8, also seemed to be taking in the experience of learning from professional pitchers.

“It’s awesome,” he said before returning to the drills.

Richey said Hernandez also is an important piece of the pitching camp.

Hernandez, originally from the Dominican Republic, pitched in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, making it up to AA Springfield before a career-ending injury.

“There’s no doubt he would have pitched in the big show (MLB) if he would not have been injured,” Richey told kids at the end of the first session.

Hernandez said he looks forward to the camp each year because baseball is what he loves and it is a great way to help kids in the community learn more about the sport he loves.

“It’s my passion, and it’s helping my community,” he said. “So the same thing they did in my country, I want to bring it here.”

Hernandez said he wants kids to be introduced to the mechanics of pitching early and they need to use them to get improve.

He only requests a few simple things from each participant.

“The only thing I ask them is to work hard and do what you need to do and you will be all right,” Hernandez said. “I think they also need to have fun.”

This year, the National Federation of High School Sports set regulations on pitch counts and rest.

The rule is if a player pitches 120 pitches, he must sit out for four or five full days of rest. Richey said the new regulations will not affect his team because they sit players out longer than what they’ve been regulated to do.

“If they pitch that much, we rest them for a week,” he said.

Richey said he was uneasy about the thought of NFHSS limiting the pitch count to a certain number, such as 100.

“At 100 pitches, if somebody is throwing well, they can still be effective shortly thereafter,” he said. “They cut it off at 120, so for us it changes nothing, and that’s something I’m proud of because the way our staff treats the arms on our team.” This has been a practice in the program for some time.

Richey recalled a game during Brown’s senior season when he could have used him in a big game at the end of a week, but he had let Brown go over 100 pitches earlier in the week.

He did not use Brown in the second game, to the surprise of a reporter in Columbus.

“He was surprised, but I told him I wasn’t going to do that to a kid,” Richey said.

Richey said he hopes the kids had fun at the camp and most importantly that they learned something to use on the mound.

The professional pitching experience will lead to more fastballs on diamonds throughout the area at the lower levels.


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     The article said:

01. "Over 50 youths used Christmas break to learn more about pitching from two teachers that know a thing or two about throwing from the mound."
02. "Zack Brown, a 2013 graduate of Seymour and pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and Elvis Hernandez, Seymour’s pitching coach that spent time in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, led the two-day camp that focused on exercises and techniques last week in the school’s auxiliary gymnasium."
03. "The camp is organized by the high school team to help build excitement for the sport and to give youth something to focus on to improve their skills."
04. "Jeremy Richey, Seymour High School varsity coach, said he thinks the camp is always a great way for kids to remain interested in baseball, learn some techniques and get to spend some time around a professional pitcher."

     They can have all the pitching clinics and they would continue to destroy baseball pitchers of all ages.

     Until baseball coaches understand how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, baseball pitchers will destroy their elbow.

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0006.  Rehabbing Dodgers pitcher to train in Japan
Yonhap News
January 03, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 04 (Yonhap): Los Angeles Dodgers' left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin will continue his rehab from elbow surgery in Japan, his agency said Wednesday.

Seoul-based A-Spec Corp. said Ryu will depart for Okinawa on Friday to set up camp with his former Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) teammate, Hanwha Eagles' right-hander Jang Min-jae.

"Ryu will be working out on his own for three weeks," the agency said. "He wants to get into better form before leaving for Arizona in late January."

Ryu, who made his big league debut in 2013, has appeared in just one game over the past two seasons due to injuries. He missed the entire 2015 season after a shoulder surgery in May that year. He returned to action on July 7 last year against the San Diego Padres, but was touched for six earned runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. That would be the only start he'd make in 2016, as lingering pain sidelined him again.

Ryu then underwent a left elbow debridement procedure in September, with hopes of joining the Dodgers' spring training at 100 percent.

The former KBO MVP won 14 games in each of his first two major league seasons as the team's No. 3 starter behind two Cy Young Award winners, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

Ryu, 29, signed a six-year, US$36 million deal before the 2013 season. He is under contract through 2018 but can opt out in 2017 if he pitches 750 innings combined from 2013 to 2017. He's stuck at 344 innings.


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     The article said:

01. "Ryu Hyun-jin underwent a left elbow debridement procedure in September."
02, "Mr. Hyun-jin has hopes of joining the Dodgers' spring training at 100 percent."
03. "Mr. Hyun-jin won 14 games in each of his first two major league seasons as the team's No. 3 starter behind two Cy Young Award winners, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke."

     Until Mr. Hyun-jin learns how to release his breaking pitches under the Middle finger, Mr. Hyun-jin will continue to debride his elbow.

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0007.  Rotation durability is key to a Nationals' World Series run
Fansided
January 04, 2017

The Washington Nationals disappointed many with their failure to make a deep playoff run. But, that was partially due to injuries late in the season including catcher Wilson Ramos and pitcher Stephen Strasburg. They were both huge blows to the Nationals World Series hopes.

If the Nationals want to make a World Series run in 2017, they will need Strasburg, as well as the rest of their rotation, to remain healthy.

In 2016, the Nationals rotation was loaded with elite arms such as now two-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer and lifelong National Stephen Strasburg. However, Strasburg suffered a devastating elbow injury mid-season.

His elbow woes were a huge blow to the Nationals World Series aspirations, starting only 24 games in 2016.

It was the second straight year that Strasburg couldn’t crack 25 starts. He’s struggled to stay on the field. Whether it’s his workload, his offseason training, his training staff, or even if he’s just unlucky, Strasburg has to be healthy enough to crank out at least 30 starts, and pitch in the postseason. He isn’t the only Nationals starter who’s health is key to their 2017 success.

Fellow righty Joe Ross is another key component to the Nationals success.

Last year Ross got off to a hot start, looking like one of the game’s best young arms, but then injury hit, which kept him of the field for over two months. When he returned he was okay, but not great. He never pitched at or over six innings in his return. He also didn’t show up in a big way in his postseason start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ross surrendered four earned runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. His absence from the field was a big reason for his postseason struggles and, in order to pitch well next Fall, he needs to remain healthy.

Ross’ ability to stay on the field is just as crucial as Strasburg’s, especially when you take into account the mega-deal the Nationals made at this year’s Winter Meetings.

At the 2016 Winter Meetings, the Nationals made a very controversial deal for Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton. Eaton is a more than serviceable outfielder, who is on a very team friendly deal, but the package the Nationals had to surrender for him was very alarming.

They dealt top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, as well as Dane Dunning. Was Eaton worth a package of that magnitude? Probably not, but the Nationals felt that they needed to get another outfielder, and they did just that. But, they’re now in a very worrying situation with their rotation.

While the Nationals rotation will feature the same five as last year (Scherzer, Strasburg, Roark, Gonzalez, Ross), the Nationals are now forced to ponder whether Strasburg and/or Ross will undergo yet another injury which could be detrimental to a deep postseason run.

If that does transpire, the Nationals would have to turn to either A.J. Cole or Erick Fedde (who hasn’t yet made his major league debut) to take their spot in the rotation. An injury to Strasburg or Ross could put the Nationals in the same worrying predicament as last year.


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     The article said:

01. "In 2016, the Nationals rotation was loaded with elite arms such as now two-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer and lifelong National Stephen Strasburg."
02. "However, Strasburg suffered a devastating elbow injury mid-season."
03. "Mr. Strasburg's elbow woes were a huge blow to the Nationals World Series aspirations, starting only 24 games in 2016."
04. "It was the second straight year that Strasburg couldn’t crack 25 starts."
05. "Mr. Strasburg has struggled to stay on the field."
06. "Whether it’s Mr. Strasburg's workload, his offseason training, his training staff, or even if he’s just unlucky, Strasburg has to be healthy enough to crank out at least 30 starts, and pitch in the postseason."
07. "Mr. Strasburg isn’t the only Nationals starter who’s health is key to their 2017 success."

     Until Mr. Rizzo takes the orthopedic surgeons out of the clubhouse and hire me, the Nationals will continue to suffer.

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0008.  Searage: 'I'd say no' to Pirates pitchers asking about WBC
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
January 04, 2017

Ray Searage isn’t anti-World Baseball Classic, per se. He’d just prefer it if none of his pitchers participated.

That’s what Searage, the Pirates’ pitching coach, said on Wednesday. Maybe Jameson Taillon took his advice.

“I am not one of the guys that is in favor of the WBC. And the reason being, I’ve seen it over the years before on guys cutting short their rest periods for the winter and their workout routines and speeding it up,” Searage said.

“Now, this doesn’t hold true for everybody. It’s just in my opinion, I just think that you’re speeding up the process and that you’re leaving yourself open to an injury during the season, because now all of a sudden instead of April where you’re firing off, now you’re firing off in March, which is a couple of weeks before you should be.”

Makes sense; the Olympics are an issue for NBA and NHL teams, and the WBC is ... not the Olympics. No sense in jeopardizing the bigger prize for a tournament still in the “we’re forcing ourselves to care about this” stage.

Plus, Searage has been burned here before; back in 2013, Jason Grilli (Italy) and Wandy Rodriguez (Dominican Republic) pitched in the WBC and wound up on the disabled list with arm issues during the season. Ironically, Rodriguez’s forearm tightness in June cleared the way for Gerrit Cole to make his debut, and Gerrit Cole is better than Wandy Rodriguez, but ... point taken.

“I think it’s great for baseball. I really do,” Searage said. “It’s like that Catch-22 thing, you’re danged if you do and danged if you don’t. If [any] of my pitchers asked me, I’d say no.”

Even though starter Ivan Nova (Dominican Republic) and reliever Felipe Rivero (Venezuela) seem like potential candidates, the most obviously relevant name would be Taillon. Despite growing up in suburban Houston, Taillon’s parents are Canadian, which gives him dual citizenship and eligibility to pitch for Canada.

Taillon cashed in on that four years ago, allowing one earned run in one four-inning start. He was a prospect then, though; now Searage and the Pirates need a whole bunch out of him. Taillon went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 104 innings as a rookie last season and figures to start 2017 as their second starter.

He’s not going to participate this time around, though; in 2014, he had Tommy John surgery and pitched more than 165 innings overall last season. That’s a significant injury history and a significant workload bump, and it’s enough to keep Taillon away, as he told Jon Morosi on Nov. 29. His coach must be pleased.


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     Pirates baseball pitching coach, Ray Searage, said:

01. “I am not one of the guys that is in favor of the WBC."
02. "And the reason being, I’ve seen it over the years before on guys cutting short their rest periods for the winter and their workout routines and speeding it up.”
03. “Now, this doesn’t hold true for everybody."
04. "It’s just in my opinion."
05. "I just think that you’re speeding up the process and that you’re leaving yourself open to an injury during the season, because now all of a sudden instead of April where you’re firing off, now you’re firing off in March, which is a couple of weeks before you should be.”

     At least Mr. Searage admits that he has only an opinion, not a fact.

     Mr. Searage does not know what the Latissimus Dorsi muscle does.

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0009.  CIAC hones new pitch-limit rules
Meriden Record-Journal
January 05, 2017

CHESHIRE: The CIAC baseball committee has adjudicated on a pitch-limit rule for the state’s high school pitchers that goes into effect this spring.

A chart that metes out the number of days’ rest required per number of pitches thrown in a given outing was the focal point of the committee’s directive.

A pitcher will be able to pitch on successive days if his pitch allotment is 25 or below. If it ranges from 26 to 50, one calendar day or rest is required.

For 51 to 75, two days of rest are necessary. Three days will be compulsory if the pitcher throws from 76 to 110 and five are mandatory should he throw more than 110.

Veteran Sheehan baseball coach Matt Altieri, who has studied the issue thoroughly, is among the multitude who approve of the ruling. However, he believes there are intangibles to diminishing arm injuries that simply counting pitches does not address.

“It’s not just the amount of pitches,” Altieri said, underscoring the conditions and mental strain under which a pitcher is throwing. “If he throws 30 pitches in the first inning, does a team give him rest by scoring a few runs or do they go out 1-2-3 and he’s right back out there? It can be a whole different 30 pitches. It’s not just the number of pitches, it’s the intensity.”

Altieri has read the book by Jeff Passan entitled, “The Arm: Inside the Billion Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports.” Altieri also cites the opinion of former scout Paul Reddick: that poor mechanics rather than overuse are at the core of the issue.

Altieri said offering his advice to the CIAC committee has been futile.

“I didn’t think we needed legislation beyond what we had, the outs limit,” he said. “I think that was restrictive enough.”

The rule in the CIAC’s 2016 tournament packet states: “The pitcher may not pitch more than 10 innings in any three consecutive calendar days. To determine the eligible number of innings that a pitcher may pitch on game day, total the number of innings pitched during the two previous calendar days and subtract from 10. Ten innings are equal to 30 outs.”

The new rule accounts for only legal pitches. Throws as a result of batted balls, warm-up pitches or pitches that are considered illegal — when timeout has been called, for instance — will not count. Pitchers will be allowed to complete the process of pitching to a batter should the pitch limit be surpassed during the plate appearance.

Pitch counts in games that are subsequently stopped – for weather, darkness or forfeit purposes, for example — will be applied to the rule.

Coaches will be required to list the pitchers who are unavailable per the pitch-limit rules on the back of the lineup card exchanged with the opposing coach and umpire-in-chief prior to each game. The use of a pitcher deemed ineligible by this rule will result in a forfeit.

CIAC baseball tournament chairman Fred Balsamo has corroborated Altieri’s conviction that medical findings, which led the National Federation of High Schools to sanction the measure, are behind the sweeping decision.

“A lot of this is coming from national research that is being accumulated with the medical profession,” Balsamo said.

“Research indicates more shoulder and arm surgeries, but it’s not specific to high school athletics. I’d like to think, especially in Connecticut, that we do not have as significant a problem as statistical data would indicate. Connecticut doctors tell us they’re doing more than ever before, but we don’t regulate American Legion or if a kid gets into fall league, not just because of what he did in high school.

“If you overthrow all year, sooner or later you’re going to need surgery.”

Teams are responsible for counting their own pitches, which ostensibly opens the door to manipulation, seeing that a pitcher who throws 49 pitches must rest for one day, but if he throws 51 must rest for three.

Altieri said the integrity of the coaches he knows, primarily those around the SCC, are beyond reproach.

“We have a pitching chart that we use. We keep it specifically to coach the kids, things I like to do to instruct our pitchers on how to manage a game,” he said. “Is it ripe for the possibility of cheating? The answer is yes, but I have faith in coaches. We have a culture in our conference where you just wouldn’t do that to another coach.”

The CIAC regulation indicates that pitch-count disagreements will not be addressed on a per-inning or per-game basis and shall only affect the following game on the schedule. The CIAC requires a spread-sheet tally at the end of the season with the notation of pitch counts and days of rest for the purpose of further evaluating the rule.

The rule acknowledges the integrity and common sense of state coaches in its question-and-answer segment where it states, “In Connecticut there is no maximum pitch count per day because we have faith in our coaches to protect and preserve the safety and welfare of the baseball athletes.”

The procedure is also expected to be observed in sub-varsity games.

The CIAC ruling is less stringent than the one enacted in October by the American Legion for its Senior Division (19 and under).

Beginning this summer, the Legion will prohibit pitchers from exceeding 120 pitches in a single day. The cap for Junior Division hurlers will be 105. In both cases, pitchers surpassing those totals will be permitted to finish an at-bat.

Throwing 1-45 pitches on a given day will necessitate one day’s rest. From 46-60 will require two days’ rest, 61-75 three days and 76 or more four days.

According to a Legion press release, its rule mirrors the one sanctioned by USA Baseball in its Pitch Smart mission.

Pitch Smart follows the recommendations of its advisor, noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews, the founder of American Sports Medical Institute.


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     The article said:

01. "Veteran Sheehan baseball coach Matt Altieri, who has studied the issue thoroughly, is among the multitude who approve of the ruling."
02. "However, he believes there are intangibles to diminishing arm injuries that simply counting pitches does not address."
03. "Mr. Altieri has read the book by Jeff Passan entitled, “The Arm: Inside the Billion Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports.”"
04. "Mr. Altieri also cites the opinion of former scout Paul Reddick: that poor mechanics rather than overuse are at the core of the issue."
05. 'Mr. Altieri said offering his advice to the CIAC committee has been futile."

     Until these gentlemen learn how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, nothing else will save baseball pitchers of all ages.

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0010.  Blue Jays brass hoping third time's a charm for Floyd
Fansided
January 05, 2017

The Toronto Blue Jays have re-signed right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, Floyd, 34, is working his way back from a partially torn lat muscle that ended his season early last year in late June. Prior to his injury, Floyd pitched well for the Blue Jays, posting a 4.06 ERA with 30 strikeouts and eight walks in 31 innings of work out of the bullpen.

The question with Floyd has never been about talent, it’s been about whether his arm can make it through the grind of a big league season. Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2013, Floyd has only pitched in 98 2/3 innings. While he’s posted a solid 3.10 ERA during that span, he’s also been plagued by more injuries, including a fracture in his elbow and shoulder issues.

Even as a short reliever, you have to wonder if Floyd’s arm is capable of making it through a full season. Based on how determined Floyd is to come back, I’d say he plans on throwing until his arm falls off, or until doctors tell him he can’t pitch anymore. You have to admire his tenacious desire to keep pitching, but if you’re the Blue Jays, you can’t expect much from Floyd. If you get 40 quality innings this year, great. But they could also get nothing from him.

Despite that possibility, I think it’s fair to say that Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins are big fans of Floyd’s and they firmly believe he can make a comeback. After all, they have signed Floyd in each of the past three offseasons (with Cleveland in 2015 and Toronto in 2016 and 2017).

Overall, it’s another low-risk, high-reward move, which is something I think fans are tired of hearing, but, hey, at least we have some Toronto Blue Jays news.


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     The article said:

01. "The question with Gavin Floyd has never been about talent."
02. "It’s been about whether his arm can make it through the grind of a big league season."
03. "Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2013, Floyd has only pitched in 98 2/3 innings."
04. "Mr. Floyd has posted a solid 3.10 ERA during that span."
05. "Mr. Floyd has also been plagued by more injuries, including a fracture in his elbow and shoulder issues."

     The only thing that orthopedic surgeons can do is cut.

     One off-season with me and Mr. Floyd will pitch without pain or injury.

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0011.  How will Lance Lynn hold up?
St. Louis Post Dispatch
January 05, 2017

Lance Lynn scoffs at the mention of an innings limit. He dismisses the notion that his surgically repaired elbow will deter him from daring opponents to hit the fastball everyone knows is coming. Lynn is back, and his edge has only been sharpened during his recovery from the Tommy John surgery.

A case can be made that the Cardinals missed Lynn's bite last season. They certainly missed his production and durability. Did I mention it's a contract year for him? He has plenty of motivation -- and one major concern. Tommy John surgery always creates an unknown.

Lynn said recently that his throwing program was going great. It should help that it's been more than a year (November 2015) since he went under the knife. Proving he has regained his pitch control would be a great spring-training sign.


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     The article said:

01. "Lance Lynn scoffs at the mention of an innings limit."
02. "Mr Lynn dismisses the notion that his surgically repaired elbow will deter him from daring opponents to hit the fastball everyone knows is coming."
03. "Mr. Lynn is back, and his edge has only been sharpened during his recovery from the Tommy John surgery."

     To prevent injury to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent injury to the bones in the back of elbow, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

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0012.  Lifting for Baseball Pitchers?

1) what, if any, lifting can help a pitcher?

2) what type of running, if any, should a pitcher do?


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     My Wrist Weight exercises and heavy balls to throw is all that baseball pitchers need to lift.

     Jogging one and one-half miles in twelve minutes is all that anybody needs.

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0013.  Heavy Ball?

1. So, with the heavy ball drills should I just replicate what you are doing now with the wrist weights?

2. Pitchers don't squat when they pitch. I realize it's not weight bearing squats but why did you add them to your warmup routine?

3. How long did it take him to get to this skill level?  It is really amazing how smooth he looks. He doesn't even remotely bring his arm beyond his Acromial Line during the Preparation Phase or at Release.


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01. To throw the heavy balls, throw them on the ground with old carpet and have someone throw them back.

02. As long as they are not bouncing up and down with only their body weight gently, baseball pitchers are able to squat beyond the horizontal once.

03. The gentleman practiced with me for four days in December 2015 and again for four days in December 2016.

     When he had questions, he would send me emails.

     Imagine if we were able to teach them every day.

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0014.  Arm Rotation without Wrist weights

The young man does arm rotations without wrist weights and does many of them quite aggressively.

In one instance, he does some wrist weight exercises, takes the wrist weights off, does some more overhead rotations then continues his wrist weight exercises.

1. Are these arm rotations something new?

2. I'm assuming it's for blood flow, but what is the purpose of the free form arm rotations?

3. Is he using 20 lb. WW's?


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     We start by practicing the 'Slingshot.'

     The 'Slingshot' has the upper arm vertical with the forearm horizontal behind the elbow at forty-five degrees from pointing at home plate.

     To perform the 'Slingshot,' we throw the forearm inward practicing.

     I call the action, 'horizontal rebound.'

     We gently strain the tendon of the Latissimus Dorsi muscle over several years.

     We start without the wrist weights and minimum intensity and gradually increase the intensity.

     When my baseball pitcher is ready, he straps on the wrist weights and with minimum intensity and gradually increase the intensity.

     The 'Slingshot' action uses the 'horizontal rebound,' the 'force-couple' and the 'pronation snap' release.

     My baseball pitcher has moved up from 15 lb. wrist weight.

     When I trained, I built up to 30 lb. wrist weights and stayed there from 1972 on.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, January 15, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0015.  Wrong Foot Slingshot

On the Wrong Foot sling shot drills why do you wait until the pitching arm side foot lands before you extend your elbow?


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01. The Wrong Foot body action teaches my baseball pitchers to use the front foot to pull and drive the pitching arm side of their body across the front of the front foot. Landing on their rear foot gives my baseball pitchers time to aim their acromial line at the strike zone.

02. The No Glove Foot Step body action teaches my baseball pitchers how far forward they have to be to drive the pitching arm side of the body across the front of the front foot. Not landing on their rear foot gives my baseball pitchers less time to aim their acromial line at the strike zone.

03. The Front Foot Heel Strike body action teaches my baseball pitchers that they have to immediately rotate their hips and shoulders forward together. The immediate driving of their rear arm side of their body aligns the acromial line with the strike zone.

     We only teach two pitching and glove arms actions: Slingshot and Pendulum Swing.

     Hopefully, my drills teach my baseball pitchers to never push back with the rear leg.

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0016.  Dr. Wright did nothing with the research

You are right.

Eric and I were just visiting about this over the weekend. He has compiled statistics showing that in 2016 24% of all MLB pitchers lost days of work due to injury. MLB owners wasted over $300,000,000.00 in pitchers salaries over the lost days of productivity. About one third of all pitching time lost to injury was due to UCL injury alone!!!

If a particular industry TRULY needs solutions to lost productivity, it is the MLB pitching industry for sure. Eric has estimated that 90% of the pitching injuries that occur at the MLB level could be 100% prevented by employing your principals! He has tables and stats he has compiled that he can provide for you if you wish. He just started a new day job this week so he is a little pre-occupied now. But he is still working with Winchester during the evenings and working with young pitchers during the weekends.

If any business is ripe for a total paradigm shift in it's thinking, it's Professional Baseball Pitching Instruction. If I were an MLB owner, I would be searching high and low every day to find ways to keep my pitching staff healthy! A healthy pitching staff would add literally millions of dollars to each teams bottom line without doing anything else!


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     When baseball pitchers lose the extension range of motion, it means that they are banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa.

     To prevent banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, baseball pitchers need to learn how to 'horizontally sail' the square Lid.

     In 1967, I learned how to prevent banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa.

     In 2017 (50 years), we have to start a total paradigm shift.

     If one owner were to understand the problem, then all owners would understand the problem.

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0017.  Front of shoulder pain

I have a college pitcher about a week into your training.

He's using 10 lb. WW and 6 lb. IB.

He's had the normal discomforts, but he reports that the discomfort in the front of his shoulder is pretty significant.

I've told him to continue training at a reduced level if necessary.

I show a picture where he points to the discomfort. I'll guess Subscapularis or Deltoid.

Is there any chance this could be the attachment of his Latissimus Dorsi muscle?


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     The glove foot is the same as the front foot.

     The rear foot indicates the pitching foot.

     When the heel of the glove foot lands, my baseball pitchers have to use the Pectoralis to move the upper arm forward, then upward and the Latissimus Dorsi muscle 'locks' the upper arm in front of the acromial line.

     At no time should my baseball pitchers allow the upper arm to move behind the acromial line.

     The cause of this young man's front of the shoulder pain is because he is using the rear foot to push backward.

     When the heel of the glove foot lands, my baseball pitchers have their rear foot off the ground and the entire pitching arm side of their body moves across the glove foot.

     This is the problem that I explained about walking.

     The rear foot never pushes.

     Instead, the front foot pulls the body forward.

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0018.  Is it finally time for Dylan Bundy to shine in Baltimore
Fanrag Sports
January 07, 2017

If he wasn’t before, Dylan Bundy is definitely a member of the Baltimore Orioles’ starting rotation now.

The Orioles traded starter Yovani Gallardo to the Seattle Mariners on Friday for “outfielder” (more reasonably designated hitter) Seth Smith, freeing up space in the rotation for whoever was credibly on the outside looking in — probably Bundy, who has done his most effective work in the majors as a relief pitcher, and was competing for a job in the rotation with the likes of Wade Miley, whose services the Orioles have somewhat inexplicably prioritized retaining.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Gallardo, and Miley were a spectacularly unimpressive back of the rotation in 2016; adding Bundy in there instead at least gives Orioles fans the faint hope of upside to hang their hats on.

Gallardo’s time in Baltimore was a disaster from the beginning — another late-winter signing the Orioles made at the hypothetical lowest point of his value that somehow didn’t even manage to clear the basement-dwelling expectations that come from being the fourth pitcher in one of the worst rotations in baseball. He started the year throwing five or six miles per hour slower than he had the year before in Texas, and never really got his effectiveness back across his trips to the DL and rehab stints in the minor leagues. It may be that he finds success in Seattle that he never found in Baltimore; it’s probably not a coincidence that Gallardo stopped being able to throw strikes around the same time he became an Oriole, as Baltimore’s pitching staff led the AL in walks surrendered last year and was near the top of the league in 2015 as well.

But with his departure, Bundy will be pretty much guaranteed a shot in the rotation no matter what happens in Spring Training, barring injury. This is more or less something Orioles fans have been anticipating for a comically long time; Bundy made his major league debut in 2012 during Baltimore’s improbable romp toward the postseason, pitching 1.2 innings in relief at a dazzling upper-nineties velocity with a fastball that moved all over the place (if not with the greatest command in the world). Then he disappeared for three years into the minors, needing Tommy John surgery, coming back from that, and never throwing very much at all — only 41.1 IP in 2014 and 22 in 2015.

When he finally made his way back to the majors in 2016 — he had to, as he was finally out of minor league options and he had to either be on the major league roster or designated for assignment — he was a bit of a different pitcher. He threw a bit slower and no longer threw the slider he had been fooling around with in 2012, though he continued to not show the greatest command; his 3.4 BB/9 wasn’t atrocious — it was positively heartening next to Gallardo’s 4.7 and Jimenez’s 4.6 — but combined with a less electric fastball than he’d had when he was drafted, it left Bundy feeling less like the super-phenom Orioles fans had dreamed on when he was selected and more like a solid, comfortable, reliable (but never great) middle-of-the-rotation starter.

The thing is, Orioles fans would do unspeakable things to ensure their team was capable of routinely turning out middle-of-the-rotation starters again. The last reliable starting pitcher the Orioles developed from draft to the majors before either Bundy or Kevin Gausman (presuming they make good on the promises of their 2016) was Erik Bedard in 2007, whom they immediately traded to the Mariners for the building blocks of their current roster. Before that, you have to go all the way back to Mike Mussina. Mike Mussina, you might be aware, is currently eligible for the Hall of Fame, and it’s not his first year on the ballot. Most younger Baltimore fans only know him as a New York Yankee. It’s almost been a full generation since the Orioles were able to capably turn draft picks into good starting pitchers.

So Bundy is probably not going to become an ace. The safe pick for what he’ll do next year is something like 160 IP, 4.00ish ERA, which should be a 105-110 ERA+. Even odds on whether that relatively low innings total is due to injury or overprotection by manager Buck Showalter, but Bundy’s jump to 109.2 IP last year was huge and it’s not reasonable to expect he doubles that next season.

But, if he does become an ace, it’ll probably be because there will be a new pitch in his arsenal next season — a new pitch which is actually a very old pitch. When Bundy was drafted, his best single pitch was his cut fastball…which the Baltimore organization immediately forbade him to use. The thinking of then-pitching director Rick Peterson was that the cutter was both unsafe on the arm and inhibited the development of a prospect’s four-seam fastball, both of which are opinions well outside the bounds of normal belief in the industry. This bizarre dictate was what prompted Dan Duquette to famously and bafflingly denigrate the cutter as just “a fastball that moves” — which is true! The cutter is a fastball that moves! That is, in fact, the entire point of the pitch. And as Mariano Rivera showed, if you’ve got a great cutter, you can get away with not having a great anything-else.

Peterson, thankfully, parted ways with the organization earlier this offseason, and what do you know, Bundy’s now talking about working the cutter back into his pitch selection. Will it be what turns Bundy from a question mark into a solid MLB rotation fixture? We’ll have to wait and see on that. But he’ll have the chance now to make his impact, and if the Orioles want to head back to the postseason, Dylan Bundy will have to make the most of it.


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     As long as Dylan Bundy releases his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger, Mr. Bundy will always have elbow injuries.

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0019.  Tigers' Zimmerman reportedly throwing pain-free
Detroit Free Press
January 07, 2017

Last season, it was Anibal Sanchez.

This season, the ‘X’ factor of the Tigers’ starting rotation is Jordan Zimmermann.

And at this point of the winter, the veteran right-hander is throwing pain-free, according to a report from MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi earlier in the week.

Morosi reported Zimmermann, who was hampered by a myriad of injuries last season – most notably a right neck strain that kept him shelved for the majority of the second half – has been throwing long toss at 180 feet.

Zimmermann, 30, is entering the second year of a five-year, $110 million deal signed last off-season. If he pitches to his capabilities and stays healthy, the Tigers should boast one of the best starting rotations in the American League.

In 2016, Zimmermann had a career-worst season, in all aspects. He hit the 15-day disabled list for the first time since undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery in 2009 and posted a 4.87 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 19 games (18 starts).

It was revealed at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in early December that Zimmermann received neck injections this off-season from a specialist recommended by team trainer Kevin Rand, to block the areas that pained him last season.

“He’s feeling very good right now and so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that that carries into spring training, into the season and that fixes everything,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said at the time.

So far, so good, apparently.

With Zimmermann, the team will have a top three of Juston Verlander, Michael Fulmer and Zimmermann, followed by Daniel Norris and a trio of pitchers competing for the final spot in the rotation. If he can bounce back to anywhere close to his form last April – when he won the AL Pitcher of the Month Award – the team will be in good hands.


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     As long as Jordan Zimmermann releases his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger, Mr. Zimmermann will always suffer elbow injuries.

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0020.  Sadlet healthier, working way back from surgery
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
January 10, 2017

BRADENTON, FL: Standing on a sun-splashed field at Pirate City, Casey Sadler glanced at the scar on his right elbow and tried not to think about what he missed last season.

Racked by injuries and ineffectiveness, the Pirates burned through 32 pitchers from April to October. Five guys made their big league debuts. Twelve made at least one start. Even backup catcher Erik Kratz tossed an inning as a reliever.

It would have been a perfect spot for Sadler, who made seven outings for the Pirates in 2014-15, to help out. He couldn't, though, because he spent the entire year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

“It was difficult, knowing there wasn't anything I could do to try to contribute,” Sadler said. “But it was really cool to see those young guys come up and get their opportunities.”

On Tuesday, the second day of the team's voluntary minicamp, Sadler fired 20 fastballs off the mound during a bullpen session. He also threw some changeups and sliders on flat ground.

“I'm really pleased,” Sadler said. “I'm just trying to take it easy and get my timing back, not doing anything crazy. I'm definitely ready to get back into things.”

Two other pitchers in minicamp — Brandon Cumpton and Angel Sanchez — also are trying to come back after Tommy John surgeries.

Sanchez threw his first post-op bullpen session Tuesday. Cumpton, who had a shoulder operation after his elbow work, is not ready to pitch off a mound.

“It would've been great to have (Sadler and Cumpton) last year,” general manager Neal Huntington said.

Sadler last pitched in a competitive game June 21, 2015, when he was with Triple-A Indianapolis. His numbers at that time — 4.22 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 1.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio — were OK, but he was bothered by persistent forearm soreness.

In July 2015, Sadler saw specialist Dr. James Andrews and got a platelet-rich plasma injection. When Sadler tried to resume pitching six weeks later, the pain returned. He had reconstructive surgery in October and sat out last season.

Sadler does not regret his decision to have the surgery.

“Physically, I haven't felt this good in a very long time,” Sadler said. “I pitched with a bit of discomfort for a while, so it was nice to get it fixed. Mentally, I struggled a little bit right after surgery, which I think everybody does when you go from playing to ‘Holy crap, I'm in a cast.' But you take it day by day, do what you're supposed to do, and get through it.”

Sadler and his wife have a house near Bradenton, which made it easier for Sadler to cope with the drudgery of his rehab. “At the end of every (workout) day, I checked out,” Sadler said. “My rehab was done, so I went home and did normal, everyday stuff. That made it go pretty good.”

Sadler participated in Instructional League last fall and worked his way up to throwing a full bullpen session, using all of his pitches. After taking a couple of weeks off, he began a throwing program in minicamp.

“I've been pretty much the only one here at Pirate City the last 3 1?2 weeks,” Sadler said. “It's nice to see some of the guys and catch up.”

If all goes well the next couple of weeks, Sadler will throw live batting practice in late February. He hopes to pitch in at least a couple of Grapefruit League games near the end of spring training.

“All I can do is show them I'm healthy,” Sadler said. “If they need me, they'll let me know. You can't really look too far ahead.”

Still just 26 years old, Sadler will begin next season in the minors to work off the rust. Although he worked as a starter before his injury, Sadler now figures in the Pirates' plans as a reliever.

“Whatever they need, I'll be there,” Sadler said. “I'll be ready, and my body will be ready.”


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     To prevent injury to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, Casey Sadler needs to pendulum swing his pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0021.  Keuchel, McCullers say arm feels good
Houston Chronicle
January 10, 2017

The health and performances of Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers could be the key to the Astros' 2017 season. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the two have spent the offseason as workout partners.

They have been mainstays at Minute Maid Park since November, running, lifting and, more recently, throwing in preparation for spring training.

Most importantly for the Astros, both starting pitchers, whose 2016 seasons ended prematurely, on Tuesday reported "feeling good" as they ready their arms for the coming season. A level of uncertainty will surround them until they prove their health in games, but each sounds confident the injuries he dealt with last season are in the past.

"I've been telling some of the guys it kind of feels weird to actually feel good," said Keuchel, who missed the final five weeks of last season because of a shoulder injury. "First time in a long time that I feel 100 percent, and that's just exciting. And I know Lance feels the same way."

Keuchel is two weeks into his offseason throwing program, having on Dec. 27 thrown for the first time since he was shut down in early September, an unceremonious end to a struggle-filled season in which he had a 4.55 ERA in 26 starts. The 29-year-old lefthander's current routine calls for catch every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He plans to increase his throwing to four or five days a week as the calendar creeps closer to February and then to a daily basis by spring training.

Keuchel said he will probably throw his first bullpen session around Feb. 1, giving himself a full two months to build up his arm for the start of the season on April 3. Pitchers and catchers report to the Astros' new facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 14, with their first workout scheduled for the following day.

McCullers said he hopes to have at least three to four bullpen sessions under his belt by the start of spring training. An elbow sprain cost him the final two months of last season, though by late September the hard-throwing righthander had progressed enough to pitch in a simulated game.

Now a full-time Houston resident, the 23-year-old McCullers began his offseason throwing program about three weeks ago. He said he is "feeling strong" and that "nothing's bothering me" physically.

"We're kind of just progressing like a normal offseason," he said. "Good to go."


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     To prevent shoulder injuries, Dallas Keuchel needs to turn the back of his upper arm to face toward home plate and rotate his hips and shoulders forward together over his glove foot.

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0022.  McCullers preparing for 2017 through 'normal offseason'
San Antonio News-Light
January 10, 2017

Despite finishing last season on the disabled list because of an elbow sprain, Astros righthander Lance McCullers on Tuesday described his current training regimen as that of a typical offseason.

McCullers said he began his throwing program about three weeks ago. Although he didn't make a start after Aug. 2 last season, he did progress to the point of throwing off the mound in late September, in bullpen sessions and in a simulated game.

Now living full-time in Houston, McCullers has since the start of November worked out at Minute Maid Park with fellow starter Dallas Keuchel and second baseman Jose Altuve.

"Feeling good. Feeling strong. Nothing's bothering me," McCullers said Tuesday after working out with the two aforementioned teammates as well as pitching prospect David Paulino. "We're kind of just progressing like a normal offseason. Good to go."

McCullers said he's hoping to throw at least three or four bullpen sessions before spring training. Astros pitchers and catchers report to the team's new facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Feb. 14 with the first official workout scheduled for the following day.


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     As long as Lance McCullers releases his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger, Mr. McCullers will always suffer elbow injuries.

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0023.  Maness a trailblazer? New surgery for elbow repair cut recovery time
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 11, 2017

When Seth Maness shut his eyes before a surgeon opened his right elbow, the former Cardinals reliever was not sure what awaited him on the other side of sleep. The troublesome ligament in his throwing arm had to be fixed and a complete reconstruction would mean missing an entire season.

He went under unsure.

He woke up a potential trailblazer.

Maness is a week away from returning to the mound and expects to be ready for opening day, just 7½ months after surgery, because Dr. George Paletta performed a repair that could eventually prove to be an alternative to Tommy John surgery for select big-league pitchers. Until the St. Louis-based orthopedic surgeon saw inside Maness’ elbow, he wasn’t sure if Maness was a candidate to be the first established major-league pitcher to receive the new procedure, Paletta said.

Now, the doctor and his patient are eager to watch as Maness’ first time toeing the rubber could be, in their words, “a significant step forward” for the industry. Another doctor who performs the repair surgery, Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, said there is “cautious optimism.”

“It was a game-time decision,” said Maness, a free agent. “I’m going into it sort of expecting Tommy John and hoping for the other one. You go from looking at missing a whole season to possibly being back at the start of the year — that’s a big relief. When Dr. Paletta told me, it was like this little ray of light: There’s a chance.”

Maness, 28, completed three sets of throws at a distance of 90 feet on Friday in the John Burroughs School gymnasium. He is scheduled to take the mound next week for the first time since his Aug. 18 surgery. He has been encouraged by how his arm feels at every stride in his rehab, which is accelerated from the usual Tommy John timetable. The Cardinals did not offer him a contract in early December, making him a free agent — one of the leading groundball relievers now available to any team. Sooner than expected.

The surgery Maness had, called “primary repair,” doesn’t have the sexy name. It doesn’t have the brand recognition of Tommy John. But it also doesn’t have the lengthy recovery time of its famous forefather. It is a repair and buttressing of the existing ligament at the bone, not Tommy John’s reconstruction of the ligament. The scar Maness has on the inside of his right elbow is the familiar arc of a Tommy John recipient. (Two of the Cardinals’ five starting pitchers have the same scar.) And the medical code assigned by Major League Baseball to Maness’ profile for interested teams is the same as Tommy John. As a result, so are the assumptions about the righthander’s availability for 2017. The surgery he had is too new to have its own code.

“It has that potential to be big,” Paletta said.

“People are watching this and it’s an interesting thing for all of us,” said Dugas, a managing partner at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala. “There is a lot that we need to learn from Seth, a lot that we need to learn from all of the guys (who have had it). We need the data. There are still so many hurdles to go over, but we’re excited to watch what is going to happen because of what is possible. We’re going to follow him very closely.”

“Everyone in baseball should be following this,” said Jeff Berry, Maness’ agent and co-head of CAA baseball. “He was an outstanding major-league reliever. He was hurt in 2016, was never right. He has this surgery and he needed the ligament repaired, but he’ll be ready for spring training, not out for the entire season. Imagine that. Think about the economic impact that has for the game. Think about what it means to his career.”

'Scary Little Thing'

Tommy John, pioneered by Dr. Frank Jobe and named for the first big leaguer to receive it, is a complete reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament using a graft. Since its first use, in 1974, Tommy John has been improved but remained largely unchanged as it became the industry standard for treating tears of the UCL. The year absence required for rehab has become as familiar and commonplace in baseball as the one-inning closer and interleague play.

Major League Baseball has been unnerved in recent years by a spike in Tommy John surgeries. By 2015, the proliferation of Tommy John, or TJS, was referred to as an “epidemic,” and baseball commissioned a study to understand why the rate of elbow injuries had increased at all levels the game is played, including high school. In 2014, 31 major-league pitchers had UCL reconstruction – twice as many as the average from the previous decade. Its ubiquity in the game led to misconceptions, prompting the American Sports Medicine Institute to stress how “10 percent to 20 percent of pitchers never make it back to their previous level after Tommy John surgery.”

Major-league pitchers know this reality well.

They sense it with every twinge.

“It’s that scary little thing. It’s always in the back of your head,” Maness said. “You know anything in that area and automatically you want to avoid assuming any elbow pain is it. Because, oh man, it’s a career. Today, it’s not a career-ender, but really for a reliever it throws a little wrench into the scheme of things. I’m expendable. Things can happen.” Paletta, a partner at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis, is one of the nation’s leading Tommy John surgeons, with around 600 performed. He has done many of the Cardinals’ elbow reconstruction surgeries of this era, and this winter the team announced that he would return as its Head Orthopedic Physician. That came a few months after Maness’ surgery. Maness gave Paletta permission to speak to the Post-Dispatch about the specifics of his surgery. 'The Right Pitcher'

About two years ago, Paletta also started doing the “primary repair” option for elbow injuries that qualified. He has performed more than 50 of these surgeries, and he is working on a paper about his findings. There have been no failures, he said. Dugas, at Dr. James Andrews’ practice, performed his first “UCL repair with internal brace construction” in August 2013. Dugas has done around 150 of these surgeries and does not know of one that had to be redone or led to Tommy John.

For both surgeons, the average time of recovery has been 6½ months instead of Tommy John’s 12 months or more. Paletta said 32 of the pitchers who he helped with a “primary repair” surgery have now pitched two seasons since the procedure.

Mitch Harris and Maness are two of the three pitchers with major-league experience who qualified for and received the alternative procedure. Dugas described how the surgery has advanced cautiously from prep players to college players and for it to make this next leap to a major-league pitcher “it has to be the right pitcher, the right situation.”

“In select cases of UCL tears, with this technique, they have the real potential to not miss the next year,” Paletta said. “This is potentially a huge stride forward in three ways. First, early results show a high success rate. Second, a return to play is cut by 40 percent. That’s a huge factor. We are able to accelerate the return-to-throwing (rehab) program for the athletes. With this technique at the end of 2016 we have a pitcher who is ready to pitch in games by opening day.

“And the third way,” Paletta continued, “as a consequence of this, in the right setting, one would feel more confident moving to surgery early on.”

Paletta had to see during surgery the condition of Maness’ ligament before being certain he did not need complete reconstruction. The integrity of the tissue is essential, and sometimes a big-league pitcher’s aged and worn ligament can be as solid as wet toilet paper. The location of the tear is also an indicator for “primary repair.” A rupture in the middle of the ligament requires Tommy John. But if the tear is at either end of the ligament, where it attaches to a bone, then the “primary repair” is possible.

The “UCL repair with internal brace construction” – its full clunky name – begins with repairing the ligament and anchoring to the bone. A bracing system is then constructed out of tape to help promote healing in the area. That’s the recent advancement, one made possible by Arthrex tape. Paletta said he and others are borrowing from procedures used to repair ankles and knees to address an injury in the elbow. The clear benefit of this “primary repair” is that it addresses the native ligament, and thus doesn’t require a graft and the time that takes for a rebuilt ligament to assimilate.

“We’re repairing the existing ligament and reinforcing it with a scaffold that provides increased strength for healing from time zero,” Paletta said. “From the get-go.”

That also allows for a quicker return to pitching.

'The Maness'

Three weeks ago, Paletta cleared Maness to begin throwing. For Tommy John pitchers, the long toss program is eight to 10 weeks. For Maness, it was four. Tommy John pitchers won’t begin their throwing program until five months or more after surgery; Maness started four months after surgery. Lance Lynn missed all of last season recovering from November 2015 Tommy John surgery, and he and Maness are both expected for opening day.

From 2013-15, Maness was one of the leading strike-throwing relievers in the majors. Of the 178 relievers in that time who had at least 100 appearances, Maness ranked seventh in walk rate (4.4 percent) and third in double-play rate (12.91 percent). He led all relievers by stranding 144 of the 215 runners he inherited.

The next closest was 91.

Throughout 2016, however he felt his arm sag and his results follow. He watched “as my game just slowly fizzled away,” Maness said, and blamed his mechanics until the damage in his right elbow was discovered. Paletta outlined several options for him – and one was the dreaded Tommy John, the vaporization of a year, and the uncertain future. The other was a mouthful, a surgery that didn’t have the snappy name but offered the possibility of a quicker return.

With each throw, Maness is helping baseball study the new technique’s potential.

It just needs a catchier name.

“Does he need Tommy John,” Berry suggested, “or a Maness?”


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     As long as Dr. George Paletta prefers to cut, Seth Maness will always suffer elbow injuries.

     To prevent injury to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, Seth Maness needs to pendulum swing his pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0024.  Front Foot Heel Strike Body action

What is the difference in action and purpose between your Front Foot Heel Strike Body action and your No Front Foot Step Body action drills?


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     With the Front Foot Heel Strike, my baseball pitchers move their Front (glove) foot forward and land the heel.

     With the No Front Foot Step, my baseball pitchers start with their Front Foot already in place.

     My baseball pitchers have to keep the distance from the pitching rubber to the proper heel landing distance.

     If my baseball pitchers step farther or push off the rear foot, then they will not be able to aim the acromial line at the strike zone.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, January 22, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0025.  Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Dr Marshall. I hope you enjoy your day.

Do you ever reflect on the fact that a kid from a small town like Adrian MI could pretty much single handedly find a way to eliminate all baseball pitching injuries and save countless children so much needless pain?

Aristotle called it a life well lived.


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     When throwing breaking pitches baseball and the baseball pitchers use the Pectoralis Major muscle to pull their pitching arm along a curved pathway, all of those baseball pitchers will bang the bones in the back of their elbow and destroy their elbow.

     That means almost 100% of baseball pitchers throwing breaking pitches will destroy their pitching elbow.

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0026.  Phillies prospect Anderson draws attention after arm surgery
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 12, 2017

There will be no pitcher in Phillies' camp this spring with less professional experience than Drew Anderson, a Tommy John survivor who has not yet graduated from A-ball or earned a passing mention on the myriad prospect rankings consumed by the modern baseball follower. Anderson has pitched just 70 innings since a surgeon opened his right arm, 70 innings that were enough to convince the Phillies he must be added to the 40-man roster.

Evaluations from both inside and outside the organization pegged Anderson as one of the better arms in a deep system. One scout from another club saw Anderson's fastball reach 97 mph and sit in the mid 90s with decent command. Internal scouting reports grouped Anderson as one of the better arms in a deep system, said Joe Jordan, the team's director of player development.

"Some guys," Jordan said, "have him as our best guy."

Not until the Phillies protected Anderson from the Rule 5 draft did the 6-foot-3 righthander understand his place.

"Just hearing that, it caught me by surprise," Anderson said. "I had no idea what my potential was."

Anderson, who turns 23 in March, is far enough from the majors to render any projection volatile. Bad things can happen to young pitching prospects, especially young pitching prospects with a history of arm trouble. But the arduous recovery from Tommy John surgery can force a man to reevaluate everything; Anderson said he matured mentally and physically during the process.

The results, albeit in a brief period, showed. He posted a 2.70 ERA in those 70 innings (15 starts) with 78 strikeouts and 22 walks across single-A Lakewood and Clearwater. He improved as he distanced himself from the surgery and climbed levels.

Scouts from other organizations noticed and put Anderson on a short list of possible Rule 5 draftees. The Phillies were well aware; Jordan said the debate on whether to protect Anderson was nonexistent.

Anderson, a 21st-round pick in 2012 from Galena (Nev.) High School, was regarded as a decent control pitcher before the surgery. He hurt his elbow in June 2014, and the Phillies attempted to fix it with conservative treatment. He came to spring training the next year, felt more pain in his elbow, and knew what was next. Anderson underwent Tommy John surgery on April 2, 2015 — "I remember it because I didn't want it on April Fool's Day," he said — and entered the solitary life of a rehabbing pitcher.

Barred from throwing, he gained strength elsewhere.

"I think I did legs every single day," Anderson said. "I was squatting a lot. I'm outside all the time, hiking and mountain climbing. My legs are real strong."

Anderson lives in Reno, Nev., and Lake Tahoe is a 30-minute drive. That is where he sometimes found refuge. But most of his rehab time was spent in Clearwater, at the Phillies' training complex, under the watchful eyes of team athletic trainers.

The surgery, Anderson said, provided some needed motivation. The odds of achieving his ultimate goal were longer. He embraced the grind of rehab, the 6 a.m. alarms for monotonous workouts.

"I think they noticed that," Anderson said.

He spent some of his free time watching baseball. "I started evaluating myself," Anderson said. "I watched pitchers. I watched batters. I learned the game, more than just learning pitching." The pitcher he liked to analyze most was Jacob deGrom, the young Mets' pitching star, a Tommy John survivor himself.

Anderson lived in the low 90s before his surgery; better conditioning and improved lower-body strength helped him add velocity in 2016. He is likely ticketed for a return appearance at single-A Clearwater in 2017, with a chance to crack double-A Reading and the crowded rotation depth chart the Phillies have in their upper minors.

"I'm excited to see what big-league camp is about," Anderson said.

His time there will be short, but Anderson has yet to celebrate the two-year Tommy John anniversary, and so much has happened since. Now he's on the radar.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0027.  Mets not sure what to expect from Harvey
The Record
January 15, 2017

It's one of those lazy, perfect afternoons in spring training that comes straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting - sunny, warm and full of hope. That's what everyone dreams about when they hear January's three most-blessed words: pitchers and catchers.

But don't be fooled. The setting in Port St. Lucie, Fla., will be anything but laid back on the day Matt Harvey takes the mound. The Mets are awaiting the verdict on just how far the Dark Knight has progressed in the six months since surgery to correct symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

To say the organization is curious barely covers it.

No pitcher in camp will be more closely scrutinized than Harvey, starting with the first time he throws in the bullpen. He'll graduate to live batting practice 10 days after and if all goes well, the former ace will appear in a Grapefruit League game in mid-to-late March.

The blueprint is fluid, however, because like everyone else, the Mets have no idea what to expect. That includes Harvey himself, although he recently cited progress, telling ESPN, "The ball is coming out really good right now ...; obviously I don't have a crystal ball. (But) the way things are feeling now, the way the body feels, I'm feeling great."

Harvey has already been given a clean bill of health; the surgery was a clinical success. Dr. Robert Thompson removed Harvey's uppermost rib, which has relaxed the muscles that were constricting a nerve bridging the neck and shoulder. As a result, not only does Harvey's delivery feel freer, he's regained the feeling and warmth in his right hand, which had gone numb at times last summer.

That's great news for everyone. You don't have to be a Mets fan to root for Harvey to resume his career - the entire industry prospers when a super nova gets back on his feet. But there's a wide gap between Harvey returning to the rotation and actually resurrecting his 2013 arsenal.

And therein lies the mystery: No one really knows what's in store in 2017, if only because his injury is so rare in baseball. Unlike the data points that can guide a pitcher through recovery from Tommy John surgery, Harvey is on his own rehabbing from TOS. Remember: The Dark Knight is missing a rib. His torso has essentially been reconstructed. Harvey has to prove he's durable for 30 starts.

These are important questions for a hurler who'll be a free agent in just two more years. The right-hander earned a modest raise from the Mets on Friday, avoiding arbitration by settling on a $5.125 million deal, up from $4.325 million last year. But given his injury, Harvey can almost certainly forget about a long-term contract before he tests the market in 2018.

And until then? Since the Wilpon family has to find the money to lock up Noah Syndergaard and a presumably healthy Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz in the same time-frame, there's a compelling argument to trade Harvey before he bolts. Don't think the possibility hasn't occurred to the front office.

But none of these scenarios can be explored until the Mets get a better read on how Harvey's shoulder responds to repeated stress. Even if he has an injury-free spring, more important tests await. Will Harvey still have the arm-speed to launch that swing-and-miss slider that terrorized hitters in 2013? Will he ever find that high-90s four-seam fastball again?

And what about his demeanor on the mound? Harvey was more than just an opening-day starter - he made the Mets feel invincible. The Dark Knight was vain and egotistical, but he had the blow-away stuff to back up his blinged-out personality.

Harvey's descent brought out another side of him, too. He hid from the media after getting destroyed by the Nationals last May and turned down all interview requests in the days after. Harvey was no leader at that point; he just looked small and frightened. The Mets had to pressure the right-hander to grow up and face the public.

We'll see if Harvey carries himself differently now. His career has yet to take off the way he imagined, which might explain his immaturity last summer - the Dark Knight wasn't wired to explain failure. One season later, Harvey has to know the Mets have moved on.

It's Thor's explosive fastball that carries them now. That and deGrom's proven skill to pitch without his best heat. If Matz can stay healthy and Zack Wheeler is ready as well, the Mets will consider any contribution from Harvey as a bonus. Not a necessity.

The Dark Knight is returning to a lower profile and the muted expectations, even though Scott Boras says, "We expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old." That's what agents are paid to say. It would've been news had Boras said anything to the contrary.

It's the Mets who are painting a truer picture. When asked about Harvey's ceiling in 2017 and beyond, GM Sandy Alderson said, simply, "We don't know."


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     To prevent nerve injuries through the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, baseball pitchers need to aim their pitching arm down their acromial line.

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0028.  Boras: Sanchez 'can be one of the most prominent Blue Jays in history'
Sportsnet.ca
January 16, 2017

Scott Boras joined Bob McCown and Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s Prime Time Sports on Monday evening to discuss his new client, Toronto Blue Jays' starter Aaron Sanchez.

Boras, the well-known MLB player agent and president of the Boras Corporation, represents several top young pitchers including Stephen Strasburg, who signed a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Washington Nationals prior to the 2016 season.

“The fortunate aspect of Toronto and Aaron Sanchez is that he’s very young and very talented,” Boras said, giving particular attention to the potential that the Blue Jays have organizationally, especially with Sanchez. “They are one of the top six or seven franchises in the game. They have have success, they have an ownership structure, and they have a 40-million fan base.”

Sanchez, 24, overcame a potential mid-season move to the bullpen in 2016, pitching 192.0 innings in the regular season and an additional 11.2 in the playoffs. This increased workload from his previous career totals could be an even bigger part of the conversation with Boras entering the equation.

Matt Harvey's career is a prominent example of Boras' involvement when it comes to inning totals, and the friction that created with the New York Mets is well documented. Boras did cite the Mets, who he believes were forced to push their bevy of young pitchers beyond their ideal workloads due to the "mandate of winning" in recent seasons.

Unlike some other agencies, the Boras Corporation has built a complex set of data and guidelines for handling young pitchers based on the input of medical professionals and experts in the field.

"We collect this information, meet with doctors, do a lot of research, and then our job is to share that information with the teams. Frankly, it's been received very well by ownership and everyone involved because I think everyone wants the best available information and in this case... it's not an opinion that's based upon anything from our offices, it's a collection of medical expert opinion we've provided. We've put the doctors on the phone with the teams, we have discussions."

Though Boras would not reveal any details on potential negotiations with the Blue Jays on a possible extension, he did say that the two sides sat down for a long discussion after Sanchez joined his agency.

"Aaron Sanchez has the tools to be someone who can be one of the most prominent Blue Jays in history," Boras said. "He has that kind of ability, and we certainly want to do everything we can to build the foundation to allow that to happen."


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     Scott Boras has no idea.

     Nearly 100% of professional baseball pitchers release their breaking pitches over the top of their Index finger.

     When baseball pitchers bang the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, they destroy their pitching elbow.

     Nearly 100% of my baseball pitchers release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     When baseball pitchers do not bang the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, they do not destroy their pitching elbow.

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0029.  Cartwright to miss season after second surgery
Baton Rouge Advocate
January 17, 2017

LSU head coach Paul Mainieri confirmed that his team will be without right-handed reliever Alden Cartwright this season. Cartwright was a long shot to compete after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring. But he needed additional surgery on his shoulder this fall.

"He's definitely out for the season," Mainieri said. "He had Tommy John surgery last April, and then as he was doing his rehab, his shoulder was giving him trouble, so he had to have surgery on his shoulder."

This means that the Tigers will start the season with a 34-man roster, one under the NCAA maximum. That doesn't concern Mainieri.

"Last year we went through the season with 33 or 32 guys," Mainieri said. "We rarely have an entire 35-man roster because of injuries or a guy deciding to transfer in the middle of the year. I'm not overly concerned with it. I think we've got enough players and quality personnel to be able to compete favorably during the season."


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0030.  deGrom hoping that 2017 is year all Mets starters stay healthy
Newsday
January 17, 2017

Will 2017 finally produce a starting rotation with all five of the Mets’ heralded pitchers? Jacob deGrom, a big part of that group, is intrigued as anyone else.

“We love to go out there and compete, we’re all very good friends,’’ deGrom said Tuesday from DeLand, Florida, where he has been throwing for several weeks after late-season surgery to move the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. “We’re all rooting for each other. We’re definitely excited. Hopefully this is the year that happens."

DeGrom, 28, said he is healthy and expects a normal spring training routine when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13. He had surgery last September after experiencing elbow pain and numbness in his fingers.

“I’ve been throwing for five or six weeks now,’’ he said. “The plan is to be off the mound a couple of times before spring, then I think just a nice and easy introduction to a slope and then be ready to go when spring training is here."

Getting all five in the same rotation has been elusive. Matt Harvey is coming back from shoulder surgery. Steven Matz had what was termed a “massive’’ bone spur removed from his left elbow and also had a cranky shoulder. Noah Syndergaard pitched with a bone spur in his right elbow. Perhaps the biggest question mark remains Zack Wheeler, who has missed the last two years with setbacks in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Seth Lugo, who was 5-2 with a 2.67 earned run average in eight starts last season, could start the season in the rotation with Wheeler working in the bullpen.

Of the numerous injuries, deGrom said, “I think it’s obvious and we don’t need to talk about it. Harvey going down, Wheeler trying to recover from Tommy John. It’s like, man, can we catch a break? I think everybody wants to stay healthy but we haven’t been able to. Hopefully this is the year that we do. It’s just wishing everybody the best and hoping that they’re healthy for this year."

DeGrom recently agreed to terms with the Mets on a 2017 salary of $4.05 million.

“Yes I was happy with it,’’ he said. “If we wouldn’t have been happy with it then I think we would have been going to arbitration. It’s tough being injured and then going into your first year of arbitration not having a complete season and then going to try to say you’re worth this amount. That makes it difficult having been hurt. Definitely as a starting pitcher you have to reach 162 innings to even qualify for the ERA, what was I at, 148? That’s considered not a full year for a starter so I definitely think that was a factor. I knew that going in."

The Mets righthander went 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 148 innings last season.

DeGrom said he wants to remain with the Mets long term and is open to discussing a multi-year deal.


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     Unless Jacob deGrom learns how to release his breaking pitches under the Middle finger, Mr. deGrom will continue to suffer.

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0031.  Hefner retires from baseball
The Oklahoman
January 17, 2017

Jeremy Hefner is ending his comeback.

After spending last season in Triple A trying to make his way back to the major leagues following two Tommy John surgery, the right-handed pitcher from Perkins-Tryon officially retired Tuesday evening.

Hefner, 30, announced his decision on Facebook. He said he’s dealing with a partial tear in his rotator cuff that may require surgery.

Hefner starred at Perkins-Tryon before playing at Seminole State College and Oral Roberts.

He was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 draft by the San Diego Padres, but he broke through to the majors with the New York Mets. From 2012-13 he made 50 appearances — 36 starts — and went 8-15 with a 4.65 ERA over 224 1/3 innings.

After missing 2015 due to his elbow surgeries, Hefner signed a minor league contract with St. Louis for 2016. He spent the season with Memphis and went 3-6 with a 5.25 ERA in 18 starts.


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     Unless Jeremy Hefner learns the Marshall baseball pitching motion, Mr. Hefner is better off quiting.

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0032.  Kopech hit 110 MPH during his first max-velocity workout of the year
MLB.com
January 17, 2017

When the White Sox acquired Michael Kopech as part of the package for Chris Sale, they knew they were getting a pitcher with a blazing fastball. Kopech usually sits at 96-98 mph and can even hit triple digits.

They probably weren't expecting 110 mph, though.

Now, sure, he wasn't throwing off a mound, but: a) it's Jan. 17, so still a month away from when pitchers and catchers report;
b) it was still over four MPH faster than any throw in the Majors this year; and
c) it's still 110 mph!

Plenty to dream on there Sox fans.


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     The only way that Michael Kopech is able to add 12 mph is to rotate the hips and shoulders over his glove foot.

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0033.  Tommy John: Baseball, parents have wrong when it comes to preventing arm injuries
Hartford Courant
January 17, 2017

Former Yankees pitcher Tommy John sees how Major League hurlers are reined in today, often having seasons or important games cut short as preventative measures against arm injuries.

He envisions how that sort of innings limit scenario would be a flashpoint instead of a solution for him.

"If they would have told me that, I would have had a fist-fight with my manager," John, the former manager of the Bridgeport Bluefish, said recently. "My job was to pitch, and I pitched."

John, now 73, is speaking as more than just an old codger of the sport defending the toughness of his generation.

He has perhaps the ultimate soapbox on the topic. Under different circumstances, John might be best remembered as a great pitcher. Instead, he is the face and name of perhaps the most famous procedure in the history of sports.

Tommy John surgery.

It's an operation that replaces the damaged ligament in a pitcher's elbow with a tendon from his opposite forearm.

John was the pioneer subject of that surgery, in 1975. He was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time and went on to have a long and successful career afterwards.

Today the procedure is commonplace, even approaching status as simply the price to pay for strong, young flame-throwers advance in their careers.

But it doesn't have to be, and John sees it as part of his responsibility to help steer the sport away from such damage.

John implores parents to not let their young children throw year-round and to stop seeing travel baseball, which he sees as having taken over the game, as a ticket to college scholarships and a pro career.

"Let your kid be a kid," John said. "Let them have fun. Your arm can only take so much, even if you're an accomplished pitcher."

Once a prospect approaches that maturity level, John advocates building up young arms, then maintaining them with a capacity workload. It means teaching youngsters the craft of pitching — not necessarily airing it out at 100 mph — and then letting the natural strengthening process take hold through a regular workload.

"If I want to train for a marathon, I don't train by running 100-yard sprints," he said. "I train by running miles. I call what baseball is doing now the public school system of baseball. They are dumbing it down. Throw a lot. The more you experience, the stronger your arm will get. The stronger your arm gets, the better you'll pitch."

John isn't advocating any course he didn't follow. He tossed 207 innings for the Dodgers in 1976, the year after returning from his surgery.


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     Tommy John threw side arm with a dip at the end.

     Mr. John also released his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger.

     I thought of teaching TJ my pitching motion, but I can't see TJ pronating his elbow.

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0034.  Pronated Curve Ball

Wow, I thought it was the arm falling away that made it look like your curve ball was released at an upward angle. I don't recall you ever saying any pitch was thrown at an upward angle.

1. Is your screwball also released at an upward angle?

I try to look at your material as objectively as possible.

At frame 6:06 Jeff releases his curve ball. At 3:09 he releases his fastball. These are side views.  If he releases his curve ball at an upward angle then it looks like his fast ball is also released at an upward angle.

2. Is your fastball released at an upward angle?

I am a big fan of your lid throws. You want pitchers to throw the lids the entire distance from the pitching mound to home plate.

3. I never took note of this but are the lids release at an upward angle to reach home plate?

4. Getting back to your curve ball, is this a conscious teach to tell pitchers to release your curve at an upward angle to throw it in the strike zone?


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     I am the only baseball pitcher that threw the Maxline True Screwball.

     The Maxline Pronation Curve that Jeff threw needed eight feet high release.

     I teach that my baseball pitchers release every at the highest strike height.

     I included the side view with 500 frames per second to see whether my baseball pitchers aligned their acromial line.

     Jeff rotated his hips beyond perpendicular, but the shoulders rotation lacked Front forearm pull-back.

     Next time, how about the front view of the 500 frames per second for the quickness of the pronation action.

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0035.  My Former College Baseball Pitcher has data

I recently threw a bullpen with Trackman technology. This measures the spin rate, spin efficiency, spin axis, and miles per hour.

Here are my numbers:

torque fb at 81.2 mph and 3254 rpms (spin rate) Sinker at 69.1 and 3577 rpms
4 seam fb at 86.7 and 3083 rpms
Curve ball 68.7 mph 3471 rpms

I topped out at 87.3 mph

I'm fine with these numbers considering I was throwing at 8:30 a.m on a small indoor mound with no one around and zero adrenaline.

The hardest I've ever thrown in a bullpen is 87 mph The hardest I've thrown in the game is 95 mph.

My spin rates on my pitches are through the roof though.

Especially the maxline Curve and torque fb.

How do I add more spin on my fastballs and curve ball?

Will the fastball spin rate go up as the miles per hour increases?

The average fastball in the major leagues currently is 93 mph and 2226 rpms

The average curve ball is 78 mph and 2307 rpms

My goal is to top out at 88-89 next Bullpen.

What are your thoughts?


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     The only variable I have not seen you do is throwing the heavy ball.

     You need to Middle Fingertip spin the heavy ball whenever you are able for thirty minutes every day.

     In addition, I would throw the heavy ball when I threw my pitches; Torque Fastball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball, 12 pitches at time.

     Like with the 'horizontally rebounding,' you need to start the heavy ball gently.

     Jeff Sparks said that he did not have the Middle finger from every angle power he needed until he threw the 15 lb. lead ball.

     Like throwing the football to master the rotation for the four basic pitches, you have to master the four pitches with the heavy balls.

     You should start with the Torque Fastball, then the Maxline Fastball, then the Maxline Pronation Curve and then the Maxline True Screwball.

     Don't forget to use athletic tape to wrap the heavy ball and make a high seam with rolled up tape that enables a tight grip with the four releases.

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0036.  Appropriately Sized Footballs

I have been practicing the first drill in your sequence of five.

Most of my throws are sticking in the strike zone.

How should I determine what is an appropriately sized football to learn your pitching grips?

If you are amenable to it, I can also send you video of me performing the drill, so you can analyze whether or not I am ready to graduate to the footballs.


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     The size of the football for the rotation drills depends on the size of the hand.

     Give me your address and I will send you a disk to follow.

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0037.  How to learn the Marshall pitching motion

This is very much how I and Eric trained.

I have told students that they can go online and read your entire doctoral thesis if they chose, or they can do the digested version.

You have digested the training portion to the point it does not "feel" overwhelming to pitchers.


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     Leave the thinking aside, teach what they see.

     Do what the disc shows our baseball pitchers?

     You guys are able to copy my disc.

     I know that I have sent you the drills, but I want every baseball pitcher to read it.

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0038.  How to 'lock' the upper arm

Seems to me that if a pitcher rushes the motion, he cannot achieve lock and thereby greatly reduces the use of his Latissimus Dorsi muscle to accelerate the ball.

If a pitcher:

(1) properly times his pendulum swing with his glove foot walking step forward (not racing off or over-striding);
(2) keeps his weight back sufficiently to effect "stand tall and rotate"; and
(3) drives his back hip and pitching knee forward he will allow enough time for the arm to pendulum swing down, back and up and achieve "lock".

This position will allow the pitcher to maximally use his core muscles, Latissimus Dorsi, and Triceps.

Is that correct?


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     You are right on the button.

     Nothing happens until the heel of the Front (Glove) foot lands.

     At that moment, our baseball pitchers pull-back hard with the Front heel, pull-back hard with their Front forearm and forwardly drives the Rear Hip and Pitching Knee diagonally across the front of the Front knee.

     During these actions, my baseball pitchers 'throw' their upper arm forward and upward, such that my baseball pitchers turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home plate.

     The Latissimus Dorsi muscle (1) places the upper arm pointing at home plate.

     The Latissimus Dorsi muscle (2) 'throws' the horizontal forearm toward the side of the head.

     When the 'horizontal rebound' inwardly rotates the upper arm, our baseball pitchers will spring off the elbow.

     When the forearm is perpendicular to the line to home, the Triceps Brachii extends the elbow joint by reaching as high as they are able to reach.

     Through all of the acceleration phase, the Pronator Teres muscle contracts before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     Please give me your address and I will send you a copy of my disc.

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0039.  Heavy ball training

The last two days I've done around 500 middle finger spins with the heavy ball. I feel like this will help a lot.

Here are some videos of me throwing the heavy ball along with spinning it.

Please don't post these to the public.

Am I doing the middle finger spins correctly?

What are your thoughts on the videos?


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     I thought that you were rushing your body.

     A little slower until you are driving down the acromial line.

     You might try fewer, but you know how many middle finger spins are too many.

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0040.  How to 'lock' the upper arm

It feels like 'lock' is consequence of doing things right vs. a deliberate action.

Thoughts?


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     Once again, you are right on the button.

     'Lock' happens half way through the upper arm moving upward.

     The Pectoralis Major muscle moves the upper arm forward.

     The Latissimus Dorsi muscle (1) raises the upper arm to vertical.

     The Latissimus Dorsi muscle (2) inwardly rotates the upper arm.

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0041.  Research and signings

I'll start by saying I'm a big fan of your research into pitching injury reduction and your expertise in this field.

While I don't know all ins-and-outs of your field of kinesiology, I DO know that non-experts in the field who think they know about pitching injury reduction don't have a great track record and your work will produce a breakthrough.

Changing gears a bit, I know that you've done a few autograph signings.

I'm wondering who I should contact for your next one since the last person who you did one with (I think his name is Chris) isn't available anymore.

I'd be thrilled to have your name on a few things given your baseball and academic credentials.


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     I have no interest in signing.

     My interest is in pitching injuries.

     With the 'traditional' pitching motion, baseball pitchers bang their olecranon process into the olecranon fossa and destroy their elbow.

     Nearly 100% of professional baseball pitchers destroy their elbow.

     Read those two articles and understand why these baseball pitchers suffer bone spurs and much more.

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0042.  Hi Jeff,

     I have given you all you need to prevent all pitching injuries.

     Let's start with Dr. Wright's research.

----------

     Dr. Rick W. Wright evaluated thirty-three professional baseball pitchers for elbow range of motion.

     Dr. Wright determined that these professional pitchers lost 7.9 degrees of extension range of motion and lost 5.5 degrees of flexion range of motion.

----------

     Let's read what Dr. Wright had to say.

01. “On average, pitchers had an 8 degree loss of the ability to straighten their elbow when compared to the elbow in their non-dominant arm.”
02. “But despite the fact that they lose range of motion, we’ve been unable to show that there’s a functional impact."
03. “Once we looked at all of the data and did the statistical analysis, we could not find a correlation between increased age, innings pitched or injuries."
04. “We could not find anything that explained why range of motion was inhibited in the pitching elbow."
05. "By the time they reached this level, a lot people have been eliminated who didn’t have elbows that could stand up to these stresses."
06. “These players definitely have shown that their elbows are made for pitching.”
07. “At this time of year, I recommend that pitchers shut it down as far as throwing a baseball.”
08. “They need this time to rest and to work on basic strengthening and stretching."
09. "In December or January, they’ll restart a throwing program with the goal of being ready when Spring Training begins."

----------

     Dr. Wright is an orthopedic surgeon, but he has no idea what caused the baseball pitchers to lose 8 degrees of extension and 5 degrees of flexion ranges of motion.

     Baseball pitchers lost 8 degrees of extension range of motion because they banged the olecranon process of the Ulna bone into the olecranon fossa of the Humerus bone.

     The reason they banged the bones in the back of their elbows was because the Biceps Brachii muscle outwardly rotated the Ulna bone.

     With the upper arm inwardly rotating and the forearm outwardly rotating, the baseball pitchers develop:

01. break loose pieces off the olecranon fossa
02. loose pieces leave openings in the hyaline covering enabling bone spurs to grow through the openings
03. the banging on the olecranon process fractures.

     To prevent these elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to inwardly rotate their forearm.

     That is where the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion destroys the elbow.

     The Pectoralis Major muscle pulls the upper arm along a curved pathway to release, such that it is impossible to inwardly rotate the forearm.

     The Latissimus Dorsi muscle drives the upper arm in straight lines to release, such that the Pronator Teres is able to inwardly rotate the forearm and flex the elbow joint.

     I have known this problem since 1967 and I fixed it.

     The ignorance of orthopedic surgeons and 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches has caused these elbow injuries since August 14, 1866.

     It is 150 years of unnecessary pain.

     What team owner wants his baseball pitchers to be injury-free?

     Sincerely,

Mike


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     Is there anybody here?

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0043.  My Former College Baseball Pitcher has a question

Okay I will be patient with my delivery.

How do I engage my Tricep muscle into throwing?

You said it has the most fast twitch muscles I believe.


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     The Triceps Brachii muscle does have the highest percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers.

     After the 'horizontal rebound,' the Latissimus Dorsi (2) muscle starts the inward rotation of the upper arm.

     When your upper arm is perpendicular to driveline, you combine the Latissimus Dorsi muscle with the Triceps Brachii muscle for the straight drive down your acromial line.

     Then, as the elbow straightens to as high as you are able to reach, you force-couple and finish with the 'pronation snap' into the strike zone.

     Done correctly, your elbow will pop-up with a recoil like a rattlesnake getting ready for another strike.

     The Pronator Teres muscle contracts before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0044.  150 years of ignorance
By Jeff Passan

This, my friend, goes back to what it always has: The re-training of pitchers who have thrown a particular way thinking it's right for their entire lives is next to impossible. Not because the body prevents it, per se, but because you simply won't find a dozen pitchers open minded enough to consider it.

I know you're as dogmatic as ever about your method, and it's one of the things I appreciate about you. I really do wish there were a way you could teach your principles to those who need it most without being intimidated by everything it entails.

For the longest time, Doc, you have shouted and shouted and shouted the same thing because you believe it with such conviction. But there are hard truths about it. The terminology is confusing to the general public. The delivery is off-putting to the general public. And while I know you've never given a single shit about the general public, the widespread recognition of your methodology is not just dependent upon you doing so but upon your willingness to compromise when it comes to implementation.

I hate to say you need to dumb it down, but you need to dumb it down. Someone with your conviction may see this as selling out; I can understand that perspective. I also know that some of the world's greatest ideas have come from modified versions of the original, modified because the original idea was simply too wonky, too -- to steal an appropriate term -- inside baseball.

What you've sent me is red meat ... for me. But I spent years looking at this and am fascinated by it. Most kids want to know how to throw hard and stay healthy. What they don't know is that they want to do it with a certain sort of classic aesthetic. And that's where you make your choice, Doc: Do you want your life's work to remain on the fringes because you know better and others won't adapt to you, or do you want the recognition you deserve not just as the godfather of pitching mechanics but the person who finally helped slow down this frightening injury rate.

Part of that, I think, is the acknowledgment that injuries can happen for reasons other than delivery. You are a doctor. You know everybody is different, that to judge someone physiologically takes more than just seeing how breaking balls spin off their fingers. This is what I mean. There is some humility involved, some reaching out to the mainstream, and if that's not something you're interested in, I understand. But I know this for a fact: The more analytically inclined major league teams get, the less likely they are to believe someone who says he knows everything.

I hope you know I, personally, and so many others in the community, appreciate everything you've done. I did not say you were the godfather lightly. Baseball is better because of you -- your curiosity, your intellect, your contributions. I'm just greedy. I think the world deserves to know, and I think you can make that happen.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Baseball pitchers should enjoy pitching, not have surgery.

     We have an alternate pitching motion that teams should consider, not ban this pitching motion.

     I appreciate the time you took.

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0045.  Dallas Keuchel's recovery and the hopeful return of velocity
Fansided
January 19, 2017

Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers are two Astros hurlers that experienced an up-and-down 2016 season. But the pitcher that I want to concentrate about today is that certain bearded southpaw.

If you may begrudgingly recall, Keuchel’s 2016 season was one of disappointment. Fresh off winning a Cy Young award the previous season, the expectations were high. Of course it was unrealistic to expect the left-hander to replicate that kind of performance. But that is besides the point. The idea was that Keuchel would once again anchor a playoff-caliber rotation. It was actually an understandable position to take when you consider Keuchel’s success the previous two seasons.

2014 pitching metrics: 2.93 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 3.20 xFIP, 0.50 HR/9 in 29 starts

2015 pitching metrics: 2.48 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 2.75 xFIP, 0.66 HR/9 in 33 starts

Those are numbers reserved for the best starting pitchers in baseball. However, baseball is baseball. And one’s good fortune can quickly be turned on its head.

2016 pitching metrics: 4.55 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 3.53 xFIP, 1.07 HR/9 in 26 starts

These weren’t exactly terrible numbers. But when you expect for a pitcher to lead your rotation, they are not quite optimal numbers.

Of course, we have to consider that the league did raise the strike zone up. That likely had an impact on Keuchel’s results as he previously relied upon called strikes in the bottom portion of the zone. Once certain calls stop coming then that changes the way a pitcher goes about his business. A snowball effect in other words.

Then there was his shoulder injury that prohibited Keuchel from completing the season last year. The subsequent recovery as we all know would be imperative to his 2017 season. And so far it appears that his recovery has gone well.

The key for Keuchel likely lies in the return of velocity in general. But he needs it the most in two of his pitches: the sinker and slider.

For a pitcher like Keuchel, any lost velocity is a damaging factor to his arsenal. While some pitchers can get by with a drop of 1-2 MPH, there are some that can’t accomplish the same feat. I’m afraid that could be the case with the Astros southpaw.

Look back at his 2014 velocity as a starting point, which was his “breakout” season. Keuchel’s sinker velocity was averaging out to 90.49 MPH. His slider, the second-most used pitch in arsenal, averaged out to 80.42 MPH. Then 2015, his Cy Young campaign, we see similar results with an average sinker and slider velocity of 90.39 MPH and 80.17 MPH, respectively.

Then we enter last season, which was the disappointing follow up to an exciting 2015 season. And we witnessed Keuchel’s average velocity dipped even further as his average sinker and slider velocity dropped to 89.26 MPH and 78.84 MPH. That’s not good.

This trend of declining of velocity is quite worrisome. Like I stated before, Keuchel is the type of pitcher that you don’t want to see an ongoing decrease in overall velocity. He doesn’t have much to spare in the first place.

The shoulder injury appears to have inhibited Keuchel by some extent all season long last year.

That very issue could be the culprit behind his decreased velocity. But we will likely have to wait until the early portion of the season to know for sure one way or another in regards to his velocity issues.

You also have to consider that the shoulder issues may have originated from his extensive use the previous two seasons, including the playoffs. The time off from essentially last August through the winter could be the trick to return him to previous levels of efficiency. That also includes his velocity.

Once all factors are summed (decreased velocity, raised strike zone, shoulder injury), then it is easier to understand why Keuchel struggled. All the factors that could go against him basically did, and he still somehow managed a 2.7 WAR last year. But if his velocity returns and he remains relatively healthy, then the odds could be favorable for a Keuchel comeback in 2017. Just remember though that a repeat of 2016 simply won’t do as the Astros aim for postseason glory.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "Then there was his shoulder injury that prohibited Keuchel from completing the season last year."
02. "Keuchel most needs two of his pitches: the sinker and slider."
03. "We witnessed Keuchel’s average velocity dipped even further as his average sinker and slider velocity dropped to 89.26 MPH and 78.84 MPH."

     To prevent shoulder injuries, baseball pitchers need to turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home plate.

     To prevent lost slider velocity, baseball pitchers have to release his slider under the Middle finger.

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0046.  Elbow woes lead Josh Johnson to retire at 32
ESPN.com
January 19, 2016

Pitcher Josh Johnson, one of the most dominant starters in the major leagues during his peak seasons with the Florida Marlins, is retiring from baseball at age 32, his agent, Matt Sosnick said.

Johnson, who underwent three Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow during his career, signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants in early November. But he decided to retire with less than a month to go before the start of spring training.

Johnson posted a career 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA for the Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays. During the 2009-2010 seasons, he went a combined 26-11 with a 2.80 ERA in 61 starts for the Marlins. He made two straight National League All-Star teams and finished fifth in the 2010 National League Cy Young Award balloting.

The Marlins sent Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to Toronto as part of a 12-player trade in November 2012. Johnson went 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA for the Blue Jays in 2013 before undergoing his second elbow reconstruction in April 2014. He attempted a comeback with the San Diego Padres, but was never able to make it back to the majors.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "Josh Johnson underwent three Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow during his career."
02. "In early November, Mr. Johnson signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants."
03. "But, Mr. Johnson decided to retire with less than a month to go before the start of spring training."

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with their Pronator Teres muscle contracts before, during and after the acceleration phase, stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim their pitching arm down the acromial line into the strike zone.

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0047.  Former Giant Tim Lincecum not ready to call it quits
San Jose Mercury News
January 20, 2017

Tim Lincecum couldn’t reestablish himself as a productive major league pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels last season, but the two-time Cy Young Award winner and Giants legend hasn’t given up on recapturing his previous form.

Although he doesn’t have a contract for 2017 and spring training is barely more than three weeks away, Lincecum “is throwing and getting ready for the season,” according to his agent, Rick Thurman.

Lincecum, 32, was an enigma at this time last year, when he was rehabbing from left hip surgery in Sept. 2015 and preparing to throw a showcase session off a mound for scouts. He ended up pushing back that session until May, and signed a minor league contract with the Angels because they offered the best opportunity to claim a rotation spot.

Then Lincecum went just 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA in nine starts for the Angels while allowing 68 hits in 38 1/3 innings – leading to doubts about whether the right-hander who pitched the Giants to two World Series titles and threw two no-hitters would ever compete again in the big leagues.

But Lincecum is not calling it quits, nor is he entertaining offers to pitch overseas. He continues to look for a big league opportunity, Thurman said.

It’s possible that Lincecum will relent and consider opportunities to pitch in relief – a long predicted role in his career arc, and one in which he excelled while helping to pitch the Giants to a championship in 2012.

But given his struggles since 2012, and his inability to return to form following surgery last year, it’s hard to envision him getting anything more than a minor league contract.

Don’t expect Lincecum to return to the Giants. Their bullpen appears to be full.

There will be interest from around the league, though. After all, teams were continuing to give Dontrelle Willis minor league contracts and work with him on the back fields more than a decade after the former NL Rookie of the Year had lost his competitive form.

Lincecum still has the changeup and curveball that can get hitters out, and perhaps his diminished fastball might play up if used in short bursts.


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     The article said:

01. "Tim Lincecum he was rehabbing from left hip surgery in September 2015."
02. "In May 2016, Mr. Lincecum signed a minor league contract with the Angels."

     To prevent Front hip surgery, baseball pitchers need to stand tall and step forward with the Front foot and rotate their hips and shoulders forward over the Front foot.

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0048.  Different teams, same philosophy regarding health
Golden Isles News
January 22, 2017

In recent years, pitching coaches and amateur baseball players are talking more and more about elbows.

There was a time in baseball when pitchers were like workhorses, and managers rode their horses from late February to May, boom or bust.

That was, perhaps, before coaches and players were wary of the irreparable damage they were causing to elbows and shoulders. Modern medicine has the power to repair torn ulnar collateral ligaments — the triangular band in the elbow that flexes in a pitcher’s throwing motion — with Tommy John surgery, but the recovery process is long, monotonous and there is no guarantee the pitcher’s velocity or movement will be the same as it was pre-surgery. There are some quick-fix strategies, including Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness’s recent UCL repair that is to reportedly take just half the recovery time of Tommy John, but there is still uncertainty surrounding the results and permanence of that procedure as well.

For Brunswick baseball coach Al Otte, winning is important, but he feels responsible for delivering his seniors with collegiate potential healthy. He points to the success stories of a couple of his former players.

“Kyle Bialousz and Austin Guest are pitching in college,” Otte said. “We wanted to make sure when those guys leave us they’re healthy and ready to go.”

Brunswick pitching coach Nathan Harsh, who was a former Pirate, pitched four seasons at the collegiate level. During his senior season at Kennesaw State, he tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder. During his sophomore season, six of his teammates went down for Tommy John surgery. With no foolproof way to prevent the wear and tear from building up in the throwing arm, pitching coaches like Harsh devise programs to keep the workload light through the first few weeks of practice. Harsh said his bullpens are usually about 18 pitches per pitcher.

“Arm care has definitely taken a forefront,” Harsh said. “The speed of the game has evolved so much. It’s not natural to throw a baseball, so something is going to go wrong eventually.”

In early January, pitchers are trying to build a rapport with their catchers, learn new sign systems and get a feel for the pitchers they can command and in what counts to throw them. Down the road at Edo Miller Field, Glynn Academy pitching coach Jim Horton worked in the bullpen with his varsity pitchers. For Horton, a pitcher whose arm has been active during the offseason is better suited for higher pitch counts in bullpen sessions.

Varsity pitchers who have been trowing regularly in the summer and fall will increase their pitch counts to 40 and 50 pitches over the coming weeks and junior varsity pitchers throw 15 to 20 pitches in early practice, and they’re hardly going for full velocity to start.

“A lot of them played fall ball but haven’t thrown a whole lot,” Horton said. “Just building the arms up making sure they’re in the right shape and no one gets hurt.”

Some new GHSA rules are taking arm abuse out of the equation. According to a report from Macon Telegraph, a GHSA rule passed in August 2016 will limit pitchers to 110 pitches in one game, or just over 110 pitches if the current at-bat is not complete. Pitchers who reach 86 pitches must make their next appearance on at least three days’ rest. The 61-pitch mark requires two days’ rest, and 36 pitches require at least one day of rest.

This new rule will have an effect on how coaches construct their rotations. Otte previously used three regular starters in his rotation with two spot starters or relievers to eat innings when necessary. Now Otte suspects lots of teams will be adopting a sort of “piggy back” strategy, in which a starter throws about three innings and two relievers split the last four, depending on the pitch count. This takes the work off the staff ace, while ensuring he’ll be available on time for his next scheduled start.

“Pitching is about trust,” Otte said. “You have some of the small schools and they don’t have as many players and as many arms. You have kids that have potential and they have arm injuries. A lot of this stuff is based on some of the best doctor’s in the country.”

The preparation for a healthy season starts in the offseason, and Otte and his staff have a fitness program for pitchers to follow that is based on recommendations from medical professionals like Dr. James Andrews and other successful coaches and trainers.

Pitchers practice proper throwing mechanics and torso rotation, believed to be a healthier way to increase velocity than increasing arm speed, and they strengthen their arms by throwing weighted pummel balls and using elastic bands for various exercises.

“We stretch it out a lot,” Pirates senior right-handed pitcher Jacob Benton said.

Despite all of the preventative measures pitchers and coaches take, Pirates’ junior lefty Anthony Cleveland said he usually experiences some routine soreness during the season. Cleveland and his teammates aren’t thinking about injury during preseason, they’re thinking about the competition and prospects of the new season ahead. While science tries to catch up to the pace of the game, the best thing Cleveland can do is prepare.

“We have to throw strikes and get ready for the season,” Cleveland said. “It’s a grind, throwing bullpens, pummels, hammers, a lot of medicine ball throwing.”


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     Until baseball pitchers learn how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, all 'traditional' baseball pitchers will destroy their elbow.

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0049.  Rick Peterson thinks he has the solution to the injuries that have plagued Mets pitchers
New York Daily News
January 24, 2017

As a starting rotation the Mets collectively light up the radar gun like no one else in baseball. But do they need to dial down the velocity a bit to improve their chances of staying healthy?

The question has never been more timely, with four starters coming back in 2017 from some type of surgery, and the other, Noah Syndergaard, having established himself as the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in baseball.

Rick Peterson, the former Mets pitching coach and famous for years as being a student of biomechanics, says he believes the Mets’ starters could benefit from easing off the gas pedal a bit in the interest of decreasing further injury risk.

“I’m sure that Syndergaard, for example, could dominate a game at 95-96 MPH," Peterson says. “I’d like to see him try that because if he did dominate while throwing with maximum effort only occasionally, the way pitchers did in the past, he’d increase his chances of being on time with his delivery."

Peterson believes that being “on time" is the key to staying healthy, and he’ll gladly explain what he means in exacting detail if you ask.

But first let’s put this in some context: after making a name for himself as an innovative pitching coach/coordinator for the A’s, Mets, and Orioles, in part because of what he learned about biomechanics in the performance lab of noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Peterson is making such observations from a distance at the moment.

Instead of coaching he’s on the corporate speaking trail these days, after co-authoring a newly-published business/leadership book, but he is captivated by the saga of the Mets’ young guns and where the story goes in 2017.

In fact, he sees them as something of a test case in an era when baseball is searching desperately for answers to try to keep pitchers healthy.

“I have every reason to think they’ll bounce back from their injuries last year," Peterson said Tuesday. “But it’s fascinating to me because by the nature of power pitching, the greater the power, the faster you move in time and space, and from a biomechanics standpoint, the more at risk of injury you are.”

If that sounds ominous, it’s because the Mets in some ways personify the new generation of pitchers that grew up trying to light up the radar gun by throwing with maximum effort, as opposed to past eras when adding and subtracting fastball velocity was more in vogue.

John Smoltz has talked a lot about that, telling me last year that he never threw with maximum effort, and believes that’s why he avoided Tommy John surgery until he was in his 30s, despite throwing one of the nastiest sliders in the game.

Peterson believes in that theory as well, and how maxing-out makes it more difficult to, again, be “on time, which primarily refers to the position a pitcher’s arm is in when his landing foot hits the ground.

“When the timing is off, that’s when a pitcher is at risk of injury,’’ Peterson said. “Think about it this way: there’s a point in time when the arm is fully externally rotated, and the next moment is when you begin the acceleration phase with your arm.

“There’s a brief moment when the ball almost comes to a stop. From that moment until the ball comes of your hand, that ball — let’s take Syndergaard — is then traveling to 99-100 mph in a time-frame of .02 seconds.

“I did a presentation on that once, and afterward a doctor of physics asked me, ‘Do you know what that means in G-Force?’ He said if your entire body traveled at that rate of speed for over a minute, you would die.

“So when you talk about maxing out for an entire game, your timing is going to be off on multiple different pitches, and that’s where the injury factor comes in.

“In Smoltz’s day, a lot of guys pitched at 80% effort level, and you only saw their best fastball when the money was on the table.

“Pitchers today, to their credit, are strong enough and conditioned enough that they can pitch with the gas pedal down to the floor for the whole game, but the risk is in the timing."

That’s why Peterson would like to see the Mets’ starters learn to pitch with less effort. In addition to reducing the risk of injury, he says it makes it easier for pitchers to hit their spots, which he says is what pitching at the major-league level is all about, regardless of velocity.

“Harvey’s a great example," said Peterson. “When he was struggling last year, his stuff was still there. He just wasn’t making pitches. When you don’t locate, you don’t pitch well."

Peterson says he always tried to teach that philosophy in the simplest way, citing a story he tells in his book, which is titled: “Crunch Time: How To Be Your Best When it Matters Most.”

He recalled going to the mound as the A’s pitching coach when ex-Met Jason Isringhausen was trying to close out playoff game with a 2-0 lead against the Yankees in 2001.

Isringhausen had given up a leadoff double to Bernie Williams and a walk to Tino Martinez, and Peterson went to talk to his pitcher just as Jason Giambi came over as well from first base.

“I get out to the mound, I put my hand on Izzy’s shoulder, and he’s literally shaking. I said, ‘Izzy are you ok?’

“He said, ‘Rick, I can’t feel my legs.’

“I said, ‘OK, well, the good news is we don’t need your legs to kick a field goal right now. Giambi starts laughing, Izzy smiles and you could feel the tension come out of him. I said, ‘Hey Izzy, just hit the glove. That’s all, just hit the glove.’"

Isringhausen got the next three outs but Peterson said the point is that it’s all about how you deliver the message to “re-frame’’ the situation for pitchers dealing with stress.

“Sometimes it can be that simple: just hit the glove," Peterson said. “Syndergaard is a guy who can locate while pitching at max effort, but not a lot of guys can do that.

“Even so, I believe he could be just as effective if he learned to throw that 99-100 mph fastball maybe seven to 10 times a game, when the money is on the table, the way guys like Smoltz and Tom Seaver did during their day.

“And if he pitched at 94 to 96 the rest of the time, the likelihood is that he’d be on time with his mechanics at a higher percentage."

In any case, Peterson said he hopes for the best for these Mets pitchers, partly because it reminds him of his days with the A’s coaching the Big Three of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito.

“It’s totally fascinating to me,’’ he said. “With Syndergaard, Harvey, and deGrom, everybody wants to rank those guys. When I coached Hudson, Mulder, and Zito, people would ask me, ‘Who’s the best?’

“And my answer always was: ‘Whoever’s pitching that night.’ And with the Mets, (Steven) Matz isn’t too far from being a No. 1, and Wheeler still has that potential. I’m just hoping they can stay healthy. I love watching them pitch.”


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     Rick Peterson said:

01. “I have every reason to think they’ll bounce back from their injuries last year."
02. “But it’s fascinating to me because by the nature of power pitching, the greater the power, the faster you move in time and space, and from a biomechanics standpoint, the more at risk of injury you are.”

     Until Mr. Peterson learns how to teach baseball pitchers how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, Mr. Peterson will continue to destroy his baseball pitchers.

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0050.  Saving Careers
Hokiesports.com
January 26, 2017

On March 5, 2014, Virginia Tech was trailing William & Mary 6-0 at English Field when Hokie head coach Patrick Mason made the move. He decided to bring in Andrew McDonald, a 6-foot-6-inch freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio, to throw the final two innings. The freshman walked the first batter, but then got a strikeout and a double play to end the inning. In the ninth, he walked a batter and gave up a run-scoring triple before getting out of the frame.

McDonald’s collegiate career was officially underway. Just as most college athletes do, he remembered his debut.

“I was a little nervous,” he said. “I got hit that time, too. I took a one-hopper right off the leg. It was a funny way to release some tension.”

McDonald earned three varsity letters while in high school, winning the Ohio High School Division 1 Player of the Year honor prior to arriving in Blacksburg. His freshman year at Tech featured ups and downs, but the future looked bright.

That all changed in 2015 when he found his career in jeopardy. During a bullpen session in the fall, he felt something wrong in his arm and didn’t pitch for the remainder of the fall. He tried to come back during the offseason, but the discomfort came in waves.

Eventually, he went to a doctor, and the news was every pitcher’s worst nightmare. The ulnar collateral ligament [UCL] in McDonald’s elbow had ruptured, leaving holes in the ligament. That required him to miss the season and undergo what many know today as “Tommy John” surgery. He became a statistic in the rising epidemic of UCL injuries sweeping across all levels of baseball.

“Everywhere around my arm, I had some kind of pain,” he said. “There were times that it was a constant ache. I would throw some pitches, and as soon as I would release the ball, it would hurt.”

The surgery usually requires taking a ligament from the wrist to replace the torn ligament, but McDonald was born without the ligament in both wrists. So the surgeons took a hamstring graft from his left hamstring to replace his UCL.

“They drill a hole through one of your bones, tie a knot in the ligament and put it through and wrap it around everywhere else it needs to go,” McDonald said.

Anyone around the game knows that Tommy John surgery serves as the main way to repair such injuries. Doctors continue to perfect the procedure to get athletes back on the field faster. They also look for new ways to decrease the recovery time without putting the athlete in danger. Pitchers like McDonald are sharing their experience and providing valuable insight into the issue.

After strenuous rehab and conditioning, McDonald made his return Feb. 23, 2016 – about 12 months after the surgery. He started against East Tennessee State, threw four shutout innings and earned the win. After the game, Mason talked about McDonald’s road back.

“He’s come a long way, worked really hard to put himself in a position to even be ready to throw now,” Mason said.

McDonald completed the season in good health. He made eight appearances, starting four games.

Nic Enright, another Tech pitcher who actually was drafted out of high school by the New York Mets and chose to go to college over the big leagues, shared a similar experience, undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of 2016. In high school, he was a four-year varsity player and named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia. The right-handed ace from Richmond featured a fastball that topped out in the lower 90s. He made 12 appearances in 2016 and encountered some early struggles, but seemed to settle in as the season went along.

In late April in a game against Duke, Enright tried to pitch through discomfort in his arm. On May 1, he threw five innings and gave up four unearned runs against Boston College. The next day, he couldn’t pick up his backpack.

Yet Enright never felt the “pop” that some guys feel.

“For me, it was more of a gradual thing,” he said. “It makes me wonder if it could have started months before, and finally, over the course of a 55-game season, it took its last blow. It started off as a dull pull in my elbow and eventually progressed into the sharp stabbing pain.”

He ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery. Four months later, he started throwing a baseball and expects to pitch this upcoming season. Tech pitching coach Jamie Pinzino is optimistic.

“He’s in the training room a couple hours a day,” Pinzino said. “We’re certainly hoping to have him back for the spring.” Advances made in the medical field over the past 25 years now make the recovery process faster. In the early stages following Tommy John surgery, players more likely faded out of the league than recovered and prospered. But Dr. Frank Jobe turned the tables in 1974 when he performed surgery on Tommy John, a major league pitcher at the time and for whom the surgery is named.

Using a healthy tendon from John’s forearm, Jobe replaced the torn ligament. The tendon serves as stability for the elbow joint. Surgeons drill holes in the humerus and weave a tendon through by using a figure-eight pattern. With that procedure, Jobe sparked a movement that has saved the careers of countless pitchers. John went on to win 164 more games over the course of 14 years. Other notable pitchers to thrive following the surgery include John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Adam Wainwright.

Today, doctors perform Tommy John surgery almost every day. Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds team doctor, performed the surgery on McDonald and Enright. On the day of McDonald’s surgery, he performed four or five Tommy John surgeries, according to McDonald. Kremchek told McDonald that the surgery used to last four hours, but now only takes a shade more than an hour.

The stance on Tommy John surgery has changed drastically over the years. In fact, some parents think their kids need to get Tommy John surgery early to increase arm strength. According to the American Sports Medicine Institute, 25-50 percent of amateur players, coaches, and parents believe this theory.

Brett Griesemer, the athletic trainer for the Tech baseball team, said some parents think the surgery guarantees their kids come back stronger – a common misconception.

“It’s become quite a hysteria,” he said. “You have these teenage kids, and they’re having some elbow pain, and they [parents] want to just get the Tommy John surgery over with.”

According to the institute, 10-20 percent of pitchers never make it back to their previous level after having the surgery. Major League Baseball and the institute conducted a study that examined professional pitchers who underwent Tommy John surgery. It showed no differences in pitching biomechanics.

The institute called the rise in injuries an epidemic. There has been a sharp increase in the amount of UCL tears since the start of the century, and the institute attributed these changes to young pitchers doing more with their arms before they reach their 20s than a pitcher who played 12 years ago.

Some players overuse their arms on the mound, and others play multiple positions instead of giving their arms a break. Poor mechanics and conditioning are other possible reasons for the rise in UCL injuries.

“I think the biggest reason is because guys are training more,” Griesemer said. “They’re able to throw harder. They’re throwing 90 mph in high school. Over time, that puts a lot of stress on the elbow.”

Athletes specializing in one sport also give cause for concern. With scholarships increasing in value and sports becoming more competitive, high school athletes believe they should focus on one sport to receive a scholarship.

“I think it’s the specialization of sports that has led to more injuries,” Griesemer said. “Guys that play baseball year-round are probably more at risk than back in the day when everyone played every sport. Now college scholarships are a big deal, so if you want to specialize in baseball, then you throw year-round.”

Coaches try to do their part to make sure their pitchers aren’t dealing with a lot of stress on the mound. Inning limits and pitch counts have been implemented, though there is no magic number. Pinzino said that he takes into account other factors in addition to pitch count.

“The No. 1 indicator is leaving balls up in the zone,” he said. “If I’m getting tired, it’s not just my arm, but my whole body getting tired. Typically, the mechanics can slow down a tad bit. Most pitching coaches want pitchers to work quickly. Sometimes you see the pace slow down quite a bit. That’s a fairly common indicator.”

“I do believe pitching them less is safer,” Mason said. “I don’t have a number, and neither does anybody else because, if somebody had that perfect number, they would be extremely rich. You have to have a good relationship with your pitcher. You have to have an honest dialogue with your pitcher.”

Other ways to decrease an athlete’s odds of injuring the arm include the forbidding of throwing a curveball at a young age, as many young pitchers still lack the ability to throw a curveball with the proper mechanics. Also, young pitchers need to limit the amount of “full-effort pitching.” This means playing different positions or different sports.

Tech’s sports medicine staff always tries to be proactive in dealing with injuries. This group, led by Griesemer, implemented a system hoping to decrease the chances for injury.

“We have all of our pitchers come in, and we measure them,” Griesemer said. “We look for different ranges of motion in the wrist, shoulder and elbow. We look at grip strength. We put those all in a spreadsheet and compare their numbers to see if guys gave deficits in the internal rotation of their shoulder, extension of the elbow, or extension of the wrist, which may put increased risk on their shoulder or elbow. We have a designed program for them to come in here and do some corrective exercises.”

Schools throughout the ACC compare notes and hold conferences throughout the year. This creates an open discussion, and ideas get shared. Protecting the next generation of pitchers remains a top priority, and it starts with creating a dialogue between the athletes and doctors.

There may never be a universal answer as to why the UCL tears. So many variables make it difficult to pinpoint a single reason. It can happen on one pitch or over time. In the cases of McDonald and Enright, neither had dealt with previous arm issues. Doctors and scientists continue to flood the field with studies and ideas in search of an answer because they know that athletes will continue to develop and throw harder.

The rehab following the injury remains the hard part. Athletes must work to get back on the mound. McDonald and Enright put in that work.

“Both guys are pretty militant when it comes to doing their rehab,” Griesemer said. “They’re in here every day. They do their extra work, and they don’t try to push past what we recommend to them. Both are extremely hard-working kids.”

McDonald and Enright didn’t let Tommy John surgery end their careers. Now, they have their eyes set on the future.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     That is the easy stuff.

     Until baseball pitchers stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim their pitching arm down the acromial line into the strike zone and learn how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

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0051.  Wichita State pitchers learn 'Down is good' as  part of the daily routine
Wichita Eagle
January 26, 2017

Wichita State’s Ben Hecht re-learned how to pitch by playing shortstop.

The Shockers are working with new pitching coach Mike Steele, who is introducing his language, his routines and his theories to a receptive group. Count Hecht, a junior transfer from Lincoln Land (Ill.) College, among those who enjoy Steele’s methods.

“Half the time when you spike a fastball in the dirt, he loves it,” Hecht said. “You’re supposed to feel what he’s trying to teach you. If you do what he’s teaching you and the pitch isn’t there, he doesn’t care.”

WSU begins its full-team practice sessions on Friday. Steele’s makeover of a pitching staff that ranked last in the Missouri Valley Conference in ERA (5.79) last season started in the fall and continued through the winter’s limited practice time.

Steele, who spent the past two seasons at Long Beach State and seven as an instructor and scout with the Pittsburgh Pirates, replaced Brent Kemnitz, who resigned in June after 38 seasons. Steele’s personality and emphasis on a calm mind reminds returners of many of Kemnitz’s tactics. Steele is also described as “part philosopher and part MMA fighter,” and his pitchers enjoy his enthusiasm and his emphasis on conditioning and health.

“He’ll come up behind you sometimes and wrestle with you if you’re not paying attention,” senior Willie Schwanke said. “A good way to put it is MMA fighter, because he doesn’t mess around with anything that’s non-competitive or aggressive.”

Hecht came to WSU with a pitching form that started with his arm almost straight over his shoulder. When he watched video from high school with Steele, he noticed that he threw with his arm extended more horizontally than vertically. Over the years, his arm crept up. He didn’t notice until Steele diagnosed the form as potentially harmful to his performance and health.

“His delivery was awful,” Steele said.

To fix it, Hecht returned to his roots as a position player. He threw more naturally, more from the side, after fielding a groundball. On the mound, his technique changed. Now Hecht is comfortable with his old, new, arm slot and notices improved accuracy and power.

“For my throwing program, everyone else was over there working on stuff and he was hitting me groundballs at shortstop,” Hecht said. “It wasn’t but a couple days of doing it and everything felt natural again. I was balanced. The small adjustment like that brought everything together.”

That is what Steele wants.

“Somewhere along the line, all these guys played a position,” he said. “We try to put them in positions to just go out and do some athletic, unobstructed throwing, where they’re not trying to do a pitching delivery or they’re not trying to do something somebody told them they needed to do to pitch. It shows me what an unobstructed view of their throwing motion should look like.”

Steele’s lessons start with “Down is good,” words written on the whiteboard in his office at Eck Stadium and in the brains of every Shocker pitcher. During some bullpen sessions, a string crosses the shinguards of the catcher to give pitchers the target.

“He says that every day,” Schwanke said. “Below that string … you won’t get hurt.”

Steele wants pitchers to throw low in the strike zone and produce groundballs. Last season, Steele said, WSU recorded 44 percent of its outs in play on groundballs.

“I don’t care what you do in your delivery — get the ball down,” Steele said. “Balls that are down, don’t go out of the ballpark. We need to shorten pitch counts. We need to shorten at-bats. We need to keep the defense ready to go. We need to pick the ball up off the turf. It all goes to ‘Down is good.’ ”

He wants the Shockers around 60-65 percent groundball outs. Pitchers who rely on movement and deception more than strikeouts need to be around 65 percent. Strikeout pitchers can get away with fewer groundballs.

“Keep the ball down and, for the most part, everything is good,” sophomore Connor Lungwitz said.


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     The article said:

01. "The Shockers are working with new pitching coach Mike Steele."
02. "Mr. Steele is introducing his language, his routines and his theories to a receptive group."
03. "Count Hecht enjoy Steele’s methods."

     Unfortunately, Mr. Steele has no idea to eliminate pitching injuries.

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     On Sunday, February 05, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0052.  My Former College Baseball Pitcher has questions

Thanks for your reply.

I am working on the horizontal rebound drill every day and expecting it to come naturally over time.

When I do this drill with the wrist weights, I set up in slingshot position with my throwing elbow out and my forearm perpendicular to the driveline. Then I throw my pitching elbow in and let my forearm swing out and then pronate hard.

When I throw a baseball with my delivery, do I use this same approach as I do with the horizontal rebound drill?

Do I try to throw my elbow out then in?

Or do I not worry about throwing the elbow out and just focus on showing the back of my throwing elbow towards home plate and try to elbow someone like a wrestler like you said?

What's the difference between these two cues?

Which one should I focus on when throwing a baseball?

(Throwing the pitching elbow out then in versus throwing the back of the upper arm straight up like a wrestler elbowing someone)

Thanks


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     When the heel of the Front foot lands, you start rotating your hips and shoulders diagonally forward.

     When the knee of the Rear leg crosses the knee of the Front foot, you throw the elbow inward toward the head, that gives you the start of the 'horizontal rebound.'

     Now you aim your upper arm the acromial line, first by inwardly rotating the upper arm.

     When the forearm is perpendicular to the driveline, you lean forward to drive the baseball the full length of your body for more velocity.

     With the pitching arm reaching vertically as high as is possible, your recoil force-couple the upper arm and forearm then 'pronation snap' finish reaching as far forward as possible.

     You want to end with your body as far forward as possible, reach as high as possible and as reach as far forward as possible.

     You want to wait until you are as far down the acromial line as possible then recoil force-couple and 'pronation snap' with your pitching hand in the strike zone.

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0053.  Oklahoma State's Cobb dealing with elbow soreness, out through at least opening weekend
OColly.com
January 27, 2017

With opening day three weeks away, the Oklahoma State baseball team is preparing without one of its top arms.

Senior right-hander Trey Cobb is dealing with elbow soreness, coach Josh Holliday told the O’Colly, and will miss at least the Cowboys’ season-opening series against Grand Canyon, which begins Feb. 17 in Phoenix.

“There’s not a lot of detail at this point,” Holliday said. “He’s just going through rehab trying to get back on track. We’ll know more how he feels here in the next couple weeks.”

Cobb was one of two Cowboys with 100 strikeouts in 2016, posting a 3.09 ERA. After spending the majority of the season in OSU’s rotation, Cobb served as the Cowboys’ closer during their College World Series run. Holliday confirmed Cobb has met with a doctor and is not throwing. Cobb, who returned for his senior year after the Cubs selected him in the 12th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, tweeted Jan. 20 about the injury.

“Thanks for the concern and prayers,” the tweet read. “Received good news yesterday and I hope to be healed and on the mound at some point this season#gopokes”

Holliday said the situation is similar to last season when the arms of left-hander Garrett Williams and right-hander Conor Costello were slow in getting season-ready. Williams did not make his 2016 debut until March 25 against Kansas State, and Costello didn’t pitch until the Cowboys faced West Virginia on April 1.

A late-March return for Cobb could mean he would make his debut in OSU’s first Big 12 series against TCU, beginning March 24 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Holliday said he didn’t know when Cobb began experiencing soreness, saying it’s often difficult to determine when an injury like Cobb’s occurs.

“I think it’s probably just part of the grind of throwing over time,” Holliday said. “Throwing’s a violent act.”

Cobb’s injury will give more opportunities to younger pitchers early in the season, Holliday said. With Cobb out, the Cowboys will begin the season with only five pitchers who threw more than 10 innings a year ago, having lost four such pitchers, including Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Thomas Hatch, in June’s draft.

Senior right-hander Tyler Buffett, a Collegiate Baseball Preseason Second-Team All-American, is among the returners. Buffett, like Cobb, saw time as a starter and reliever in 2016, closing during the regular season before exchanging roles with Cobb for the postseason. The Astros’ seventh-round draft pick, Buffett finished with nine saves and a 2.81 ERA in 37 appearances, an OSU record.

Pitching coach Rob Walton will likely employ Buffett as a starter to begin 2017, Holliday said, though roles could change as they did last season.

The Cowboys are using the first couple of weeks back from winter break to evaluate players and what they retained during break before ironing out roles for them.

Holliday said he’s excited to see how younger pitchers jump at their opportunities with Cobb out indefinitely.

“It’s part of a season,” Holliday said. “Is it ideal? No, of course not. But it is what we deal with, and it’s why we have a team, and it’s why we have a staff. It’s why we’ve got to continue to evolve and grow all of our players, so that if you do lose one or you’re without one for a period of time, you can overcome it.

“He’s certainly a huge part of our team and a key performer, all of those things, for sure. But that’s just part of the nature of a season. It’s just a next-guy-up mentality.”


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     The article said:

01. "Senior right-hander Trey Cobb is dealing with elbow soreness.
02, "Mr. Cobb will miss at least the Cowboys’ season-opening series."
03. "Mr. Cobb was one of two Cowboys with 100 strikeouts in 2016, posting a 3.09 ERA."
04. "Mr. Holliday confirmed Cobb has met with a doctor and is not throwing."

     To prevent injuries to the elbow, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase and/or release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

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0054.  Dodgers' Buehler faces innings limit in 2017
CBSSports.com
January 28, 2017

Pitcher Walker Buehler will face an unspecified innings limit in 2017, his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery.

He says he is 25 pounds heavier than he was prior to undergoing UCL surgery in August of 2015, as he was able to focus on conditioning and strength training during his year off from pitching.

While he only logged five innings across rookie ball and Low-A after returning late last season, he wowed scouts with three potentially plus pitches in his fastball, cutter and curveball, while also flashing a potentially average changeup.

The innings limit will mean Buehler may not rise past Double-A this season, but if the training wheels come off in 2018, he could cruise to the majors next summer.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0055.  Hunting for a 200-inning pitcher
Twins Daily
January 30, 2017

Pitching continues to evolve as teams try to find the right balance between starting pitching and relief pitching. During last year's playoffs, pitchers like Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman took on even more important roles. For the first time in the World Series, no starting pitcher threw more than six innings.

0 With pitching continuing to change, the hunt for a 200 inning pitcher can seem like trying to find Bigfoot.

When the Twins Winter Caravan stopped in Fargo, ND last week, the focus of much of the discussion was on the Twins finding a pitcher to toss 200 innings. Current television announce Bert Blyleven was one of the guests along with right-handed pitcher Jose Berrios.

Blyleven is from a bygone baseball era when Tommy John surgeries weren't commonplace and starting pitchers threw well into the late innings of games. Berrios has spent his professional career in a time when pitchers seem to get hurt more often than in the past and some go through multiple major surgeries.

Over most of the last decade the number of pitchers throwing over 200 innings has steadily declined. From 2010 through 2016, there were 227 pitchers who reached the 200 inning mark. Two of those players, Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano, wore a Twins uniform.

The downward trend in numbers of 200 inning pitchers continued through most of the 21st century. From 2000-2006, there were 298 pitchers with seasons of 200 innings or more. This means there were 71 more pitchers reaching this mark in the first seven years of the century than in the last seven years.

0 Throughout Twins history there have been 97 occurrences of pitchers throwing at least 200 innings. Bert Blyleven accounts for six of the top 12, including a team record 325 innings in 1973. Jim Kaat and Dave Goltz are the only other Twins pitchers to surpass 300 innings in a season.

0 In recent Twins history, 200 inning pitchers have been few and far between. Phil Hughes pitched almost 210 inning through his record-breaking 2014 campaign. Before that, Carl Pavano had back-to-back seasons when he threw over 220 innings. Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn both topped 200 innings in 2009, the Metrodome's final year. And Johan Santana had a stretch of three seasons (2005-2007) when he averaged over 228 innings.

A young Johan Santana isn't walking into Target Field. Does this mean the Twins won't have another 200 inning pitcher?

Ervin Santana was the closest Twins pitcher to 200 innings last season. Across 30 starts, he threw over 180 innings. In five of his 12 big league seasons, he has thrown over 200 frames so there is a chance for him to hit that mark again in 2017.

Phil Hughes is coming off major surgery and no one knows what version of the pitcher will arrive in spring training. He's the most recent Twins player to accomplish the feat but 2017 doesn't seem like a year where he will be able to pitch enough to reach the 200 mark.

Other pitchers, perhaps Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson, could make a run at 200. Berrios has never pitched more than 166.1 innings during his professional career. A jump to 200 would be quite the leap for 2017 but it could be a reasonable expectation for the following year. Gibson threw almost 195 innings in 2015 so it's not out of the question for him to get back to that level.

Minnesota's pitching staff has struggled for multiple seasons, so a lot of miles have been put on bullpen arms. In the long run, a 200 inning pitcher might not be the most important thing in the world, but in any event the Twins need starters to pitch further into games to take some strain off the relievers. If a 200 inning pitcher (or two) emerges, consider it a bonus.

Will the Twins have a 200 inning pitcher again? Who do you think could be the next player to accomplish the feat?


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     Until baseball pitchers learn how to stand tall, turn the back of theie upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front Foot, release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger and aim the pitching arm down the acromial line inot the strike zone.

     When baseball pitchers are able to pitch on a four pitcher rotation, baseball pitchers will have forty starts and pitch 240 innings.

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0056.  Medlen returns to Braves
Savannah Morning News
January 31, 2017

ATLANTA, GA: Right-hander Kris Medlen has agreed to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves as he attempts to revive his career with his original team.

The 31-year-old would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster as part of the deal the team confirmed Tuesday.

He began his career with Atlanta in 2009 and had his best season in 2012, when he was 10-1 with a 1.56 ERA in 12 starts and 38 relief appearances. He won 15 games in 2013 but missed the 2014 season following his second Tommy John surgery. He spent the last two seasons with Kansas City and was limited to six big league games last year because of shoulder problems.

“He will get an opportunity,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We love the person and the talent.”

Atlanta agreed to contracts with free agents Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey earlier this offseason and acquired Jaime Garcia in a trade.

Julio Teheran returns as the staff ace. Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler, Josh Collmenter and Aaron Blair will be among others competing for a rotation spot.

Medlen was 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA with Kansas City last season. He is 41-25 with a 3.25 ERA in 75 big league starts and 98 relief appearances.


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     The article said:

01. "Kris Medlen began his career with Atlanta in 2009 and had his best season in 2012."
02. "Mr. Medlen won 15 games in 2013 but missed the 2014 season following his second Tommy John surgery."
03. "Mr. Medlen spent the last two seasons limited because of shoulder problems."

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent shoulder problems, baseball pitchers need to stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front Foot, release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger and aim the pitching arm down the acromial line into the strike zone.

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0057.  Burdi changes arm slot in hopes of staying healthy
Pioneer Press
January 31, 2017

Despite coming off a season to an unusual arm injury, Nick Burdi was in surprisingly good spirits at TwinsFest last weekend.

“I feel good,” the hard-throwing right-hander said. “I threw my first bullpen last week, and I’m just getting ready for the season now.”

Limited to just three innings at Double-A Chattanooga after an impressive stint in his first big-league camp, Burdi, 24, was diagnosed with a bruised humerus. The ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow was deemed sound, but there aren’t many test cases for how to deal with upper-arm bone bruises for a pitcher.

“They said it was a rare injury,” Burdi said. “Not too many people (in baseball) have had it. When I talked to Dr. (James) Andrews, he had never really seen it before.”

According to Rightdiagnosis.com, the most common causes of a bruised humerus are blunt injury, mechanical trauma and a fall on an outstretched hand. Burdi was told his injury likely was caused by his max-effort delivery, which produced a peak velocity of 103 mph in the Cape Cod League during his days at the University of Louisville.

With the Twins, Burdi has consistently worked in the high-90s with his four-seam fastball, although he spent extra time honing his two-seamer before hitting the shelf.

“They just said it was from throwing, and the way I was throwing may have caused it,” he said. “But most of the time it’s just a stress-related injury that just happens over time.”

A second-round pick in 2014, Burdi dominated the Arizona Fall League with eight scoreless outings in 2015. He was back throwing bullpen sessions by August and on into the fall instructional league. First, however, he had tweak his mechanics.

“To take some stress off my arm, I changed my arm slot,” Burdi said. “It’s just a little bit faster instead of getting so long (in back). A little quicker. So we’re getting there.”

After piling up 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings through 95 professional innings, Burdi is a stealth pick to reach the majors at some point this season. But first he must stay healthy and rebuild the career momentum lost in 2016.

Left off the list of non-roster invitations to big-league camp, Burdi will report to Fort Myers, Fla., for minor-league spring training on March 7.


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     The article said:

01. "Despite coming off a season to an unusual arm injury, Nick Burdi was in surprisingly good spirits."
02. "After an impressive stint in his first big-league camp, Mr. Burdi was diagnosed with a bruised humerus."
03. "There aren’t many test cases for how to deal with upper-arm bone bruises."

     To prevent bruised Humeruses, baseball pitchers must release their breaking pitches under their Middle finger with a very powerful pronation.

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0058.  Tommy John surgery sidelines McKinney for 2017
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
February 02, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, AR: Arkansas will be without one of its most experienced pitchers in 2017.

Junior right-hander Keaton McKinney will undergo Tommy John surgery on his elbow and will miss the season, Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said in a statement Thursday. McKinney, a freshman all-American in 2015, was expected to contend for a weekend starter job this year.

"We expect him to make a full recovery following his surgery and look forward to having him back on the field as soon as he is healthy and ready to return," Van Horn said.

McKinney is eligible for a redshirt season, but it's unclear when he will be able to pitch again. Recovery for Tommy John surgery typically is at least 12 months for pitchers, although the timeline can fluctuate based on the severity of the injury.

McKinney also is draft-eligible this summer. The Ankeny, Iowa, native was listed as one of Baseball America's 80 best prospects in 2014, but wasn't drafted until the 28th round by the New York Mets because of a high asking price to skip college.

When Arkansas opened preseason practice last Friday, Van Horn said he was optimistic McKinney had turned a corner after more than a year of struggling with injuries. McKinney was unable to pitch for the Razorbacks in the College World Series two years ago and underwent hip surgery shortly after his freshman season when he led the SEC with two complete games, including a shutout at Alabama.

He struggled to recover from the injury, however, and his production dipped as a sophomore when he recorded a 6.66 ERA in 12 starts and a relief appearance.

McKinney struggled during the Razorbacks' early portion of fall practice, too, but Van Horn said he had been encouraged by a couple of bullpen sessions in January.

“(Keaton) threw a couple good innings here and there toward the end of fall ball where you’re going, ‘Wow, that kind of reminds us of the guy we had as a freshman,’ except he is throwing a little bit harder,” Van Horn said last Friday. “He’s a lot bigger, more physical."

It's unclear whether the Tommy John surgery was required because of an injury sustained in practice or was the result of a lingering injury. He had thrown as recently as a scrimmage last Saturday.

"He looks like the old Keaton again," Arkansas sophomore pitcher Blaine Knight said last month. "It's good to see that again because of the struggles, and the ups and downs he went through last year."


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     The article said:

01. "Keaton McKinney will undergo Tommy John surgery on his elbow."
02. "Mr. McKinney was expected to contend for a weekend starter job this year."
03. "Mr. McKinney is eligible for a redshirt season."

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0059.  Pitch counts won't make hurlers healthier
Elmira Star Gazette
February 02, 2017

Spent plenty of evenings with clicker in hand during the summer of 1986.

That’s what we called the pitch counter used by my American Legion team. It made an audible click each time a pitch was recorded.

As a reserve outfielder, counting pitches was perhaps my most important job. Not surprisingly, I was terrible. I’d get talking to the guy next me and miss entire at-bats, sometimes entire innings. If the coach asked, I’d check the inning, multiply by 15 and then add or subtract one or two to make it sound believable. Coach asks in the fifth inning, I look at the clicker and confidently report, “77.”

Then I’d show the clicker to a teammate – a number revealing far fewer than 77 -- and we’d laugh.

Funny thing is, during that summer none of our pitchers asked about counts. No one cared. If our pitcher was getting guys out, that’s all that mattered.

Pitch counts started to enter baseball’s consciousness in the 1980s. By the 1990s, people began taking them seriously. By the 2000s, they became an obsession. Today, they’re the be-all and end-all of discussions regarding pitchers.

It’s all about protecting arms.

Last week, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association adopted pitch-count rules for varsity, junior varsity and modified baseball teams that will go into effect this spring. During the regular season, varsity pitchers will be limited to 105 pitches. If they throw between 96-105, they’ll need four days’ rest before their next outing. The maximum rises to 125 in the postseason. Other restrictions are in place and the maximum numbers drop for JV and modified hurler.

Well, we can forget about arm injuries now. They’ll be a thing of the past.

Or will they?

Since it’s hard to find statistics regarding high school players, let’s look at the number of Tommy John surgeries performed on major league players from 1974 – when the surgery’s namesake had the first one to repair an injured ligament to his left elbow – through 2015. Four-hundred such surgeries were performed on major-league players in that time, 90 percent on pitchers.

The T.J. surgery breakdown: From 1974-85: Eight; 1986-95: 44; 1996-2005: 123; 2006-2015: 225. Nearly one-third of the operations were performed from 2011-15. In 2015, 25 percent of big-league pitchers (98 of 382) and 15 percent of minor-leaguers (341 of 2,324) had Tommy John surgery.

Notice any trends?

As baseball focused on limiting pitches, more pitchers suffered elbow injuries. Granted, that’s a simplistic reading of the numbers. There might be 50 other factors that contributed to the rise in elbow blowouts. At bare minimum, we can glean that big-league pitchers haven’t benefited from throwing fewer pitches or getting more rest between starts.

The Daily News’ Bill Madden wrote a column in 2014 that focused on the alarming number of pitchers on the disabled list.

In that piece, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan said: “It’s because pitchers simply don’t throw as much as we did. That’s the real issue here. When I pitched, we pitched every fourth day and guys would pitch 300 innings and it wasn’t considered a big deal. If you don’t get on the mound and develop stamina, you’re risking injury. This whole thing with the 100-pitch count limit — I have a real problem with that. Pitchers are all different and when you put standard limitations on them, you’re not utilizing their talent.”

Agree with both points. Pitchers need to throw more, not less, and it makes no sense to treat a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior the way you’d treat a 5-11, 140-pound sophomore.

But NYSPHSAA disagrees and now we’re stuck with uniform rules for everyone.

We’ll see guys replaced on the mound, not necessarily because they’re struggling or tired but because of a number in a scorebook. We’ll see hitters looking to extend at-bats against quality pitchers to get them out of a game. We’ll see pitchers get ahead 0-2 in a count and stay aggressive in the strike zone to keep their pitch counts down. We’ll see 20-18 scores in May, when teams are playing five games a week and no experienced pitchers are available. We might even see arguments between coaches if their pitch counts don’t jibe.

And we’ll be told this is a good idea, a necessary and responsible action.

Here’s another idea: Encourage kids to throw. Get them outside, play catch with them, teach proper mechanics and they’ll be less likely to develop sore arms.


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     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers need to stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front Foot, release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger and aim the pitching arm down the acromial line into the strike zone.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, February 12, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

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0060.  I recently saw that Jeff Passan published a pitching book.

I am not sure what it entails, however, it seems as though Mr. Passan is looking for baseball pitching answers in all the wrong places.

You clearly explained in your e-mail to Mr. Passan what the causes of injuries are and yet I am not sure he understands the simplicity of how pitching using the correct anatomy in the proper sequence can help eliminate what Dr. Wright’s research has found.

What is even more frustrating is this research that Dr. Wright has done is exactly what you learned about your own pitching arm in 1967.

You weren’t able to shave your own face anymore from the loss of elbow flexion.

Your explanation to Mr. Passan makes way more sense to me than Dr. Wright’s.

"At this time of year, I recommend that pitchers shut it down as far as throwing a baseball."

"They need this time to rest and to work on basic strengthening and stretching."

These conclusions by Dr. Wright have zero substance and are not of any help to any baseball pitcher looking to stay injury free.

In my short career so far as a physical therapist, I have made a generalized observation that orthopedic surgeons are really good at repairing injuries, but not all are good at knowing how to prevent injuries.

Please let me know if Mr. Passan has an answer for your question regarding what team owner wants pitchers to be injury-free.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     As a student of Kinesiology, you are able to understand the causes of injuries, but not the thinking of orthopedic surgeons.

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0061.  01/28/2017 Letter to Jeff Passan

Thanks for the update and pitching study.

I find it interesting that they concluded that the decrease in elbow range of motion and zero effect on pitchers on the mound and in their activities of daily living.

As stated before you had trouble shaving with the loss of elbow flexion and to me it seems like a pitcher would lose their potential to throw at their best potential with the loss of active range of motion when pitching.

I am glad that there is a way to actually teach pitchers to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately, the gentlemen in the study do not.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     If I had lost 24 degrees of range of motion in the knee, the orthopedic surgeon would immediately recognize that I was a crippled.

     But, with 24 degrees of range of motion in my elbow, the orthopedic surgeon thought nothing of it.

     Somehow, I managed to succeed with 75 degrees of functional use.

     Now, we have to stop teaching the 'traditional' pitching motion and start using my pitching motion.

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0062.  My former college baseball pitcher wants information

I've been training every day. My spin velocity on my pitches have gone up tremendously. I can especially tell when I throw the footballs.

My curve ball is getting very good. It's gotten harder and sharper with no hump at all. I finally got to throw to catcher recently and threw about 15 curves in a 40 pitch bullpen and through every single one of them for strikes pretty much both torque and maxline.

Also my dad pointed out that I've been having my palm supinated too much like a pronation curve ball while I throw torque and maxline fastballs with wrist weights.

When I throw my elbow in, I've been keeping my forearm too outwardly rotated on my fastballs.

I understand I only need to be fully supinated with my forearm on the curveball.

This also has been affecting the screwball as well because it's kind of fighting it since I should be fully pronated with that pitch.

I think it has been holding back velocity on my fastballs because it feels like I'm pushing the baseball when I'm too supinated.

Now I can throw my elbow in while getting my forearm in the right position to execute the pitch with max force.

Another thing I recently discovered is that I've been landing on my front foot with too much weight on the left side of my foot.

So I'm not landing stable and can't pull my mass through. I understand I need to land on my heel being stabled so I can get the full walking reflex. This is going to help a lot.

I also need to stop pulling my pitching arm down at release to get a good force-couple.

When I don't let my arm come below my chest, I am able to force-couple much easier and better.

What are your thoughts?


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     When you pendulum swing your pitching arm to driveline height with the palm of the pitching hand facing away in one, smooth and continuous movement, you move into the 'Loading the Slingshot' position.

     When the heel of the Front Foot lands, you move your pitching arm from 'Loading the Slingshot' position to the 'Slingshot' position with six separate hand positions.

1. To throw the Torque and Maxline Pronation Curves, you need maximum forearm/hand supination; the back of the pitching forearm/hand should face upward.

2. To throw the Torque Slider, you need the back of your pitching forearm/hand facing away.

3. To throw Torque Fastball, you need the palm of your pitching forearm/hand facing slightly turned inward.

4. To throw the Maxline Fastball, you need the palm of your pitching forearm/hand slightly facing away.

5. To throw the Maxline Fastball Sinker, you need the palm of your pitching forearm/hand nearly fully facing away.

6. To throw the Maxline True Screwball, you need the palm of your pitching forearm/hand is totally fully facing away. Therefore, to get pronation rotation, you have to use the upper arm/hand inward rotation.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0063.  My former college baseball pitcher want to reach high

From watching some of your cd's, I don't think I do a good job at driving my wrist weight horizontally forward when I throw them.

How do I drive my wrist weight and heavy led ball horizontally forward without dropping my elbow?

When I do these drills, I try to release as high as possible.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To release the pitches as high as you are able, imagine that you are throwing your wrist weights as though you are dunking a basketball and your pitching elbow pops up over the rim.

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0064.  Mets hope to start season with healthy spring
Associated Press
February 09, 2017

NEW YORK, NY: A healthy start. That's the main thing the New York Mets are hoping for this spring.

With four-fifths of the projected rotation coming off surgery, the Mets return mostly the same roster from the 2016 team that overcame a rash of critical injuries to claim an NL wild card. So with slugger Yoenis Cespedes re-signed for $110 million to anchor the lineup again, they simply figure better luck — and less time on the disabled list — should put them back in pennant contention.

Hard-throwing ace Noah Syndergaard is the only established starting pitcher on the club who made it through a full season last year.

Matt Harvey had surgery in July for thoracic outlet syndrome. Jacob deGrom underwent a September operation on the ulnar nerve in his right elbow, and left-hander Steven Matz had bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left shoulder.

Zack Wheeler hasn't made it back yet from Tommy John surgery in March 2015.

All are expected to be ready to throw when camp opens Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Together, they could form one of baseball's most fearsome rotations.

But oh, doctor, that's a long list of ailments to worry about in a young and talented group that's been physically fragile so far. With fingers crossed, the prized starters will be monitored closely, every little twinge a potential red flag.

"Am I confident they're all going to be 100 percent? Well, that would be probably unrealistic to believe, but I do think we're going to be in a much better position with our starting pitching coming out of spring training (this) year than we have been," general manager Sandy Alderson said.

Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, the unheralded rookies who rescued a depleted rotation down the stretch last year, remain possible replacements or bullpen options.


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     As long as baseball pitchers release their breaking pitches over the top of their Index finger, the baseball pitchers will destroy their pitching elbow.

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0065.  New form of training paying off for Taillon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 06, 2017

A week from today, Jameson Taillon will take the field during the first spring training workout for pitchers and catchers. Preparation for his first full season in the majors will begin. In a sense, though, it began last winter, when Taillon re-learned how to stand and move as part of a new offseason program.

Taillon is nearing the end of his second winter of training at Fairchild Sports Performance, a training facility in his hometown of Houston. Last year, after two surgeries had meant two missed seasons, Taillon began training at Fairchild with an emphasis on improving posture and quality of movement. The foundation laid, Taillon this winter has put on eight to 10 pounds, adding some propulsive mass and strength to the equation.

“I think he’s going through an absolute metamorphosis in terms of his physical understanding, how to really manage his body over the course of a 162-game season, what the greatest red flags are for him that could sideline him or take him down,” said Ben Fairchild, the owner of FSP.

Fairchild dabbled in low-level arena football after college, but eventually put his sports science degree from Nicholls State to use running an NFL draft preparation program in New Orleans with longtime trainer Mackie Shilstone. Shilstone imparted to Fairchild the need for a business-like approach to training.

“Not just hey, this is a fun sexy exercise, let’s go flip a tire at random, push a truck in neutral, things that frankly have nothing to do with enhancing his pitching capability but they might look good on social media,” Fairchild said.

When Hurricane Katrina put Fairchild’s house under 10 feet of water, he relocated to Houston, home to many professional athletes and lacking an appropriate number of quality training centers. Taillon, 25, came to FSP after the 2015 season. Tommy John ligament replacement surgery had wiped out 2014, and an inguinal hernia, which happened just as he was ready to return to minor league games, canceled the rest of 2015.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a pitcher of his prospectus at his young age that had endured so much severe injury, frankly,” Fairchild said.

Taillon was healthy by that point, but years of repetitive overhand throwing had left behind issues with his kinetic chain and movement patterns. Fairchild said he can tell a lot about a pitcher’s physical capabilities and injury risks by looking at his posture. They started simple — where his pelvis was when standing on one foot, how his shoulder rotated as he took his arm back — and ingrained the habits with lots of repetition.

Taillon debuted for the Pirates last summer. In 18 starts, he had a 3.38 ERA.

“He is one of our favorite subjects to teach because he is so professional,” Fairchild said. “Honestly, I think being around [Mark] Melancon, as he’ll reference sometimes, really kind of rubbed off on him.”

Melancon also trains with Fairchild in Houston. He pitched for the Pirates for parts of the past four seasons before they traded him at last summer’s deadline, and he signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent this winter.

This year, pitcher Nick Kingham joined Taillon at Fairchild. Prospects Barrett Barnes, an outfielder, and Brandon Waddell, a pitcher, also train there.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "Jameson Taillon is nearing the end of his second winter of training at Fairchild Sports Performance, a training facility in his hometown of Houston."
02. "Last year, after two surgeries had meant two missed seasons, Taillon began training at Fairchild with an emphasis on improving posture and quality of movement."
03. "The foundation laid, Taillon this winter has put on eight to 10 pounds, adding some propulsive mass and strength to the equation."

     Unfortunately, the Fairchild Sports Performance owner has no idea what he is doing.

     Mr. Taillon continues to release his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0066.  Wheeler's emphatic message to Mets: Don't keep me as a reliever
New York Post
February 07, 2017

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL: There are self-doubts. Two years of being sidelined following Tommy John surgery will do that to even the most strong-willed pitcher.

But there is also relentless determination from Zack Wheeler to earn back his starting spot in the rotation.

The Mets right-handler returned to practice Tuesday with his teammates at voluntary camp with but one goal in his sights.

It’s not in the bullpen.

“I know I belong in the starting rotation, there’s no question about that,’’ Wheeler told The Post as he stood behind the cluster of practice mounds known as the six-pack. “I’m a starter. I want to be a starter."

There is zero doubt about that.

Wheeler, 26, is aware that he has to run the pitching gauntlet to get back home to the rotation, which probably means a bullpen stint, but there is no way Wheeler wants to fall into the bullpen trap.

He has seen it happen too many times.

“I feel that guys that go to the bullpen get stuck in the bullpen, and I don’t want to do that," Wheeler said. “Because either you are doing bad and you stay in the bullpen because you can’t be a starter, or you are doing really good and they can’t afford to move you out of the bullpen. So you are going to get stuck there, and that’s why I’m trying to let everybody know that I’m not a bullpen guy, I’m a starter."

It’s clear.

And, truth be told, Wheeler (49 major league starts, no relief appearances) doesn’t even know if he can handle the bullpen. Forget about back-to-backs.

“I don’t even know if I could do every other day in the bullpen," Wheeler said. “It was a struggle for me to get every fifth day. That’s because I’ve started my whole life.

“It’s the mindset, it’s physical, it’s what you’ve been doing your whole life.

“I know at some point I will have to go to the bullpen thing just because of the innings," Wheeler said. “I hate innings limits, but I guess that is part of the game these days. You’ve got to do what they say. They’re the boss."

Wheeler said he talked to GM Sandy Alderson about the situation this winter, and the conversation “re-assured me."

He knows the Mets are looking out for him.

He’s had Tommy John surgery, stitches that didn’t dissolve and PRP injections. He’s had too many false starts, but it’s finally go time.

“It’s been fun watching these guys from a distance,” he said of the Mets’ talented starters, Noah & Co. “It’s going to be fun to see if I still got it against big league guys, that’s the way I look it, but I know I still do.

“I just don’t want to get my hopes up too high."

First things first, he has to reestablish himself in his own mind.

This has been the longest of roads back for Wheeler, who admitted: “You start to second-guess yourself when you start having some complications. I was supposed to come back last year a couple different times and that didn’t happen, so you start to second-guess yourself. But at the same time you have that trust and believe in yourself where you can sort of push through that every day."

Wheeler has been pushing that boulder up the hill since March 2015. Pushing, pushing, pushing, only to see it roll back down again.

“I know I will really be back when I’m starting again and hitting on all cylinders," Wheeler said.

“I let it loose this offseason, it’s coming out good, I feel good. But the real test will be when I throw off the mound here and put that last little bit on it, because that’s when it was barking last year."

There has been much too much pain. Now is the time to begin to gain back his spot in the rotation.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Zack Wheeler, said: “I know I will really be back when I’m starting again and hitting on all cylinders."

     Mr. Wheeler remains lost.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0067.  Wilson eyeing return as knuckleball pitcher
Yahoo Sports
February 08, 2017

Brian Wilson intends to resume his pitching career as a knuckleballer.

Yes that Brian Wilson, now 34 years old, beardless and having just gone a month eating nothing but guacamole, which probably isn’t quite as great as it sounds.

On a muddy mound at USC on Wednesday morning, wearing high-top spikes and a Hawaii-themed cap, Wilson threw a 30-minute bullpen session. Of those dozens of pitches, all but a handful were knuckleballs.

“That right there,” Wilson said while pulling off his muck-caked shoes, “was an MVP-Cy Young knuckleball. You can write that down, too. No joke.”

He smiled.

“I can already see myself out there,” he said, “throwing up some waffles.”

Wilson is nearly 2 ½ years removed from his last professional pitch, thrown for the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of the 2014 season, when they released him in spite of owing him $9.5 million for 2015. He continued to throw while also taking on real estate projects in Los Angeles, content in a career that spanned nine seasons and netted 172 saves, three All-Star appearances and two World Series titles, mostly with the San Francisco Giants.

He hadn’t, however, intended to retire. His elbow – saved twice by Tommy John surgery – felt strong. His shoulder, too. And several months ago he decided to spend more time with the knuckleball, a pitch he taught himself as a 12-year-old and toyed with ever since. In San Francisco, he said, coaches had asked him to refrain from the knuckleball in deference to the health of catchers Mike Matheny, Bengie Molina and Buster Posey. The pitch can be savage on a catcher. Besides, Wilson was pushing triple digits with his fastball and his slider was borderline unhittable. A 74-mph knuckler seemed, to the Giants, unnecessary.

Two summers had passed. Wilson missed the game. He missed the teammates, the fans who loved and despised him, the heartache of some of those losses and the joy of the rest. Could he again throw 95 with a disappearing slider? Maybe. Could he throw a fluttering somethin’-somethin’, throw it for a strike, throw it for five or six or seven innings, and have a great time doing it?

He has thrown for at least two teams in the past couple weeks.

“It was kinda good to lay back and figure out what I wanted,” Wilson said. “It feels like a new leaf.”

Besides, he said while holding a Whole Foods bag stuffed with lettuce and fruit and sparkling water, so clearly off the guacamole diet, “I may be 34, but I’m actually 26 biologically.”

So there you go.

He’ll be 35 in March.

R.A. Dickey, who came to the knuckleball when he was about 30, is 42 and will make $8 million pitching for the Atlanta Braves in 2017. Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox turned to the knuckleball in his mid-20s and had a breakout 2016, when, at 32, he won 13 games. Noted recent knuckleballers Tim Wakefield and Tom Candiotti pitched well into their 40s.

A reliever for nearly all his professional career, when he was fastball-slider reliant, Wilson likely would focus on being a starter as a knuckleballer. What’s left to determine is whether the knuckleball is good enough for the big leagues. Wilson said he threw it a few times during spring training with the Dodgers in 2014.

What would seem different about Wilson’s knuckler is that he throws it from several arm angles. Also, he grips it with the tips of his fingers, so does not bury his fingernails into the ball, and then does not push the ball as much as he throws it as he would a fastball. On Wednesday morning, he changed speeds with it, commanded it on both sides of the plate, up and down, threw it over the top and sidearm, and generally beat the hell out of the guy trying to catch it. The rest will be left for the hitters to decide, assuming Wilson gets into a team’s camp, which shouldn’t be so hard.

“I always said that once my career was over I was coming back as a knuckleballer,” he said. “I’m good with it. Man, I get to play a game. It’s going to be pretty fun.”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The new thing that Brian Wilson needs to learn is how to use his Latissimus Dorsi muscle.

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0068.  Bailey has surgery to remove bone spurs in elbow
Cincinnati Enquirer
February 08, 2017

Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey hasn't pitched a full season since 2013. That streak will continue for another year.

On Wednesday, the Reds announced that Bailey had surgery to remove bone spurs from his surgically repaired elbow. He is expected to be shut down for 4-6 weeks, and will likely start the season on the disabled list. It's the latest in a long line of elbow troubles for the 30-year-old, all of which have prevented the Reds from getting much return on their nine-digit investment.

Bailey signed a six-year, $106 million extension before the 2014 season. He's pitched just 180 innings since then, including just 34 1/3 the last two seasons. He's still owed $68 million, of which $19 million will be paid this season.

"It’s been a long road," said Dick Williams, the team's president of baseball operations. "He’s worked hard to get back on the field. I know he’s feeling frustrated, and I know he’s still committed to getting back out there as quick as he can.”

Late in the 2014 season, Bailey required flexor mass surgery. He pitched only 11 innings in the 2015 season before tearing his ulnar collateral ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery. He was expected back from that procedure in May of last season, but suffered a setback related to the nerve in his elbow and didn't debut until July 31.

He pitched 23 innings over six starts before his arm started barking at him again, this time with fatigue. The Reds shut him down, although he was in the process of building back up to return to action when the season ended. He was expected to have a normal offseason.

But in the last month, Bailey complained of discomfort while increasing his throwing workload as he prepared for spring training. He saw Dr. David Altchek in New York, with whom he'd sought a second opinion on his elbow after his setback earlier in the 2016 season. Exams revealed that his flexor mass and UCL both are healthy, but also revealed the bone spurs. Altchek performed the surgery to remove them Wednesday.

Bailey's recovery will delay his debut by at least the amount of time he'll be held back from throwing, making his best-case scenario a mid-May return. That may be optimistic, and any timeline will have to take into account how Bailey reacts to his rehab. But Williams doesn't expect 2017 to be another lost season.

“I think it’s fair to say we expect to get the majority of the season," Williams said. "I really can’t get more specific. I really don’t know yet."

Losing Bailey thins a rotation that was already lacking reliabilty. Only left-hander Brandon Finnegan and right-handers Anthony DeSclafani and Scott Feldman have rotation spots at the moment. The Reds have a host of young pitchers vying for major-league shots -- Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, Nick Travieso, Sal Romano, Rookie Davis and Tyler Mahe, to name several -- but none have proven themselves capable of handling a 200-inning load in the big leagues.

The rotation was one spot deeper last month, before the Reds traded righty Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins. Straily was the team's most reliable starter in 2016, but the Reds wanted to capitalize on his value for the return of three players, pitchers Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White. The Reds signed Feldman soon after moving Straily.

Williams doesn't want a redo on that trade in the wake of Bailey's latest injury setback.

"That decision in a vacuum would not have been affected by Homer," Williams said. "In other words, if Homer’s down, we wouldn’t have kept Dan to replace Homer. Now, we need to make a decision on if we need to do anything to address the fact that Homer will be out for a while now.”

The Reds aren't rushing out to the clearance aisle for one of the remaining free agent pitchers. Flush with young pitching, Williams would rather see how his prospects perform in spring before bringing in anyone from the outside.

The Reds are expected to sign veteran and familiar face Bronson Arroyo to a minor-league deal this week, but he comes with injury issues of his own. Arroyo hasn't pitched consistently since 2014, when he had an elbow injury of his own, and may be able to handle only relief work.

Williams also said there are no plans to move former starters like Michael Lorenzen or Raisel Iglesias back into the rotation.

"There will be an opportunity for the guys who are coming to assert themselves," Williams said. "I think it’s fair to say we’ll at least look around to see if there are some options."


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "On Wednesday, the Reds announced that Homer Bailey had surgery to remove bone spurs from his surgically repaired elbow."
02. "He is expected to be shut down for 4-6 weeks, and will likely start the season on the disabled list."
03. "It's the latest in a long line of elbow troubles for the 30-year-old, all of which have prevented the Reds from getting much return on their nine-digit investment."

     Until Mr. Bailey learns how to release his breaking pitches under his Middle finger, Mr. Bailey will continue to destroy his pitching elbow.

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0069.  My former college baseball pitcher has some ideas

From slow motion video analysis my dad and I discovered that I've been pulling my upper arm down before release.

This is because my trunk comes down.

I think it's from actively tilting my shoulders too much which makes me do a somersault action instead of rotating my shoulders and hips over my glove foot.

I will now just scrape the top of my cap and let my shoulders tilt naturally instead.

We also put a 2x4 block in between my feet from the set position in front of the rubber. This is helping me get a shorter stride and have my pitching leg up at release instead of dragging my pitching leg.

I need to rotate faster and tighter when I pitch and my velocity will get much better.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     This all sounds good.

     Now, take your time until it is time for you to quietly explode your release.

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0070.  As spring training begins, pitchers enter Tommy John danger zone
USA Today
February 09, 2017

All along the coasts of Florida and in the heart of Arizona, Major League Baseball teams are preparing for the start of spring training. Soon, the camps will be populated by hundreds of players ready to start their preparation for the 2017 season. And when pitchers and catchers officially report this month, they will begin the weekslong shuttle to ready their arms for Opening Day.

It is a rite of spring and for those involved in keeping those pitchers healthy, these first few days of spring training are a cause of serious worry.

“The first week of camp, for us internally in baseball,” says Mike Reinold, a former head trainer for the Boston Red Sox, is always the worst week of the year.”

As baseball puts increasingly more scrutiny into how to protect arms and lower Tommy John rates, they have considered pitch counts and innings thrown and many other factors, but anecdotal and empirical data shows that spring training is a problem of its own. To keep those pitchers off the disabled list and operating table, teams must first navigate the landmines of February and March.

Over the last five years, 27 percent of all Tommy John surgeries have occurred in March and April -- according to Jon Roegele’s Tommy John database. It is a staggering amount when you put it in context with the rest of the year. Last year, 26 of 81 total surgeries were undergone in those two months and just 32 over the last six months of the year. In 2015, there were 38 in February and March and 43 from July 1 on. In 2014, there were seven more Tommy John surgeries in the spring than there were after the end of June.

It puts an uneasy tint to the next few weeks. Surely, it is good to see baseball again, but there is a foreboding sense that more pain and surgeries are on their way.

Some of the surgeries, experts say, are unavoidable. They are the result of an offseason of hoping by teams and players. Pitchers who felt the pain and discomfort in their throwing elbows at the end of the 2016 season will go under the knife because an offseason of rest and rehab did not do them enough good.

But there are plenty of new injuries too and as a result of the stress of spring.

“It’s a combination of the business, the physiology, the biomechanics and just the situation of who’s making the decisions,” Eric Cressey, a trainer who works with pitchers, including former Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber, in the offseason, said. “That’s the challenging thing about baseball is there isn’t that one easy thing we can do to modify stuff.”

Still, the prescription to curb the injury rate seems to center around two changes -- one that could break through baseball dogma and the other a change in philosophy.

Alan Jaeger, a long toss guru, sees the way major league teams approach their bullpen schedule as a serious issue. The norm, he says, is for pitcher to throw a bullpen session every other day, trying to build up their arms and endurance quickly enough to pitch in exhibition games by early March and then to be around the 90 pitch threshold in April. He believes it makes little sense.

“That could be the single biggest problem with an arm breaking down – the first 10 days,” Jaeger said. “That’s how important it is.”

Taking just one day off becomes a “brutal” stress on the arm, he says, especially when pitchers are exerting themselves to try to impress and make the team. Cressey and Reinold agree that having just one day off between throwing sessions, whether it’s a bullpen or live batting practice, is not in the pitcher’s best interest.

And, Reinold notes, with pitchers throwing harder all the time, it puts more force on the elbow. Pitchers who regularly throw in the mid-to-high 90’s as their are at greater risk.

“You gotta question why tradition is taking precedent over a modern-day approach to pitching,” Reinold said. “I don’t want to come across as being a conservative viewpoint. Times have changed and we’re throwing harder.”

Without an extra day, at least, for the arm to recover, Jaeger says, the arm does not get to recondition and build strength. Which leaves it hampered.

“The first 10 days are not modern,” Cressey said. “It’s just different. There’s too many guys trying to make the club. There’s too many guys throwing really, really hard nowadays that it problematic and probably unnecessary. But something that I feel like is just happening because of tradition.”

Moving away from such a compact schedule, Jaeger says, would be beneficial for pitchers. It would also break from tradition, though he has noticed that some teams have already made a change. Just as vital would be putting pitchers on an individualized regimen instead of a cookie-cutter approach.

With increasing knowledge that every pitcher and every arm is different, treating everyone the same way, no longer makes sense.

“What it all comes down to: Are you going to adapt to what the players are doing to be what they are,” Jaeger said. “Or are you going to oppose it?”

Every pitcher undergoes a different offseason training program and teams, they say, should respond to what that pitcher needs and what has worked for them in the past.

For instance, Cressey says he pushed Kluber’s workload back this offseason because of the long and arduous season he had with Cleveland as they made a World Series run. Teams should be just as respondent in spring.

“I don’t think the solution is to make spring training longer – the season is already long enough,” Cressey said. “I think it’s more just a matter of in that early stage of spring training maybe just tapering back a little bit on how much bullpen stuff is actually taking place. Maybe not bringing guys along so quickly… I don’t think we need to coddle baseball guys – I think we’ve done enough of that – but I do think there’s a place for mixing stress so it’s not always off the mound.”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent injuries to their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arms downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0071.  Angels banking on healthy pitching staff
MLB.com
February 10, 2017

For the Angels, the perfect season begins with a healthy and effective pitching staff. In 2016, the Halos' rotation was ravaged by injuries, which proved to be the primary culprit in the club's struggles.

Ace Garrett Richards, left-hander Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano suffered torn ulnar collateral ligaments in their pitching elbows, with the latter two electing to have Tommy John surgery; C.J. Wilson didn't throw a single pitch due to shoulder issues; Tyler Skaggs didn't return to the mound until July following a nearly two-year absence from Tommy John surgery; and Matt Shoemaker underwent emergency brain surgery in September after being hit in the head with a line drive.

All told, the Angels deployed a total of 15 starters who combined to post a 4.60 ERA, which ranked 20th in the Majors.

The injuries also extended to the club's bullpen. Closer Huston Street underwent season-ending knee surgery in August, while Cam Bedrosian's breakout season was cut short by surgery to remove a blood clot in September.

The Angels are hoping a healthier pitching staff will allow the club to rebound from its 74-88 finish last season and become contenders in the competitive American League West. Baseball Prospectus projects the Angels to win 78 games in 2017 and finish behind the Astros, Rangers and Mariners, but they have the pieces to potentially surprise in the division and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

Much of that hope revolves around Richards, the Angels' only true top-of-the-rotation arm who appears to have avoided Tommy John surgery through an alternative stem-cell treatment. The Halos are also counting on comebacks from Skaggs and Shoemaker and continued effectiveness from Ricky Nolasco, who recorded a 3.21 ERA in 11 starts after being acquired from the Twins at the Trade Deadline.

The Angels also improved their rotation depth by signing veteran Jesse Chavez to a one-year, $5.75 million contract. Chavez is expected to compete for the fifth spot in the Angels' rotation this spring, though he could also move to the bullpen if he falters. They're pinning their hopes for a bounce-back season on the arms of their pitchers. If they can contribute solid innings and stay healthy, Los Angeles will be a team to watch in 2017.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent injuries to their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arms downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitching under the Middle finger.

     To prevent pitching shoulders injuries, baseball pitchers need to stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim their pitching arm down the acromial line into the strike zone.

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0072.  Collins hopes to keep rotation healthy
Associated Press
February 13, 2017

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL: Terry Collins has his projected top five starting pitchers together in spring training for the first time in two years. Now the New York Mets manager hopes they stay healthy.

"You see them feeding off one another. They're sitting there, five lockers next to one another. You keep those guys healthy and run them out there as much as we can and they're going to get people out and we're going to win baseball games," Collins said Monday as pitchers and catchers reported. "If you can get 30 starts (each) out of those five guys, I'll take my chances."

Likely opening day starter Noah Syndergaard, the only one of the quintet who has avoided surgery, spoke Sunday after arriving, and Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler gave medical updates Monday.

Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen have cut back on their workload early in camp.

"When you're talking about the injuries that occur to pitchers, a lot of has to with the fact that perhaps we throw too much too early. We're not going to do that this year," Collins said. "You'll see tomorrow. There will be no throwing in drills. Dan and I sat down and figured out we can save a hundred throws a day by not having them throw in drills."

Harvey missed 2014 following Tommy John surgery, was a dominant presence as the Mets won the NL pennant in 2015, then struggled to a 4-10 record last season before surgery in July to repair a thoracic outlet syndrome injury.

"I was able to (get into) my normal offseason program. That made a difference rather than when I had the Tommy John surgery and had the whole offseason off," Harvey said.

He threw early Monday morning.

"I saw the fire I've seen in the past," Collins said. "He wants to be back on top. He likes to be the No. 1."

The lone lefty, Matz is on a normal scheduled after he had bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left shoulder.'

"Not pushing it too soon is kind of the idea, but I don't think anything's different," Matz said. "I'm coming into the spring, in my mind, like it's a normal spring training."

DeGrom was hurt in camp last spring training and struggled to get his velocity back. Wheeler had Tommy John surgery in March 2015 and his minor league injury rehabilitation assignment last summer was cut short after one inning.

"I'm not getting my hopes up for one second. I hope I'm good; I hope I'm ready. I've done everything I've could," Wheeler said. "It hasn't been fun, I tell you that, down here watching these guys play on TV every day."

Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are also candidates for the No. 5 rotation spot. Collins knows he will have Wheeler for a limited number of innings; the manager said he would rather have Wheeler, who may appear in the bullpen, at the season's end rather than the beginning.

"We're going to get him ready to start," Collins said. "We certainly think we're going to make a good run, and we'd like to have those innings late in the season when they're going to mean so much."


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     Until these baseball pitchers learn how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, they will continue to bang the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa.

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0073.  Rodriguez, Pomeranz, Wright undergoing specialized routines at start of spring training
Providence Journal
February 14, 2017

FORT MYERS, FL: Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) did not take part in pitchers' fielding practice during the first official Red Sox workout of spring training on Tuesday, instead going through agility drills on the side.

Rodriguez will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, Boston manager John Farrell said.

Fellow starters Drew Pomeranz (elbow) and Steven Wright (shoulder) took part in Tuesday's fielding drills but won't throw bullpen sessions until next Monday, Farrell said.

All three are competing for the final two spots in Boston's starting rotation — and all three have begun spring training a step behind the rest of the pitchers on the staff.

Spring training began four days earlier this year relative to Opening Day, a consequence of the need for pitchers participating in the World Baseball Classic to prepare themselves. Those extra days, to Farrell, give the Red Sox a chance to take things slow with Rodriguez, Pomeranz, and Wright.

"This first five or six days on the field, we've got some specialized routines for (them) individually," Farrell said. The fact that Rodriguez came through the first day of spring training healthy was an improvement on a year ago.

Last year's first workout saw Rodriguez dislocate his kneecap, an injury that kept him off the mound in the major leagues for almost two months and prevented him from pitching to his capabilities until mid-July.

Rodriguez suffered a minor injury to his knee while pitching in winter ball in Venezuela in December, an injury that raised red flags but does not appear to be serious.

Though he's coming along slowly with the Red Sox, Rodriguez still hasn't ruled out pitching in the World Baseball Classic. He was named to Venezuela's "Designated Pitcher Pool," meaning he's not active in the first round of the tournament but could be added in later rounds.

"I've got to see if the doctors will let me go," the young lefty said before Tuesday's workout. "I'd go, but, if not, I'll just stay here."

Relief pitcher Carson Smith, still working his way back from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last season, took part in fielding drills but will not throw off a bullpen until around March 10, Farrell said.


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     Until baseball pitchers stand tall and rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot, these baseball pitchers will continue to unnecessaryly twist the Rear foot.

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0074.  Tillman on shoulder rehab: 'I want to do it right, I'm not going to rush it'
Baltimore Sun
February 15, 2017

Chris Tillman entered the offseason hoping the right shoulder injury that resulted in a rare trip to the disabled list for three weeks late last season was behind him. But when the Orioles ace felt discomfort in his shoulder in mid-December, his attention immediately turned to ensuring he could resolve the problem before it lingered into 2017.

This year’s extended spring training — a result of the World Baseball Classic — will give him more time. But the Orioles’ timetable for Tillman’s return after a platelet-rich-plasma injection projects that he will be unable to make a fourth consecutive Opening Day start on April 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays; instead having him return to the rotation shortly thereafter.

The injection, which Tillman received in late December, pushed his offseason preparation back three weeks. Even if it meant the start of his season would be delayed, he had the shot because he wanted to open his year with the peace of mind that he was healthy going into the season.

“It didn’t feel right,” Tillman said before Wednesday’s spring training workout. “Every pitcher in here, there’s probably something clinical. And you can read into that or you don’t. I just wanted to get it behind us and do it the right way. I think that’s why we’re taking our time with it. We could go much faster, which would probably be the wrong way to do it. We sat down and we want to do it right and get this thing in the rear-view mirror.

“It never really bothered me. It just never felt how I would want it to in the offseason. I took the option of rest at the end of the season. It got better. It got much better. I wanted it to feel perfect.”

Tillman began his rehabilitation in Sarasota — where he owns a home in the offseason — three weeks after the injection, and Tuesday’s workout marked the “fourth or fifth” time he has played light catch.

“It’s gone really well,” Tillman said. “It’s feeling strong, it’s feeling better, but you’ve got to do it right. I don’t want to do it wrong and just say, ‘I’m going to go out there. I’m feeling better.’ I want to do it the right way and get it behind us. That way, it’s not an issue going forward.

“There’s a lot of hurdles to get over. I think most of them are mental. ... I’ve talked to many doctors in the last couple months and they are all optimistic and all positive. … I want to do it right. I’m not going to rush it out there just to get out there and have two more starts.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the forethought Tillman showed in addressing the shoulder early is an example of the pitcher’s maturity over the past four years as he became the club’s most consistent starter and a valued rotation leader.

“I think he trusts us and knows us,” Showalter said. “A lot of guys don’t feel comfortable coming to somebody and saying that. They just [think], ‘Oh, that will go away. I’ll work through it,’ and all of a sudden it’s April 1 and we’ve got a problem. Then the team has a problem and that’s all you need to know about Chris.

“The biggest thing he wants is to be there for his team, regardless of what it might mean for him. If you know Chris, he’s the kind of guy who says, ‘If things ended today, I’m a real lucky guy and I’m in great shape for the rest of my life.’ So the team doing well and [him] being a contributor is a driving force for him doing what he’s doing. I’ve found through the years that those guys really get a return for having that type of approach.”

Tillman said the feeling in his shoulder was comparable to the shoulder inflammation that landed him on the disabled list for three weeks in late August and early September last year, his first stint on the DL since 2013.

“It was similar, but what I was feeling in August, I was pitching,” Tillman said. “In the offseason, I wasn't doing much. I was letting it rest and do day-to-day stuff. Not that it was hurting in the offseason. I could have pitched in the offseason; just that I’ve never pitched with really any problems before and I want to get this normal for me.

“The whole thing in the offseason is that I hadn’t picked up a ball yet. I wanted to feel real good before I did. I’ve been throwing here recently, and I’m going to throw again today [Wednesday]. It’s been feeling real good throwing, and it’s getting stronger, and it’s feeling better every day. I haven’t really felt it much. It’s definitely much, much better than when I was sitting at home not doing much.”

Tillman has been the club’s most consistent starting pitcher and the rotation’s workhorse for the past four seasons, averaging 32 starts, 190 innings and 14 wins. Over that span, he ranks 12th among American League starting pitchers with 11.7 wins above replacement (WAR).

This will be also Tillman’s final season before reaching free agency and he would be one of the top starting pitchers on the market next offseason with a strong showing.

“That’s what I mean by [when] I say I want to do this right,” Tillman said. “I don’t want to rush just to try to have a good year this year to set something up. I want to do this right. No matter how long it takes, I want to get this behind me and not rush back into it. The urge is definitely there to go out and throw every day and do the [pitchers’ fielding practice] because I feel like I can, but I want to do it right.”

The Orioles were 22-8 in games started by Tillman last season, and he won 14 of his first 16 decisions last year, going 14-2 with a 3.18 ERA over his first 21 starts. He ended that by posting a 1.29 ERA during a four-start span in which he allowed just four runs over 28 innings.

But after Tillman’s fourth straight seven-inning, one-run start on July 21 at Yankee Stadium, something went awry. He posted a 5.44 ERA over his final nine starts of the season, a span that included his three-week DL stint. Tillman allowed a .291 batting average and an .841 OPS during that season-ending stretch. He also started the AL wild-card game loss, but was pulled after just 74 pitches over 4 1/3 innings with the game tied at 2.

“I think there’s a big adjustment that I had to make to feel good to pitch,” Tillman said about pitching through the end of the season. “I was able to pitch, I really was. It was just the bullpen and I had to take it a little differently, take a different mindset. Getting ready to throw was a little different, but I was fine to pitch and I think I’ll be fine to pitch when the lights turn on. It’s just getting it strong enough and healthy enough to where I don’t want to have to worry about it. I want to get it behind us.”

Tillman left the door for Opening Day slightly open, but said he would see the greater goal if he was unable to start a fourth straight season opener on April 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.

“I think it’s always a disappointment, but I kind of have a good feeling for where this thing is at right now,” Tillman said. “I wouldn’t be hugely disappointed at this point because I want to do it the right way. I think if we were to stick to a strict schedule, I don’t think that would put [Opening Day] there. The whole back end of our schedule is in pencil. This stuff right now is in pen. We’re going to stick to it. The back end of it is not written in pen, yet.”

Showalter said he’d like to avoid placing Tillman on the DL to open the season because then he wouldn’t be eligible to return until April 9. The fact that the Orioles have three days off over the first eight days of the season means Showalter won’t need a fifth starter until April 15, so the team could still carry Tillman on the Opening Day roster if he’s close.

“We might do that and still have him available to be one of the first five pitchers, which allows some flexibility with the roster to start the season,” Showalter said. “ … We’re just trying to build up the arm strength to put him back on the schedule he would have been on if he had been if he didn’t take those two or three weeks off.”


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     To prevent pitching shoulders injuries, baseball pitchers need to stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim their pitching arm down the acromial line into the strike zone.

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0075.  Bad news on Reyes throws competition for starters job open
St. Louis Post Dispatch
February 16, 2017

An off-speed pitch attempted last week in New Jersey by a 22-year-old with one of the most promising arms in baseball instantly reshaped the Cardinals’ season days before it officially began.

Rookie Alex Reyes will miss the entire season after rupturing a ligament in his right elbow. Five days after Reyes felt pain spiral through his pitching arm, the Cardinals confirmed Wednesday the diagnosis they feared: Their young righthander will have Tommy John surgery as early as Thursday in Jupiter. His sudden and complete absence from this year’s rotation throws wide open a competition that will see two former All-Stars, a revitalized Michael Wacha or repurposed Trevor Rosenthal, make their claim to the fifth starter’s job.

“Clearly he was someone who we had talked about competing for that fifth spot,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “So now we have one less. I don’t think it’s a panic mode by any means where we have to go out and fill. Overall, I still feel we have that depth, and that’s why you collect it.

“As you look at the depth question, now it’s a great opportunity.”

Reyes entered spring training as the No. 1 pitching prospect in the game and a favorite for the National League Rookie of the Year award, but not a certain starter for the Cardinals. The club expected him to have an impact in that role at some point this season, even for the majority of the season. The idea was to pit him against Wacha and others for the starting job to open the year. That changed this past Friday when, during a throwing session near his home in Elizabeth, N.J., he tried to throw an offspeed pitch.

Discomfort bolted through his elbow, and he notified the Cardinals. Travel delays meant that he did not see the team’s medical staff until Tuesday, the first official workout day of spring training. An MRI later that day revealed a complete tear of his UCL, and there was no other option but Tommy John surgery. Rehab requires at least a year.

The Cardinals told Reyes on Wednesday morning.

“Apparently this is what has to happen,” Reyes said. “It was just the kind of pain throughout my elbow that I haven’t felt before. The thoughts that have been going through my head is, ‘It (stinks).’ … That’s something you never want to go through, and unfortunately it’s here.”

The injury happened while Reyes was on the major-league roster so he will spend the entire year on the major-league disabled list gathering service time. This year will count for the six years he needs to become a free agent.

The Cardinals have little interest at this point at pursuing a starter from outside the organization. The available free agents are not inspiring.

Cardinals officials commented on Reyes’ surgery shortly before several of the candidates for the No. 5 spot took the mounds nearby for their first throws in front of coaches.

Three years removed from arriving at spring as a sensation like Reyes, Wacha got his first chance to show the Cardinals the work he put in to build up strength and prevent what has become a chronic shoulder concern. While Reyes’ youth and efficiency were questions he brought into the season, the Cardinals are without many certainties on the starting staff. Adam Wainwright is coming off the most frustrating season of his career, Mike Leake had his struggles heightened by a faulty defense, and Lance Lynn is coming back from Tommy John surgery after missing the entire 2016 season.

Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals’ leading pitcher last year, carries the least concern, while challengers to Wacha all have some hurdle to clear. Like Wacha, Rosenthal had an injury last year that led to troubles. Rosenthal had his elbow examined out of concern for a severe injury. Tyler Lyons and Marco Gonzales, two lefties, are both coming back from surgery, and righthander Luke Weaver strayed from his strengths in spot major league starts last year. Weaver, Lyons, Wacha and Rosenthal all threw bullpen sessions Wednesday.

Wacha’s “was as good as I’ve seen him throw in a long time,” manager Mike Matheny said. “The base. The fluidity of it. Right now, we don’t look so much at the end results but how all the components look. He looked to me as right as I’ve seen him in a long time.”

Wacha spent the winter building strength in and around his shoulder, throughout his core, and even into his legs. He did not arrive at spring training more musclebound, but with “the right muscles firing in the position they need to be to throw a baseball the correct way.” Two of the three previous years have been interrupted by a stress reaction in his scapula, and this winter he geared his workouts around alleviating the stress that causes the unusual injury.

The Cardinals have expanded the tests they use to determine weaknesses that could lead to future injury, and Wacha has continued to take those.

In 2013, Reyes received treatment for a partial ligament tear in his right elbow, one that at the time did not require surgery. He had shoulder troubles in 2015, and in recent years, the Cardinals revealed, had missed some time with flexor irritation. In January, when the Cardinals examined players, Reyes did not have any issues. He said the soreness emerged while he was throwing Friday, and the Cardinals said it’s possible the rupture was an “event” injury, not wear over time.

“Both times I’ve been hurt I’ve come back and I’ve felt 100 percent,” Reyes said. “We treat it when we feel it. Those injuries have never come back until my elbow started bothering me now.”

Reyes said he did not increase or hasten his preparation for spring because of his possible role in the World Baseball Classic next month. The Dominican Republic’s team had him on their taxi squad of pitchers.

A year ago, closer to the end of spring, the Cardinals learned that shortstop Jhonny Peralta would start on the disabled list with a hand injury, and that upended the Cardinals’ planned infield. Reyes’ injury comes early in spring at a position where the Cardinals have advertised their depth, and still it causes a familiar sinking feeling. In 2011, Wainwright’s elbow gave way in the first weeks of spring training, and the presumed ace missed the entire season. In 2013, both closer Jason Motte and starting shortstop Rafael Furcal had elbow injuries that required reconstruction and cost them the season.

In 2011, Kyle McClellan moved into the rotation for 17 starts before a midseason trade keyed the Cardinals for their World Series title run. Pete Kozma took over for Furcal in 2013 and struggled at the plate but was one of the league’s best fielders, and Edward Mujica would eventually get 37 saves in the ninth as Motte’s replacement.

“It’s obviously very disappointing. We had very high expectations for (Reyes),” Mozeliak said. “It’s a frustrating injury any time you lose this type of talent. … We have lost some key pitchers on day one. We have to remain optimistic and positive. In this game, there are injuries, and when you think about timing, sure it’s not great, but when is it ever great?”


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     To prevent injuries to their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arms downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, February 19, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0076.  My former college baseball pitcher has an idea

In the game I tend to get to amped up and over stride which affects my delivery.

I know I should be patient and wait till I land and point my acromial line until I explode with full intent.

I've always been a max effort guy and I know that's why I get a long stride in the game and lean to early.

To still throw hard I should wait till I get in front of my glove foot and still explode with full intent as hard as I can max effort... correct?

This has always been a problem in the game with getting too tense early wanting to throw hard resulting in a long stride.

What are your thoughts?


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     Differential tension control means to take out all tension that you do not need and quietly use all the muscles that do need.

     Great athletes do not grimace and grind.

     Instead, they take all tension out of all muscles that do not help.

     With every pitch, you need to practice taking the stress out of your face and any part of your body that does not help your pitching motion.

     Now, take your time until it is time for you to quietly explode your release.

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0077.  Winkler optimistic in comeback from second elbow surgery
Atlanta Journal Constitution
February 20, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: Dan Winkler has gone through more injury-rehab sessions in 2 ½ years than most pitchers endure in a long major league career. But the Braves reliever keeps plugging away, keeps believing his time will come and that his twice-surgically-repaired right elbow is going to hold together.

Winkler, 27, is coming back from a fractured elbow, a rather gruesome injury that occurred when he threw a pitch April 10 in just his fifth major league game since a year-plus rehab for Tommy John elbow surgery in 2014 – back when he was a promising strikeout machine in the Colorado Rockies organization.

Winkler had retired seven of eight batters he faced in the first week of the 2016 season, striking out four of the eight, before he threw a pitch and felt a horrible snap. A small bone on the underside of his elbow broke, and the surgery repair required a screw several inches long to re-attach the piece and assure (hopefully) it would remain stable.

Fortunately for him, the ligament wasn’t damaged again. Still, the particular fracture that Winkler had is rare and he only one or two players he was aware of have come back from a similar injury.

“Tommy John (rehab) was different,” said Winkler, who had to sit around for the rest of the season, completely resting his arm while the bone healed. “I could do more (soon after TJ surgery), I could stress it more. I could go golfing. But with this, I just had to sit and do nothing. It was driving me crazy. I didn’t even want to watch baseball. Every time I watched baseball it was like, how can I heal this bone faster?”

He began a throwing program again in early winter, and Winkler’s advanced to throwing from a distance of 120 feet. He hopes to get approval to begin throwing off a mound in one month (March 20), a timetable that could presumably have him ready to pitch in games by early summer. But there aren’t any timetables and he’s not getting ahead of himself with expectations of his return date.

Winkler just knows his arm feels good and he’s optimistic that he will be able to resume a career that has twice been abruptly halted just as it was beginning to ascend.

“We’ll see how that goes. I feel great,” said Winkler, who used his down time and first months back to make adjustments to his previously funky delivery. “I kind of changed my arm swing a little bit, shortened that up, to be more efficient. Not lose the deceptiveness, but be more connected in my mechanics. Trying to take a lot of stress (off elbow) and use my body more, not so much arm all the time.”

After talking to present and past Braves pitching coaches and physical therapists, the consensus was “that my arm swing was too long, my body was getting out in front and my arm was dragging. Just putting way too much stress on my elbow.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker said, “That (April injury) still makes you want to cringe a little bit. It was pretty traumatic what he went through, and it was a shame because he was throwing so well.”

If he makes it back, and assuming the Braves keep him, Winkler would have to remain on their 25-man major league roster for nearly two months once he’s activated, per Rule 5 draft rules. If they don’t keep him on the 25-man roster for that length, the Braves would have to offer him back to the Rockies for half of the original $50,000 claiming price.

Before Winkler’s Tommy John surgery in 2014, he had a 1.41 ERA in 12 starts that season the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate, with 71 strikeouts and 17 walks in 70 innings. He made the Braves’ opening day roster in 2016 after totaling 17 strikeouts with no walks in 11 innings at spring training.


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The article said:

01. "Dan Winkler had from a rather gruesome fractured elbow.
02. "Mr. Winkler felt a horrible snap."
03. "A small bone on the underside of his elbow broke."

     To prevent fracturing the elbow, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     In addition, all baseball pitchers should never use their Pectoralis Major muscle to release their breaking pitches.

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0078.  How Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio is fixing four pitchers who could be hidden gems
Sports Illustrated
February 21, 2017

MESA, AZ: The Cubs’ defense of their world championship begins in a laboratory here. Though it includes plenty of math and physics, there are no beakers, test tubes, microscopes or white smocks. What you will find are adjoining 10-inch mounds of clay and dirt that slope one foot for every inch. Welcome to the lab of Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, where on these bullpen mounds at the team’s training complex, the failed and the anonymous begin to be transformed.

"I know I’m listening to him," said one of his latest lab students, Alec Mills, a 25-year-old righthander who was traded to Chicago by the Royals earlier this month. "He’s had a little bit of success, wouldn’t you say? We already did some special drills this morning."

Including the postseason, the Cubs rolled up 114 wins last year, 113 of which were credited to pitchers they acquired from other organizations. Team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have keen eyes for finding pitchers on the cusp of breaking out. Often the key to realizing that leap forward happens in Bosio’s lab.

The lab may well be the key to Chicago's chances of repeating as champions. For all the acclaim given to All-Stars such as Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell, the season might swing on pitchers who walk the grounds here without even the most fervent fans recognizing them: Mills, Brett Anderson, Eddie Butler and Casey Kelly. Combined 2016 production of the four anonymous starters: 3–10 and 13 starts.

The Cubs got lucky last year. I’m not talking about the Giants’ bullpen imploding three outs away from getting the NLDS to ace Johnny Cueto, or injuries to Indians starters Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco that forced Cleveland to become only the second team in a quarter century to use starters on short rest four times in the World Series, or—good heavens—17 blissful minutes of a restorative rain delay on the edge of blowing Game 7. Chicago had freakishly good health when it came to its veteran starting pitching.

Four pitchers in their 30s made at least 29 starts last year for the Cubs (Arrieta, Lester, John Lackey and Jason Hammel). It marked only the 11th time so many starters so old worked so often, and the first time in the 12 seasons with penalties for PEDs. Overall, Chicago used 30-something pitchers to start 122 games—also the most since 2005.

What are the odds such luck happens again? Hammel is gone, after Chicago allowed him to pursue free agency and an eventual job with Kansas City. Lester (now 33), Arrieta (who turns 31 next month) and Lackey (38) started 92 regular-season games for Chicago last year. The team played .663 baseball when they started (61–31) and .609 baseball when they didn’t (42–27).

Keeping Lester, Arrieta and Lackey healthy and rested is a priority for the Cubs. The plan to do so includes slow-playing them in spring training—none will work in the first handful of spring training games—and occasionally using a six-man rotation during rigorous portions of the schedule.

Mike Montgomery, 27, figures to replace Hammel in the rotation. (He has never thrown 160 innings in any of his nine pro seasons.) A 2016 graduate of the lab, Montgomery typifies how Chicago finds and improves pitchers. Epstein saw the stuff of a potential 15-game winner buried in middle relief for Seattle. Bosio worked on improving Montgomery's confidence and how he uses his stuff, using Pitch FX data to double the lefthander's curveball usage and dial back his cutter use against righthanders. Montgomery wound up getting the last out of the World Series.

No organization has been better than the Cubs at acquiring and improving pitchers. The list of the lost-and-found in recent years includes Arrieta, Trevor Cahill, Justin Grimm, Kyle Hendricks, Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop. It’s a credit not only to Epstein, Hoyer and Bosio, but also to catching coach and game-planning guru Mike Borzello and run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy, the latter of whom synthesizes analytical and scouting information.

This year Chicago will need rotation depth. (Lester and Arrieta combined for 72 starts and 458 innings last year, playoffs included, so beware fatigue.) Here are the four students in Bosio’s lab who are most likely to be the next success story for the Cubs (presented in alphabetical order). And who knows? Maybe one of them might be the next one to get the last out of the World Series.

Brett Anderson

The big-bodied lefthander once looked like an ace in the making. In 2009, he set the Oakland franchise rookie record for strikeouts in a season with 150. At ages 21 and 22, in his first two seasons, Anderson went 18–17 with a 3.57 ERA in 49 starts. Alas, in six years since then, he has made only 66 starts and averaged only 66 innings per year. The guy simply can’t stay healthy. He has been sidelined because of Tommy John surgery (2011), an oblique strain ('12), a stress fracture in his right foot ('13), a broken index finger and surgery to repair a herniated disk ('14) and another surgery on the same disk ('16). The next back surgery, he said, would end his career.

Epstein signed Anderson for $3.5 million, with incentives that could earn him another $6.5 million. When healthy, Anderson’s package of pitches—low-to-mid 90s sinker, slider, curve and change—is still impressive.

The first thing Bosio noticed about Anderson was that he was landing on the side of his right foot—probably a bad habit caused over the years by compensating for his broken foot and bad back. The flaw would put Anderson in a compromised position at release. His fingers stayed behind the baseball, causing him to "push" the ball toward the plate. Bosio immediately worked with Anderson on getting back to landing in the preferred manner: softly on the ball of his front foot. That change immediately allowed Anderson to get his fingers on top of the ball just prior to release, generating more life and spin on his pitches.

Moreover, as he did with Mills, Bosio made sure he put Anderson in the best possible training group of pitchers this spring: the one with Lester, another big-bodied lefthander.

Eddie Butler

This is a familiar story about why pitchers don’t develop in Colorado. The Rockies picked Butler in the first round of the 2012 draft (No. 46 overall) out of Radford University. They immediately changed him from a sinkerball pitcher to a four-seam pitcher. The next year they raised his release point five inches. They stressed the importance of pitching repeatedly to the low-and-outside area as a way of combating the effect of altitude on fly balls. Altitude also sapped the bite on his slider and curve.

"Consistency was the biggest problem," he said. "The ball moves three inches at home and six inches on the road, so you find yourself constantly adjusting to what your ball is doing. It’s hard to be consistent."

Butler posted a 7.92 ERA at Coors Field and a 5.40 ERA elsewhere. Last month, the Rockies designated him for assignment, taking away the roster spot of a 25-year-old former first-round pick to make room for Greg Holland, a 31-year-old reliever who did not pitch last season because of Tommy John surgery. Epstein quickly snapped him up in a trade.

The first thing Bosio did with Butler was to tell him he wanted him be himself—to be comfortable pitching in the style that had made him a first-round pick. That meant returning him to a lower release point and to having him use his sinker, not his four-seamer, as his primary fastball. In Chicago, unlike in Colorado, that also means pounding fastballs inside.

If this story sounds familiar, it is. In 2013, Bosio took a former fifth-round pick who needed a change of scenery because his organization kept changing how he threw and returned him to his more natural way of throwing. That organization was Baltimore, and that pitcher was Arrieta, who went on to win the 2015 NL Cy Young Award. Bosio also turned around Strop, who was acquired in that same deal with the Orioles, after he noticed he pitched from the first base side of the rubber during the 2013 World Baseball Classic; Baltimore had him pitching from the third base side.

"You pay attention," Bosio said. "You work with what’s comfortable for a guy."

Casey Kelly

"This guy may be the most exciting one of all after all is said and done," Bosio said.

The Red Sox, under Epstein, drafted Kelly in 2008 in the first round, 30th overall. It took $3 million to convince Kelly to pass up a chance to play quarterback at Tennessee and a promise to allow Kelly to pitch and play shortstop. In 2009 at Class A Greenville, Kelly posted a 1.12 ERA in the first half of the season before switching to shortstop, when he hit .222. After the season, he decided to concentrate on pitching.

The next year, Epstein traded Kelly and Rizzo to get first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego. Kelly’s career never took off. He was sidetracked by Tommy John surgery—which robbed him of two to three miles per hour off his fastball—followed by a conversion to the bullpen and then a trade to the Braves, where he spent most of last year in Triple A. Once ranked by Baseball America as the ninth-best pitching prospect in the game, Kelly is now 27 years old with a career major league record of 2–8 and a 6.39 ERA.

(To show you how fickle prospect rankings can be, especially for pitchers, the eight pitching prospects ranked ahead of Kelly in 2010 were Stephen Strasburg, Brian Matusz, Neftali Feliz, Madison Bumgarner, Martin Perez, Jeremy Hellickson, Aroldis Chapman and Tyler Matzek, with Kyle Drabek ranked just behind Kelly. Half of the top 10 have had Tommy John surgery. Further, 19 of the 33 top-ranked pitching prospects from 2010 have had Tommy John surgery—58%—and only four of them are current major league starters who have not had the surgery: Bumgarner, Hellickson, Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran.)

Epstein, who signed Kelly originally, and Hoyer, who traded for him in San Diego, signed Kelly in January as a minor league free agent.

"The one thing we’d like to do with him is create some deception," Epstein said.

A righthander, Kelly throws from the first-base side of the rubber with a high three-quarters release point and a front side that opens up early. That means he releases the ball close to the middle of the rubber—he creates almost no angle on his pitches—and "shows" the ball early to the hitter. He might be better served pitching from the third-base side of the rubber and staying closed longer.

Moreover, like Butler, Kelly should re-think how he uses his fastballs. Kelly throws four-seamers twice as often as he does two-seamers, but he may want to reverse that rate. That’s because Kelly is a short-strider with low spin rate on his four-seam fastball—a bad combination. His four-seam fastball has below-average velocity (91 mph), but because of his short stride and low spin, the perceived velocity of the pitch (88.9 mph) is even further below average. A short stride, in which a pitcher throws over a firmer front leg, and a low spin rate are actually preferential for a sinkerball pitcher.

Alec Mills

Mills never was anybody’s idea of a hot prospect. The righthander walked on at Tennessee-Martin, was drafted in the 22nd round in 2012 by Kansas City, blew out his elbow in '13 and throws with average velocity, in the mid-90s. The Royals designated him for assignment after they signed Hammel.

"I got designated at 4 o’clock and traded to the Cubs at 6 o’clock," he said. "Everything happened so fast."

Bosio quickly heard from people he knew in the Kansas City system who told him, "I can’t believe you got him."

The first thing Bosio did with Mills was to ask him a question.

"Did you watch the World Series last year?"

"Sure," said Mills, a Cubs fan growing up.

"Who do you see yourself most like?"

"Kyle Hendricks. I think my stuff is similar. I like to pitch off of changing speeds. But nobody’s ever showed me how."

The next thing Bosio did was to assign Mills to shadow Hendricks in the same pitching group in spring training.

"I’ll be watching and asking questions," Mills said.

The minor league version of Mills actually has been a bit better than the minor league version of Hendricks, whom Epstein stole in a 2013 trade with Texas. In a similar amount of career minor league innings, Mills posted better rates than Hendricks in walks per nine innings (1.9, 2.0), strikeouts per nine (8.6, 7.7) and strikeouts to walks (4.44, 3.76). In 2015, Mills struck out 111 and walked only 14.

Now Bosio is showing Mills how to change speeds effectively. The key: pounding sinkers in, which opens up the outside of the plate and the occasional elevated four-seamer.


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     The article said:

01. "For all the acclaim given to All-Stars such as Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell, the season might swing on pitchers who walk the grounds here without even the most fervent fans recognizing them."
02. "Mills, Brett Anderson, Eddie Butler and Casey Kelly might produce."

     The only baseball pitcher that releases his breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     With the others continuing to bang the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, they are more likely to destroy their elbows.

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0079.  How baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John
Yahoo Sports
February 21, 2017
by Jeff Passan

TEMPE, AZ: On the day he hoped would save his elbow, Garrett Richards laid face down on a table with his back exposed. A doctor guided a needle into the iliac crest of his pelvic bone and began to extract bone marrow. Richards was wide awake, the blessing of local anesthesia saving him from physical pain but not the anxiety that crept into his head: Is this really going to work?

Within a few minutes, the harvested marrow was hurried to a centrifuge, spun to separate the good stuff, mixed into a slurry of platelet-rich plasma and readied to inject into Richards' damaged right elbow. Rather than the standard tear across his ulnar collateral ligament, Richards’ ran lengthwise along the middle of his UCL, a rare manifestation of an increasingly commonplace injury that almost always ends with Tommy John surgery. Not in this case. While he could have chosen that route, he wanted to explore first the efficacy of the aforementioned good stuff: stem cells.

Today, Garrett Richards is darting 98-mph fastballs again. “I feel as good as I ever have throwing a baseball,” he said Monday from Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the Los Angeles Angels, perhaps the most Tommy John-addled team in baseball, expect to break camp with Richards as their opening day starter. The 28-year-old is the latest player to turn to orthobiologics, the class of treatments that includes stem cells and PRP, in hopes of healing an injury. While clinical studies have shown great success with those who use orthobiologics, they are not yet a panacea for the pervasive elbow injuries in baseball for two reasons: They work only on partial ligament tears, like Richards’, and medical studies have yet to validate their efficacy independent of other treatments run concurrently.

The lack of knowledge as to how orthobiologics work inside the body – while the proteins in stem cells and platelets are believed to regrow damaged tissue, doctors have yet to isolate best practices for particular injuries – speaks to the difficulties in true medical advances. Still, the desire of Richards and others to avoid surgery lends orthobiologics enough credence to warrant further studies.

“I truly think this kind of treatment has significant potential,” said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a longtime orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles who introduced orthobiologics to Major League Baseball when he injected PRP into the elbow of Dodgers reliever Takashi Saito in 2008. “There’s no question biologics are here to stay and biologic manipulation is the frontier of treatment in what we’re doing. The problem, as I see it, is that the marketing and clinical use has far exceeded the science behind it.”

Translation: Once the use of PRP and stem cells found traction in the media, pro athletes and weekend warriors alike sought their use, even if the success stories skewed anecdotal. Bartolo Colon resurrected his career after a stem cell injection in 2010 and is still pitching today at 43. Others did so without the fanfare or publicity. Richards faced a choice after being diagnosed with a partially torn UCL last May: Undergo Tommy John surgery and, at earliest, return following the 2017 All-Star break or follow the advice of Dr. Steve Yoon, a partner of ElAttrache’s at Kerlan-Jobe, and try to salvage the ligament with stem cells.

“Science, bro,” Richards said. “I’m a believer now.”

Two weeks before Richards began his treatment, teammate Andrew Heaney had looked to avoid Tommy John via stem cells. Richards figured they’d rehab together every step of the way and be back in time for the fall instructional league. Then at the end of June, a scan showed Heaney’s elbow wasn’t healing, and he would need reconstructive surgery. Already Tyler Skaggs had taken nearly two years to return from his 2014 surgery, and six weeks after Heaney’s, starter Nick Tropeano went down. Like Heaney, he is expected to miss the 2017 season.

It made Richards’ recovery that much more imperative. His first checkup, six weeks in, showed regrowth in the torn area via ultrasound. By August, he started throwing, and come October, when instructional league was in full bloom, so too was Richards. He didn’t hesitate to pump his fastball and rip off one of his spin-heavy breaking balls. As far as pure, raw stuff goes, few in baseball can match Richards.

He was convinced science was working, bro, though the skepticism about orthobiologics generally remains, and understandably so, in the medical community. In May 2013, a paper published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found 30 of 34 overhand throwers with partial UCL tears who used PRP had returned to their previous level of competition. This was reason for celebration. If a player could avoid the 14-month-plus recovery from the surgery, better for him as well as the team.

Another study arrived in 2016 that didn’t cast doubt on the value of orthobiologics so much as offer a different avenue: rest. The 28 players used everything from electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser therapy, massage and other soft-tissue work. And when paired with rest, their return to previous level came in at 84 percent. It was almost exactly as effective as PRP.

This reinforced ElAttrache’s concern: Neither of those studies had a control group against which to measure, so the numbers, while impressive, could not isolate what helped and what didn’t. This chicken-or-egg question struck ElAttrache just the same when Saito returned and went on to pitch five seasons.

“Maybe it was the injection,” ElAttrache said. “Or maybe it was that we shut him down and let him heal.”

He doesn’t know, and that’s an important distinction as orthobiologics grows exponentially. In 2004, voters in California pledged to provide $3 billion for stem-cell research and create the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. It remains a benefactor for an industry trying to find its place in the United States.

Across the world, stem cells have far greater potency. U.S. law prevents doctors from manipulating the cells in any way. They are extracted and put back into patients’ bodies as is. In Switzerland, for example, doctors will harvest stem cells, manipulate them to promote greater healing capacity and then inject them. At least one star pitcher this offseason sought a stem cell injection in the United States, according to sources, while another veteran traveled halfway across the world to Zurich, seeking the comparative lack of regulations just as Peyton Manning did in 2011 to help heal a neck injury that eventually needed surgery.

The future of orthobiologics domestically doesn’t end with the FDA loosening rules on stem cell usage. Doctors see significant promise in stem cells from a baby’s umbilical cord or a mother’s placenta, both of which can be frozen. Already they’re capable of harvesting stem cells from old patients and engineering the cells into an immature state. The possibilities going forward are endless.

For right now, they’re going to play themselves out in Anaheim. The danger zone for re-injury after using orthobiologics tends to fall between April and June, though Richards can’t imagine falling prey again. In addition to the 13-week break from throwing he took over the summer, Richards spent 10 more weeks in the offseason letting it heal further.

During his down time, Richards studied his own delivery to find even the slightest inefficiencies. He had three numbers in mind. The first was 85. That’s the percent at which he said he’ll throw his fastball, though because of improved mechanics he expects it won’t hinder his velocity. The second is 100. That’s the pitch limit the Angels will foist on Richards, and he’s not one to fight. The third is 200. That’s the number of innings Richards wants to pitch this season. He did it in 2015 and sees no reason he can’t again.

If he can throw 85 percent, keep his pitch count below 100 and get those 200 innings, it will play publicly as another validation of orthobiologics. Just the same, if Richards’ elbow gives out eventually, his association with stem cells could perhaps give those considering it pause. Richards pays no mind to this. He just wants to be great.

So much so, in fact, that it’s going to cost him. Inside the Angels’ clubhouse, a chart, labeled 1 through 13, is taped to the side of a locker. It’s a list of shame with the price buying lunch for the entire team. Players, coaches, P.R. directors, even manager Mike Scioscia are on there. Next to No. 6, it read: “G. Rich – Ace.” He had made the mistake of saying aloud what he believed to be true: that he’s the ace of the Angels.

Fulfilling that depends on plenty of things, none as important as his elbow, and Richards knows that. He’ll do everything he can to take care of it, to nurture it, to fight against its natural gift of velocity that puts him at such risk. To make sure that next time he’s on a table in the doctor’s office, it’s not with his elbow opened up and another season lost.


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     The article said:

01. "The harvested marrow hurried to a centrifuge, spun to separate the good stuff, mixed into a slurry of platelet-rich plasma and injected into Gerrett Richards' damaged right elbow."
02. "Rather than the standard tear across his ulnar collateral ligament, Mr. Richards’ ran lengthwise along the middle of his UCL."

     Platelet-rich plasma does not prevent banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa.

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0080.  Should Nola have an innings limit in 2017
Outside Pitch Sports Network
February 22, 2017

It is a topic that really is not up for discussion. The manager and front office make the decisions and rarely anyone else. The Philadelphia Phillies plan on limiting starting pitcher Aaron Nola in 2017. He is a young arm, fresh off an elbow injury that cut him short last year. On top of that, he is expected to grow into the ace of the future.

So the number of arms available to replace him is not a problem. And the Phillies are not expected to compete for a playoff spot, at least not yet. Although surprises could always happen. So far in Spring Training, Nola looks good.

He is sporting new long hair, a fresh look for a new fresh season. The real test for Nola will be when he finally pitches in live game action next week, but so far so good in bullpen sessions. Nothing but sunshine and daisies to report. Truthfully, the health of his elbow is definitely one of the biggest questions facing the team. No doubt the Phillies will be better with him rather than without him. It just comes down to that elbow.

No surgery was needed for Nola, as he instead opted to just get an injection and rehab. The 23-year-old is a perfectionist who can spot his pitches better than most in the entire league, but he only pitched 111 innings a year ago. Some surmise he pitched some of those hurt as well. Because of that fact, it would not look wise to push Nola to almost 200 innings. In a league where one in every four pitchers now get Tommy John surgery, being cautious is not a negative.

There has been no specific statement on what the innings cap will be. A lot of it can be decided from how Nola performs and how much he feels he can push it. On the flip side, the team management and team physicians will surely be in constant communication. In the end, somewhere between 130 and 150 innings is a good bet.


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The article said:

01. "Aaron Nola is a young arm, fresh off an elbow injury that cut him short last year."
02. "On top of that, Mr. Nola is expected to grow into the ace of the future."
03. "The health of his elbow is definitely one of the biggest questions facing the team."
04. "No doubt the Phillies will be better with him rather than without him."
05. "It just comes down to that elbow."
06. "No surgery was needed for Mr. Nola, as he instead opted to just get an injection and rehab."

     To prevent injurying the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to contract their Pronator Teres muscle before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0081.  Hanrahan returns as Pirates minor league coach
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
February 23, 2017

BRADENTON, FL: Former Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan is back at Pirate City. The club announced Wednesday Hanrahan has rejoined the organization as assistant pitching coach for Class A short-season West Virginia.

Hanrahan, 35, had 100 saves over seven major league seasons. He was traded to the Pirates by the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline in 2009 with outfielder Lastings Milledge for left-hander Sean Burnett and outfielder Nyjer Morgan. He made 238 appearances for the Pirates from 2009 to 2012 with a 2.59 ERA and 82 saves.

The Pirates sent Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox on Dec. 26, 2012, with outfielder Brock Holt for a package that included Mark Melancon, who later became the Pirates closer, right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, outfielder Jerry Sands and outfielder Ivan De Jesus.

Hanrahan played only one more year in the majors, posting a 9.82 ERA in nine appearances for Boston in 2013. He had Tommy John surgeries in 2013 and 2015 before officially retiring in November.


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     To prevent injurying the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to contract their Pronator Teres muscle before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0082.  My baseball pitcher has some comments

Great, I will take all the tension out.

I was having trouble locking out my arm.

I fixed it by trying to get my elbow higher than my hand at driveline height, but my elbow and hand stay at the same level which is what I want correct?

I use the cue of getting my elbow higher than my hand at the end of pendulum swing to stay in lock.

I also noticed the only way to really lean back through release and force couple is if my shoulders are turned.

Also I imagine that there is an acromial line and that I should drive the baseball right down it.

Things I need to get better at are rotating faster and tighter along my acromial line and not veering off towards my glove side.

What are some ways to rotate faster and tighter?


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     At the end of your pendulum swing, you want the palm of your pitching hand facing away from your head at driveline height. The upper arm is at shoulder height and the forearm angled upward to the hand.

     When the heel of your Front foot lands, you move the upper arm forward and upward pointed forty-five degrees from at home plate.

     Driveline height is the vertical height of the elbow in 'Slingshot.'

     Between moving the upper arm forward and upward, you 'lock' your pitching arm in front of the acromial line.

     When you rotate your hips and shoulders forward together over your Front foot, you drive your upper arm from forty-five degrees outside to slightly inside of the line toward home plate.

     After your 'horizontal rebound,' you drive your body and pitching arm as far forward as you are able.

     You need to keep your body tight and on the acromial line.

     To rotate faster, you need to stand tall while moving your body along the straight line to the center of the strike zone.

     Staying on the acromial line at the strike zone is essential.

     Stick your body and your pitching hand in the center of strike zone.

     If you drop step, then you drive straight forward for your Maxline pitches without wobbling.

     If you cross step, then you drive straight forward for your Torque pitches without wobbling.

     Be mindful of keeping your balance when the heel of your Front foot lands whether drop or cross.

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0083.  My baseball pitcher needs a better description

When you say: "When you rotate your hips and shoulders forward together over your Front foot, you drive your upper arm from forty-five degrees outside to slightly inside of (acromial) the line toward home plate."

This means just barely throw my elbow inside the acromial line correct?

Inside the acromial line is on the throwing side of the line?


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     When you rotate your hips and shoulders forward together over your Front foot, you need to drive the center of your hips and shoulders as far down the acromial line as possible.

     At the same time, you need to move your upper arm from forty-five degrees from outside of the acromial line to as far down the acromial line as you are able to move your upper arm.

     Basically, we need to you to move your rotating hips and shoulders as far down the acromial line as possible as well as moving the upper arm in line with the acromial line.

     When you are moving down the acromial line, you need to control your body as far as possible before you explode your release.

     This is easier to show you what to do than write what we want you to do.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, February 26, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0084.  Update

I hope all is well!

I wanted to update you with some good news.

I was just accepted an offer to be the next Head Baseball Coach at SUNY Cobleskill.

It is a brand new program, Division 3, starting next year.

While I couldn't be more thrilled for the opportunity, I've got a lot of work ahead of me with recruiting and preparing for next year.

I've been in touch with Steve Sullivan over the years as I know he's been one of your strongest advocates.

I picked his brain but also wanted to ask you if you have any contacts for any former players or people who might want to get into coaching.

While I've been a pitching coach for the past 6 seasons, one piece of advice I've always heard is find a good pitching coach.

Steve also mentioned you've made some changes to the pitching motion.  Mentioned a video.

I'd love to see them if you have them available.

I haven't really derived from the mechanics you taught me 10 or so years ago but I would love to see where things are at now.


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     Give me your address and I will send you a pitching workout disc.

     I will also insert other material.

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0085.  Tommy John: Pitch counts are 'good first step' at preventing injuries
State Journal-Register
February 24, 2017

Tommy John, the former Major League Baseball pitcher synonymous with the most groundbreaking surgery in the sport, says what most often leads athletes, particularly younger athletes, to the operating table is overuse.

John, a 288-game winner who pitched for five organizations spanning a 26-year career, said there are other culprits -- like pay-to-play travel teams, one-sport specialization and radar guns that measure pitching velocity -- that are leading young athletes to get the "Tommy John surgery," in which tendons are grafted from another part of the body onto the damaged elbow.

John and Dr. George Paletta Jr., head orthopedic physician for the St. Louis Cardinals, are in town this weekend as guests of the Springfield Clinic Sports Medicine Department for a symposium at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation. The two also are presenters at an event Friday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

John said that a "pitch count" being implemented for this spring's baseball season for the first time by the Illinois High School Association is "a good first step" at addressing the overuse problem. There are no such "pitch counts" for summer and fall travel teams, however, said John, which exacerbates the problem.

"Travel ball is the culprit of the country," insisted John, in a phone interview. "If you could eliminate travel ball, that would be good, but it's a multimillion-dollar business.

"Name me a pitcher in (Major League Baseball) who throws all year-round."

John was a star athlete running track and playing basketball at Gerstmeyer High School in Terre Haute, Indiana, before going on to Indiana State University. He's maintained that forcing kids into one sport at an early age is also a detriment to their development.

John said he would also get rid of radar guns that are particularly relied upon by scouts but don't paint an accurate picture of how good a pitcher can be.

"The only way you're going to get scouted is if you throw 95 to 100 (miles per hour)," he said. "How hard did I throw? I don't know.

"(Hall of Famers) like (Tom) Seaver and (Steve) Carlton threw in the low 90s. Pitching that hard at such a young age is putting more force on your arm than your muscle can absorb."

Local coaches

Some local high school baseball coaches, like Springfield High's Jim Steinwart, weren't immediately sold on the new IHSA "pitch count" rules.

Those rules limit a pitcher to 105 pitches per game. Additionally, there's a sliding scale for rest a pitcher is required to have. A pitcher who throws 76 to 105 pitches, for example, won't be allowed to pitch for four days. That same pitcher can throw up to 90 pitches in a second game in a seven-day period.

"I like to think coaches are educated and take care of their kids," said Steinwart. "As I've heard more about it, I think it's a good idea, But you also have kids with different body types throwing at different velocities.

"The thing that bothers me is that it's a one-size-fits-all."

While he supports the spirit of the rule, James Range acknowledged that smaller high school programs, like Lutheran High School where he coaches, might be hampered more by the "pitch count" rule.

Range pointed out that Lutheran has three or four front-line starters while several others can do relief work. With rainouts and limited game dates, that situation can get tricky, said Range.

"We'll have to adapt to it the best we can," he said.

Range, who grew up in Highland and pitched at Southwest Community College and the University of Illinois Springfield, said he pitched in travel ball from middle school on.

"I threw a lot, but my parents did a good job of not overdoing it," said Range.

Kids at a younger age, he added, also are throwing specialty pitches like change-ups and sliders.

Range agreed that young athletes should be playing more than one sport.

"I've seen kids better than me in baseball work their way up college, then they give it up because they're tired of it," said Range."You have kids who are throwing all year-round now," noted Steinwart. "I say play the other sports and use the other muscles."

Surgical pioneer

John, 73, had his surgery in 1974 in the middle of a breakout year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then-team doctor Frank Jobe, John's close friend who died in 2014, recommended the surgery that Jobe had only previously done on polio patients. Even then, recalled John, Jobe gave the surgery a less than 5 percent chance of working.

John said he also didn't have a regimented rehab and that he simply threw six days a week, at first to his wife, and then to a neighbor as the velocity kicked in.

"I did exercises as if I had a good shoulder," said John. "Ben White (a Dodgers scout) saw me throwing and said, 'You're going to make it back (to the majors) because you're throwing free and easy.'"

John, who pitched 13 more seasons after the surgery, said kids and their parents need to be more realistic about professional baseball.

"There are 10 million kids between the ages of 8 and 18 playing baseball. There are 30 Major League Baseball teams with 12 pitchers on staff. That's 10 million kids looking for 360 jobs.

"You have to be so talented, so lucky and so blessed to make it. I tell them get a scholarship, go to college, maybe play baseball there and then go on with the rest of your life."


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     With 10 to 16 year old baseball pitchers, parents should practice skills, not compete.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to use their Latissimus Dorsi muscle, Triceps Brachii muscle and the Pronator Teres muscle.

     I know of one professional baseball pitcher that threw pitches throughout the year, me.

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0086.  LSU's Norman to have Tommy John surgery
Times-Picayune
February 27, 2017

LSU feared the worst when junior reliever Doug Norman dropped to one knee Sunday after he threw a pitch Sunday against Maryland.

On Monday, those fears were confirmed. The right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament suffered when he threw a pitch in the seventh inning of LSU's 9-5 victory that secured a series sweep, coach Paul Mainieri said.

Norman told Mainieri he felt something pop as he released a 92 mph pitch that caused Norman to step off the mound and drop to one knee, the coach said. That was the last of the 20 pitches Norman threw Sunday.

Mainieri said Norman showed no sign of discomfort before then, even as he gave up three hits and two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

The pitcher told his coach he felt fine up until the pitch before his final one, when something didn't feel right as he released a changeup for a ball.

Although Mainieri indicated Sunday the injury could keep Norman out for an extended period, the coach said "you hold out hope and you pray it's not what you fear it is." Those fears were confirmed with an MRI conducted Monday morning.

"I know Doug and I know what a great competitor the guy is," Mainieri said. "He's a little down in the dumps now and he'll get ready for this challenge he is going to face and he'll meet it head on. He's got a long rehabilitation process ahead of him."

Norman has made 47 career appearances with the Tigers, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.82 ERA in 70.1 innings.

Mainieri said Norman figured to play a key part out of the bullpen this season. "We were counting on him to be our main setup man," the coach said.

The injury to Norman puts him out for the season alongside senior Alden Cartwright, ruled out before the season due to an elbow injury suffered in 2016.


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     Year after year, LSU head baseball coach, Paul Mainieri had baseball pitchers after baseball pitchers suffered through Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres muscle contracting during the acceleration phase.

     In seven years of coaching college baseball pitchers, not one suffered any pitching injury.

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0087.  New Reds bullpen a reboot of an old idea
Cincinnati Enquirer
February 28, 2017

GOODYEAR, AZ: For baseball’s oldest franchise, it’s fitting that a new idea is really an old one in disguise. That’s the case when it comes to how the Cincinnati Reds plan to close out games.

Reds manager Bryan Price has talked about it since the middle of last season. He doesn’t want to get “cliché” with his bullpen, he said. And with a pair of young former starters ready to take over the late innings in Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen, the Reds are poised to have a set of alternating, multi-inning closers.

Compared to the staid bullpen deployment of the last decade, with relievers slotted firmly into single-inning roles, it’s an interesting way of attacking the final innings of games. Both right-handers could theoretically wind up with more than 100 innings out of the bullpen, many of them in high-leverage situations.

It feels new, but it’s not.

“We may set back the clock,” said Price, “and say there are more ways than one to skin a cat.”

An old method

Hundred-inning relievers are not unheard of in baseball. In fact, it’s been accomplished 343 times, most recently by Scott Proctor in 2006. But what about two 100-inning relievers in one bullpen? Not that uncommon either.

Before bullpens were modernized and bullpen roles specialized, plenty of teams had guys who pitched the final few innings of games. There have been 33 instances in baseball history where a team has produced two 100-inning relievers, spanning from 1962 to 1999. It happened five times in 1982 alone.

It’s not even that old of an idea for the Reds. Cincinnati has done it twice, first in 1986 with John Franco and Ron Robinson, who combined for 217 2/3 innings and 84 games finished. The Reds are also the most recent team to do it – in 1999, Scott Sullivan and Danny Graves pitched a combined 224 2/3 innings and together finished 72 games.

Baseball moved away from that model as teams realized they could more efficiently attack the final outs of games by using specific pitchers in specific roles. But now teams might be finally willing to break out of that role.

For the Cleveland Indians last year, that meant pitching their best relief arm – left-hander Andrew Miller – in tough spots earlier in the game. In the playoffs, it meant frequent multi-inning appearances from Miller, then-Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman and Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.

The latter two in that list got paid this offseason, pulling in a combined $166 million over the next five years. Miller will make $9 million over the next two years, and will probably hit the jackpot on the free agent market after that.

It shows teams are paying for more than just three outs in the ninth these days.

“I think we’re seeing the lines between starter and reliever blurred a little bit,” said David Stearns, general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. “We certainly saw that this offseason with the valuations that were placed on premium relievers. They were valuations that were similar to those placed on very good starting pitchers. We’re recognizing the impact that relievers can make on wins and losses.”

Modern challenges

When it comes to bullpens, doing something different presents challenges. Even if it’s an older idea made new again. Baseball players are notorious for being creatures of habit, and relievers may be the most resistant to change. As several managers and general managers said when asked about the Reds’ bullpen model, you have to have the right personnel.

And the Reds just might have the right two guys to do it. Lorenzen and Iglesias check a lot of boxes. They are young – 25 and 27, respectively – incredibly talented, and were starters as recently as a year ago. Not only are they adept at pitching multiple innings at a time, they’ve never had to be a reliever in any other fashion.

“From a health standpoint and from just an emotional standpoint, it is important that you’re not changing the way someone’s done things for a long time,” said David Forst, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics.

A particular sticking point could be how the arbitration system overvalues or undervalues relievers. Counting stats like saves may not tell much of the story as to who are the game’s best relief arms, but they do determine hefty salary bumps once a player reaches three years of service time. Young relievers often want to close because it’s perceived to be atop the bullpen pecking order, but also because it ultimately pays more.

But the Reds may be fortunate to avoid that trap. Iglesias has never been promised the closer’s role. He’s also on a long-term deal that offers him financial security but also allows him to opt into arbitration at any point. Lorenzen is several years away from worrying about arbitration and wants to be on the cutting edge anyway.

“I like being innovative, I like taking chances and being a little different,” he said. “Not necessarily doing what everyone else is doing just because that’s what everyone else is doing. I think we’re taking a step in the right direction.”

If the players buy in, the final hurdle is keeping them healthy for an entire year. That may be Price’s biggest challenge. Teams may have run relievers out there for triple-digit innings all throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but pitchers can’t be ridden that hard anymore without running into arm problems.

Lorenzen and Iglesias will need rest. That means limiting how many time they get hot without coming into a game and being regimented with their rest. When asked, Iglesias said through interpreter Julio Morillo that he’d likely need two days of rest whenever he pitched two innings or more. Other relievers like Blake Wood, Drew Storen and Tony Cingrani will have to pick up the slack when both Lorenzen and Iglesias are down.

It’s possible the Reds get to the end of the season and find themselves with a terrifying, 200-inning closer tag team. They’re not the only ones eager to see what happens.

“I do think they have really good candidates,” Forst said. “I’m as curious as anyone to see how it plays out.”


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     To be able to pitch two innings in two of three appearances for a season, baseball pitchers have to be able to throw fastballs that move to both sides of the plate, slider and sinkers to the appropriate sides of the plate and curves and screwballs.

     Only the Marshall baseball pitching motion enables baseball pitchers to never suffer pitching injuries and throw a wide variety of high-quality pitches.

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0088.  Price has MRI, will see Dr. Andrews due to elbow soreness
Boston Herald
March 02, 2017

FORT MYERS, FL: David Price’s second year in Boston is off to a very concerning start.

Price is planning to visit with Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon well known for performing Tommy John surgery, and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who operated on Tom Brady's knee, to get a second opinion on his sore throwing elbow. Price first started feeling the soreness on Wednesday after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Price had an MRI on Wednesday and the results were sent to Dr. Peter Asnis that night. But, according to Farrell, the doctor was in surgery all day and had yet to go over them as of Thursday morning.

Price has been scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday, when he was supposed to make his Grapefruit League debut.

“He came out of a sim game the other day with increased soreness, so we’re holding him out,” Farrell said. “He’s gone through some soreness in the forearm/elbow area in previous spring trainings, but this one has a little more intensity to it.”

Price reported feeling improvement on Thursday — “an encouraging sign,” Farrell said — but he left JetBlue Park before talking to reporters.

“We’re taking every precaution,” Farrell said. “We have a little history here with David, with what his progression through spring training has been. He’s battled this seemingly in every spring training. We will acknowledge that this one has a little more intensity to it. That’s why we’re taking every step and scratching him for Sunday.”

The news is particularly surprising considering how impressive he was during his simulated game on Tuesday, when pitching coach Carl Willis said it was the best cutter he’s seen Price throw since he signed with the Red Sox.

“His bullpens all spring training have been powerful and crisp,” Farrell said. “His delivery has been clean. Much was talked about last year about stride direction, hand separation. Those have been cleaned up. His stride is on line. He delivered the ball the other day with three defined pitches. No restrictions of any kind.Went through his normal post-exercise routine in the training room, as all our pitchers do, and didn’t feel anything. He came in the next day and felt the soreness.”

Dr. Andrews and Dr. ElAttrache are at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, so the Red Sox aren’t sure when Price will be able to meet with them.

The Sox will take an extended look at Hector Velazquez, the right-hander they just signed out of Mexico for $30,000, and expect he might be able to help the big league club, if needed.

Velazquez will now start Saturday in place of Brian Johnson.

"He's a 28-year-old guy who's logged more than 200 innings multiple years in the Mexican League," Farrell said. "There may be some adjustments coming to pitch in the States here. We'll take a long look at him in spring training and get an idea of where he prefs out in our depth starters.

"He's a strike-thrower. It's a simple delivery. He can throw the ball over the plate without too much issue."


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     Mr. Price bangs his olecranon process into his olecranon fossa. As a result, Mr. Price has lost several degrees of extension and flexion range of motion. Next will come loose pieces, bone spurs and the possible olecranon process fracture.

     Only the Marshall baseball pitching motion prevents these pitching injuries and all other pitching injuries.

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0089.  Bundy says his arm feels good on day after using "cutter-slider"
Baltimore Sun
March 02, 2017

Starting pitcher Dylan Bundy said Thursday he has experienced no discomfort after adding his “cutter-slider” to his pitching repertoire for his first exhibition start Wednesday, but he knows manager Buck Showalter is going to be watching him closely to make sure he doesn’t re-injure his elbow.

Showalter said after Bundy threw two innings against the Red Sox that he would be discussing how much Bundy uses the pitch sometime in the next few days.

“We’ve talked about it before," Bundy said. “I’m sure he just wants to know how I’m feeling.”

Bundy tried to add the pitch to his fastball/curveball/changeup repertoire in 2015, but abandoned it after experiencing some discomfort at the Arizona Fall League, where he was working his way back from a shoulder issue in 2015.

“After the shoulder calcification, I went to the Fall League and I was throwing it and felt it up in here (pointing to upper forearm). It wasn’t like it hurt. It was more just tightening and cramping up on the mound. So, last year, I didn’t throw it. I wanted to get through a full season healthy and then I could get strengthened all of this up again for a full season and then I could throw it this year. And so far, it has worked.”

Showalter admits he’s still “a bit” apprehensive about the impact the pitch might have on Bundy’s long-term health, but knows that a fourth pitch could make Bundy more effective.

“It’s something he’s always had, but he took it out last year to be on the safe side,’’ Showalter said. “He had a little discomfort in his forearm and he thought that was it. He wasn’t throwing it properly. A little too much movement instead of throwing through the ball. [Pitching coach Roger McDowell] is aware of it. We’ve talked about it. He feels real good physically.”


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     Soon, Mr. Bundy will bang his olecranon process into his olecranon fossa. As a result, Mr. Bundy will lose several degrees of extension and flexion range of motion. Next will come loose pieces, bone spurs and the possible olecranon process fracture.

     Only the Marshall baseball pitching motion prevents these pitching injuries and all other pitching injuries.

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0090.  Thanks for the four days of Marshall training

You're a great guy Dr. Marshall.

We appreciate everything you do for the betterment of baseball.


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     Your son will become the best baseball pitcher ever.

     No other eighth grader can throw my drop step Maxline Pronation Curve like your son can.

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0091.  What causes fluid in elbow joint

What would cause fluid build up in a pitcher's elbow?

Since fluid protects joints I would think the cause would be banging the bones in the back of the elbow together.


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     Like knee joints and shoulder joint, banging the bones in the joints irritates the bursa in the elbow joint.

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0092.  Young Marshall Pitchers

The thing that strikes me with your pitcher in video is that his weight may actually help propel the ball forward.

In other words, his weight enhances his velocity.

Therefore with adult pitchers your way would clearly be superior to the traditional pitching motion.

Youth pitchers don't have much weight to them.

So would youth pitchers have more trouble generating force with your short glove step pitching motion?


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     More weight enables baseball pitchers to generate more force to the baseball, but baseball pitchers with high percentages of fast-twitch muscle fibers is able to generate more force.

     In addition, perfect skill performance in my baseball pitching motion will generate more force.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, March 12, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0093.  My baseball pitcher changing from off-season to in-season

For season how many reps should I be doing for my training? This past offseason I was doing:

96 20lb Wrist weights
12 10lb horizontal rebound drill wrist weights
24 football throws
12 bucket lid snaps
12 bucket lid throws
24-48 baseball throws
24 12lb led ball throws

I believe you said in an earlier email to cut that in half, so:

48 20 lb wrist weights
6 10lb horizontal rebound drill wrist weights
24 football throws
12 bucket lid throws
(Daily throwing with the team)
12 12 lb led ball throws

Are these reps and weight proper for my 2017 season?

I've been doing good and feel great. Looking forward to the upcoming season.


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     Always start slow with less intensity, no rush.

     When training, you work on the skills, not power.

     12lb. lead ball Middle Finger spins for 15 minutes before or after your workout.

     12 repetitions of your 25lb. wrist weights.

     12 10lb. 'horizontal rebound' are optional.

     12 Bucket Lid throws.

     12 12lb. lead ball throws.

     12 football rotations for 3 each Maxline Pronation Curves, Torque Fastballs, Maxline Fastballs and Maxline Screwballs (sinkers).

     When throwing with the team, start easy.

     When you start to feel frisky, slowly increase the intensity.

     On the mound, have your sequence ready and beat them with the skills.

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0094.  Strasburg might ditch windup while 'trying to simplify'
Associated Press
March 03, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, FL: Stephen Strasburg might emulate closers and pitch only from the stretch this season.

In his first appearance of spring training, Strasburg avoided a windup for all 23 of his pitches in a 2-1, 10-inning loss by a Washington Nationals split squad to St. Louis on Friday.

"I'm not trying to reinvent myself, but just trying to simplify things as much as I can and be able to repeat my mechanics," Strasburg said

"I feel like as I've gotten older, for whatever reason, the windup's just been an issue as far as getting that right feeling of staying on the mound, not drifting too much toward [the] first- or third-base side on my leg kick, and sticking the landing a little bit better."

Strasburg, 28, came up with the idea after watching Texas' Yu Darvish and Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco. He approached pitching coach Mike Maddux with the idea at the start of spring training.

"If you can keep and repeat your arm slot, theoretically it's supposed to put less stress on your arm," Strasburg said.

He didn't rule out a return to the windup.

"I feel like I've always been able to maintain my stuff out of the stretch even when I would just slide step exclusively," Strasburg said.

On a gloomy afternoon with a 20 mph wind, Strasburg retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the first, striking out Tommy Pham swinging and Randal Grichuk looking.

Jhonny Peralta managed a one-out line-drive single in the second, but Strasburg promptly induced a one-hop comebacker from Jose Martinez that turned into an inning-ending double play.

"I didn't think it was a big deal, really," Washington manager Dusty Baker said of Strasburg pitching from the stretch. "As long as he feels comfortable, and as long as he was throwing strikes -- it looked like it didn't change his velocity, and his location was actually better."

Strasburg threw 16 strikes.

"I pounded the strike zone," he said. "That's what I wanted to go out there and do."

The right-hander has managed to make at least 30 starts only twice in his seven major league seasons, and his 15 wins last year matched his big league best.

Strasburg won his first 13 decisions last year, but a partially torn tendon in his forearm caused his seventh trip to the disabled list and limited him to 24 starts.

"We just want him healthy, because had he not gotten hurt, we might be talking about him as the Cy Young instead of  Scherzer or one-two in the voting or something," Baker said. "Yeah, we definitely need him."


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     Until Stephen Strasburg learns how to release his breaking pitches under his Middle finger, Mr. Strasburg will continue to destroy his pitching elbow.

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0095.  Youth pitchers are commonly overworked
Waynesville Daily Guide
March 04, 2017

Youth league baseball teams are getting ready to crank up their seasons. I had a discussion with my doctor a few weeks ago. His son is an eighth-grader who can throw the pill and plays on a very good competition team. We both feel that little league has become an enormous industry in this country. His dad realizes how careful his son's coaches need to be with the number of pitches they allow a young kid throw as his body is developing. He suggested I read a book written by Jeff Passan entitled the "The Arm".

I picked it up and highly recommend that every parent and coach at any level of youth baseball read this book. Hall of Famer and Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz stated, "This is the most important baseball book in years."

Many people understand that repeatedly pitching a baseball at a high rate of speed can be a difficult task for the body. The problems begin to develop when a youth pitcher with talent is asked to be extended past his known limits. It is enticing for a young pitcher with great talent to be lured into believing that they have a potential million-dollar arm and are headed to the big leagues.

Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion every year on pitchers. The NFL spends five times less than that for all quarterbacks combined. It is partially responsible for the $8 billion-dollar industry that youth baseball has grown in to. Every young person who can throw a baseball at all, can visualize themselves as the one special person who can defy all odds and become the next Nolan Ryan.

It becomes crucial for adults responsible for the future of these youth to be knowledgeable about the art and mechanics of pitching. Too many believe they understand pitching but one stupid mistake could cost a promising young pitcher their future.

One of the passages in this book really drives home the importance of a deep understanding of pitching. "The American Sports Medicine Institute, the baseball industry's foremost think tank, followed nearly 500 youth league pitchers for a decade starting in 1999 and found that kids who pitched more than 100 innings in a calendar year were 3 1/2 times more likely to get injured than those who didn't.

In 1997, Dr. James Andrews, the famous orthopedic surgeon who had founded ASMI in Birmingham, Alabama, was performing Tommy John surgery on one or two high school kids per year. Today, he estimates he does 80-90 a year.

He stated, "Hell, I've got four to do tomorrow," during an April 2015 conversation with the book's author. He also stated that he fears worse news is coming at the major-league level. If they don't get involved in it from a prevention standpoint at the youth level, he said, they're not going to have anybody to draft out of high school or college who hasn't had their elbow operated on.

"This got my attention as it came from the most famous surgeon in this area of the country. It is way past time for people involved in the game of baseball to focus on the statistics that are rising every year in youth baseball. It is garbage that more throws strengthen the arm.

Of further consequence is the trend for young pitchers to be allowed to participate in baseball only all year long. It increases the likelihood that they may be pitching 12 months a year. Medical statistics produce evidence that repetitive sport injuries from participating in a single sport are common in young athletes.

Tommy John surgery is not a cure for a pitching. It is serious surgery that can affect an athlete for the rest of their life. The medical profession is afraid that Tommy John surgery has become so common, it is no longer respected for the difficulty in coming back from it.

It is beneficial to play in different sports, in particular those that do not involve throwing, as it offers a chance to rest the arm. Most of the medical community acknowledges that it can make you a better athlete. It is all about the right amount of pitches combined with the right amount of rest.

Youth league gurus can get caught up in winning a showcase tournament and forget that their star pitcher has only a human arm. A friend, Randy Dowell, reminded me that a little league coaching record is not engraved on a tombstone. I would recommend that anyone interested in the game of baseball and pitchers read "The Arm"


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     The article said:

01. "Youth league baseball teams are getting ready to crank up their seasons."
02. "I had a discussion with my doctor a few weeks ago."
03. "His son is an eighth-grader who can throw the pill and plays on a very good competition team."
04. "We both feel that little league has become an enormous industry in this country."
05. "His dad realizes how careful his son's coaches need to be with the number of pitches they allow a young kid throw as his body is developing."
06. "He suggested I read a book written by Jeff Passan entitled the "The Arm".
07. "I picked it up and highly recommend that every parent and coach at any level of youth baseball read this book."
08. "Hall of Famer and Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz stated, "This is the most important baseball book in years."

     A doctor talked with someone.

     His dad realized how careful his son's coach counts his pitches.

     Jeff Passan wrote a book titled 'The Arm.'

     Hall of Famer and Cy Young Award winner, John Smoltz, said that Mr. Passan's book is the most important baseball book in years.

     My Baseball Pitching Instructional Video came out in 2006 and teaches skills that prevents all baseball pitching injuries.

     Until baseball pitchers release their breaking pitches under this Middle finger, all baseball pitchers will continue to destroy their pitching elbow.

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0096.  Two Arkansas pitchers 'probably done for year,' Van Horn says
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
March 07, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, AK: Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Tuesday the Razorbacks probably have lost two more pitchers to season-ending injuries.

Sophomore right-handers Isaiah Campbell and Cody Scroggins are "probably done for the year," Van Horn said following a 12-3 win over ULM. "As far as 100 percent, I think I need to get a little more info and release all that, but that's what I'm thinking."

Van Horn said an official release could come later this week with more information on the players' injuries. A team spokesperson said he was unsure when that would be.

Campbell has pitched only once this season because of soreness in his pitching arm, while Scroggins injured his elbow last Wednesday at Louisiana Tech.

"I won't be able to tell you about it until later," Van Horn said when asked if Scroggins would require surgery on his elbow. "I can't tell you (anything) right now."

Asked to specify Campbell's arm injury, Van Horn said, "It's always been the exact same thing it is; just haven't been able to tell you."

If Campbell and Scroggins are unable to pitch Arkansas would be down three pitchers less than a month into the season. Junior right-hander Keaton McKinney underwent Tommy John surgery in the preseason.

Campbell was expected to be Arkansas' Friday or Saturday starter after a strong offseason. He was an all-star in the Coastal Plains League in North Carolina last summer and had been one of the Razorbacks' best pitchers during fall practice last September and October.

Campbell struggled in his only appearance this season. His velocity was down and he allowed three runs on three hits, walked a batter and threw a wild pitch in a two-out relief outing against Bryant on Feb. 25.

"His arm has been bothering him for a while, so he kind of had an idea that maybe he might not pitch this year," senior pitcher Dominic Taccolini said.

Scroggins has been used three times as a reliever and has a 3.86 ERA. The Bentonville native converted from an infielder to a pitcher late last season.

"He just kind of threw a pitch and he felt something that didn't feel too good," Taccolini said of Scroggins' last outing. "I feel like he might be taking it a little bit harder because this is his first (full) year pitching and for this to happen this early in the season when he's throwing well, it kind of sucks."


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "He just kind of threw a pitch and he felt something that didn't feel too good."
02. "I feel like he might be taking it a little bit harder because this is his first (full) year pitching and for this to happen this early in the season when he's throwing well, it kind of sucks."

     That feeling is the result of releasing his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger.

     Until Isaiah Campbell and Cody Scroggins learn how to release his breaking pitches under their Middle finger.

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0097.  University of Florida researcher studies risks for young pitchers
Gainesville Sun
March 07, 2017

In warmer weather states like Florida, baseball is an attractive sport to play year-round.

But throwing a baseball has its limitations, especially for younger athletes. As players pick up their gloves for a new season of competition, coaches and parents are advised to consider those limitations.

"I've had a 9-year-old with a stress fracture in his arm," said Dr. Jason Zaremski, a non-operative musculoskeletal and sports medicine physician for the University of Florida and the Co-Medical Director for the High School Outreach Program. "And he kept throwing through it."

With the rise in serious throwing injuries in pitchers, resulting in such surgeries as Tommy John (reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow), there are real concerns as to reasons why they happen.

After all, the surgery named after the former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher's 1974 surgery has steadily risen since the late 1990s and affects not just Major League Baseball players, but those in college, high school and even youth.

Those surgeries could end a season and possibly severely affect the growth in young pitchers' arms.

Pitch Smart guidelines, which MLB announced in November 2014 and were endorsed by such famed orthopedic surgeons as Dr. James Andrews, has been recommended by the National Federation of High Schools for all states. The Florida High School Athletic Association has implemented it this baseball season, joining 47 other states.

Zaremski, a former college baseball player at Emory University in Atlanta, is conducting a new study that tracks total pitches thrown that day by high school players, and not just game pitches.

"When someone throws a pitch it is only counted in the game," Zaremski said. "Warmup pitches and bullpen, which could be 20 to 40 pitches or more, are not counted. We are theorizing or hypothesizing that if someone throws 70 pitches in a start, they may actually be throwing 110, 120, 130."

Knowing with precision how many pitches high school players are throwing will help researchers know how to better train them to prevent injuries, he said.

In the Pitch Smart guidelines, total pitches thrown in a game are clearly spelled out for age groups ranging from 7 to 22. Required rest days are also indicated in relation to the number of game-pitches thrown.

For example, a 17- or 18-year-old can throw a maximum 105 pitches in a game. But if he throws more than 75 pitches, he would be required to rest for the maximum four days. Between 61 and 75 pitches would call for three days rest; 46-60 pitches, two days; 31-45 would require a one-day rest and 30 or fewer pitches would not require any rest.

In Zaremski's study, which began at the start of this high school baseball season, 10 researchers are going to area games and charting total pitches. Two weeks in, they've got 19 games' worth of data.

"They sit in the stands like fans," he said. "They have a pitch counter. As soon as the pitcher goes to the bullpen, they start the counter and basically check the number of pitches. They do all the warmup pitches as well. And the live-game pitches. We do not interact with the players or coaches, we are there as fans."

The early findings show those throwing 50-70 pitches in a game are actually throwing 120 or more pitches, when bullpen and warm-up pitches are included.

"That could explain why there are so many overuse injuries, particularly early in the season," Zaremski said.  Ron Brooks, head baseball coach at Buchholz, went through Tommy John surgery his freshman season at Tallahassee Community College in 1995.

"I'm always looking out for the players' best interest," Brooks said. "I think it (FHSAA pitch-count policy) is a great idea. Most coaches here and around the state do a good job in looking after pitchers' arms.

"It's great to have a suggested road map to follow," he said.

The onus on keeping track of pitches thrown is on the coaches. Under the FHSAA policy, if a player exceeds the maximum number of pitches listed in the chart, he will be required to rest seven days and not be permitted to pitch during that time period. He could play another position during the mandatory rest period.

But no one is consistently counting pitches in warm-up.

"It is not only the coaches that need to be educated, the players and parents need to be involved," Brooks said. "Travel ball coaches need to be aware. My job as high school coach is to make sure I know who they are playing for and what they are doing.

"Communication is key, it's what I instill in my kids. A lot of kids want the ball in their hands. Back in 1995, I wasn't going to say no. It's great to have a competitive attitude, but you have to take care of your arm — what you should be feeling, what you shouldn't be feeling. It's good for the kids to understand the differences."

Williston coach Scott Hall, who coached UF freshman Austin Langworthy in high school, said he loves the idea but wonders who will enforce it.

"I have never had a pitcher throw more than 80 pitches a week," said Hall, whose Red Devils, with Langworthy, won back-to-back Class 1A state titles in 2014 and 2015. "Langworthy last year, he only pitched once a week and on occasion would pitch over 80 pitches in a game.

Come district tournament time, you are going to have some arguments because of the discrepancy between two coaches on a pitcher's pitch count. I love the idea, I just don't know how it will be enforced, especially if you have coaches who disagree with pitch counts.

Either way, he said, player safety is the most important thing.

"We can affect their lives and for what, a high school win?"

Dr. Paul Gardner, communications director for Gainesville Youth Baseball, said Babe Ruth Baseball, which used innings pitched as a barometer for years, is transitioning to Pitch Smart perimeters.

He said players are being limited to eight warmup pitches for the game and five warmup pitches if they return to the mound. With Gainesville Youth Baseball, which has 350 kids, players 9-10 years old are limited to 75 pitches a game while 11- and 12-year-olds are kept to 85 pitches. Maximum pitches will result in maximum rest, which is four days.

"We are limiting innings and limiting pitch count," Gardner said. "The league has really grown. We want to protect our players' arms."

The league starts Saturday.

Zaremski said his study will be completed when baseball season ends. He will then collect the data and report his findings either late summer or in the fall.

Players should not compete on multiple teams simultaneously, he said.

"It has been shown, objectively, to be a significant risk in favor of an overuse throwing injury in your dominant arm," he said. "If you pitch, you shouldn't catch on the same day. You should not be playing eight games a week."

A true pitch count shows that overuse has become common, even among major leaguers.

"You always hear about Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers left-handed pitcher) has a 90-pitch limit, but how much has he thrown?" Zaremski asked. "He threw a 40-pitch bullpen, he throws five pitches between every inning, and his 90 live pitches. That is a little different than just 90 pitches."

Zaremski stresses younger athletes should be playing multiple sports and not specializing in just one sport all year. That's a problem sports medicine physicians are dealing with across the country, he said.

Playing one sport only from the time one is young is a recipe for a physical breakdown, he said.

"There are a lot of overuse injuries that can be prevented. Play multiple sports, take three to four months off a year from throwing," he said. "Otherwise, at some point, you may have to see a surgeon.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "Pitch Smart guidelines, which MLB announced in November 2014 and were endorsed by such famed orthopedic surgeons as Dr. James Andrews, has been recommended by the National Federation of High Schools for all states."
02. "The Florida High School Athletic Association has implemented it this baseball season, joining 47 other states."
03. "Communication is key, it's what I instill in my kids."
04. "A lot of kids want the ball in their hands."
05. "Back in 1995, I wasn't going to say no."
06. "It's great to have a competitive attitude, but you have to take care of your arm — what you should be feeling, what you shouldn't be feeling."
07. "It's good for the kids to understand the differences."

     Dr. James Andrews does not understand what cause pitching injuries.

     Counting pitches does not cause pitching injuries.

     Until baseball pitchers of all ages need to master releasing their breaking pitching under their Middle finger.

     The answers are in my Baseball Pitchers Instructional Video.

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0098.  Braves prospect Minter slowed by nerve inflammation in forearm
Atlanta Journal Constitution
March 08, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: After going through more than a year of rehab following Tommy John surgery, then excelling while pitching on a strictly monitored schedule pitching and rest during the 2016 season, Braves left-hander A.J. Minter looked forward to being let loose this year to really show what he could do.

He’ll have to wait a little longer.

Minter has inflamed nerves in the outer, upper part of his left forearm and hasn’t been permitted to throw since a live batting-practice session one week ago. He had tingling his hand and fingers after that session, symptoms he’d experienced the previous couple of weeks but in this instance worse than before.

“It started acting up the first day I got (to spring training),” Minter said. “I’ve been pitching on it. It feels fine pitching, it’s just kind of after the fact, it kind of gets irritated. So they’re just taking it slow.”

Minter, 23, underwent several tests in an examination and said he was diagnosed with radial tunnel syndrome, which is caused by pressure on the radial nerve, usually at the elbow. It’s not considered a serious injury among pitchers, typically treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication and rarely requiring surgery.

Minter has been on daily anti-inflammatories – a “dose pack” – for five days and said he had begun to feel improvement and was scheduled to do some light throwing in the next day or two. He said he fully intends to be ready when the season begins at whichever minor league level he’s assigned.

“I threw a live BP, which went good, it was just afterward, the next day, it was a little tight,” he said. “Nothing too serious, just kind of taking it slow…. I’m Starting to feel (the anti-inflammatories), it should clear up right away.”

Selected by the Braves in the second round of the 2015 draft out of Texas A&M, Minter completed his rehab under the Braves’ watch the rest of that year and during the early months of 2016, then posted a 1.30 ERA with 47 strikeouts and no homers allowed in 34 2/3 innings during 31 relief appearances last season at three levels from low Single-A to Double-A. In 18 games at Double-A Mississippi, he had 31 strikeouts with six walks in 18 2/3 innings.

When spring training began last month, Minter said, “Tommy John (rehab) is a long process, something that you can’t rush. Yeah, it’s hard – every outing, I had to wait two days (to pitch again) – so I was definitely itching to get out there some more and throw some more innings. But I completely agree with the way they handled my situation. I couldn’t be happier.”

His mid- to upper-90s velocity had returned and Minter said, “My arm feels 10 times greater than it’s ever felt before. I’m just excited for this year.”

The aggressiveness and confidence that attracted the Braves to Minter were also readily apparent at the outset of his first major league camp.

“Obviously the ultimate goal is to be a major league pitcher,” he said. “But I want to be the best pitcher in major league baseball. That’s my goal and my attitude and that’s what I strive for. Yeah, hopefully sometime this year I’ll get the call up, but that’s something out of my control. I can only get better each and every day, and take this spring training to my full advantage and just get better and soak up everything here.”


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     The article said:

01. "A.J. Minter, 23, underwent several tests in an examination and said he was diagnosed with radial tunnel syndrome, which is caused by pressure on the radial nerve, usually at the elbow."
02. "It’s not considered a serious injury among pitchers, typically treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication and rarely requiring surgery."
03. "Mr. Minter has been on daily anti-inflammatories – a “dose pack” – for five days and said he had begun to feel improvement and was scheduled to do some light throwing in the next day or two."
04. "He said he fully intends to be ready when the season begins at whichever minor league level he’s assigned."

     The best long-term answer is to move the Ulnar nerve from the groove behind the Ulna bone to the front of the forearm.

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0099.  Is fastball mania putting young baseball arms on the brink?
San Jose Mercury News
March 08, 2016

Even a terrific fastball hitter like Buster Posey has a speed limit. Not long ago, the Giants catcher quizzed a few older ballplayers about the recent invasion of flame-throwing heat monsters.

“I’ll ask them. ‘Is it just me?’ I mean, I’m about ready to move the mound back a little bit,” Posey cracked.

“You have middle-relief guys coming in throwing 100 mph. And I’m like, ‘Wait, I thought 100 mph was supposed to be one or two guys across the league.'”

It’s not just you, Buster. Triple-digit radar gun readings, once the sole provenance of legends like Nolan Ryan, now make for a crowded expressway.

A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.

There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.

The fastball fixation is nothing new. You can fairly trace pitching history through baseball’s rapidly spinning seams, from Walter Johnson to Bob Feller to Bob Gibson to Nolan Ryan to Aroldis Chapman.

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that baseball’s best arms are cruising at dangerous speeds. Pitchers are getting injured at record rates, and a recent wave of studies demonstrates a relationship between increased velocity and increased risk in Tommy John surgeries.

There are apparently only so many Newton-meters of torque a human elbow can take.

“We’re seeing so many young kids coming up throwing 95-98. They throw as hard as they can for a full season,” A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said, “and they come back the next season and their arm is gone.

“I think it’s become the mentality of a lot of organizations: ‘Well, let’s just use this guy until he can’t pitch anymore and next in line.’ I’m not a big fan of that.”

Velocity has gone up or held steady in 14 of the past 15 seasons. In the bullpen, especially, it’s as if everyone suddenly comes equipped with a Rich Gossage fastball. It’s not just Goose anymore, it’s geese: The top 20 relievers last year averaged 96.72 with their heaters, according to numbers collected from fangraphs.com.

Better training, more sophisticated throwing programs and advances in medicine have paved the way for this generation of young, hard throwers. But there’s no way to strengthen an elbow ligament, leaving the UCL to bear the brunt of this unprecedented fastball force.

Stan Conte, the former Giants and Dodgers trainer, last year was the first to report that while shoulder injuries are on the decline in major league baseball, the number of elbow injuries continues to rise.

The trend of mega-velocity has been described as baseball’s Faustian bargain: Throwing hard will get you drafted and could make you a star — and then, almost certainly, it will destroy you.

“Our bodies are not designed to withstand that kind of velocity,” Vogt said. “If you can, you’re a freak.”

* * *

It wasn’t always this way.

In its infancy, baseball deliberately tried to keep pitchers from throwing too hard. The hurler threw underhanded, stiff-wristed pitches that borrowed from cricket’s early days.

In the first surviving rules of baseball, drafted in 1845, Article 9 states:  “The ball must be pitched, not thrown for the bat.” The goal was to maximize the interaction between the fielders and hitters.

As John Thorn, the official historian for major league baseball, wrote “(the pitcher and batter) were not adversaries but very nearly allies, each doing his utmost to put the ball in play for the valiant barehand fielders.”

The dynamic changed in the 1880s as the game transitioned to overhand pitching and, soon, flame-throwers like Amos Rusie were heating up. The National League in 1893 moved the pitching mound back from 50 feet (where it had been since 1881) to 60 feet, 6 inches (where it has stayed, whether Posey likes it or not).

For most of baseball history, the fastest pitcher debate has been waged through anecdotes and one-liners. In that regard, it’s tough to top Negro Leagues catcher Biz Mackey, who suggested that Satchel Paige’s fastball sometimes burned up upon reentry.

“They say the catcher, the umpire and the bat boys looked all over for that ball, but it was gone,” Mackey claimed. “Now how do you account for that?”

No balls get lost now, not with high-tech equipment monitoring not just the velocity but the spin rate of every pitch. And it’s easy enough to settle who’s throwing the hardest.

In 2008, the PITCHf/x system was installed in all 30 ballparks, creating a generation of rubberneckers who swivel to see the MPH on the scoreboard.

“Oh, I feel like that’s the main thing that you look for,” A’s right-hander Jharel Cotton said. “If I throw a pitch and I think it’s hard, I’ll look back and say, ‘OK, that’s pretty cool.”’

Chapman, of course, is the reigning king of pop.

According to MLB’s Statcast, the left-hander threw the 30 fastest pitches in the majors in 2016, with the swiftest coming on a 105.1 mph fastball on June 18 against Baltimore.

Pitchers are so reliant on stadium readings that opponents have been known to pull a fast one (at least before MLB cracked down on the antics). Kevin Towers, the former Padres general manager, said his team used to intentionally dial the gun down whenever Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers took the mound in San Diego.

“He liked velocity. He’d stare at the board,” Towers told the Arizona Republic in 2011. “He was throwing 95-96, but we’d have it at 91 and he’d get (ticked) off and throw harder and harder and start elevating.”

Long before that, back when radar guns at the stadium were a mere novelty, teammates used to mess with A’s right-hander Steve McCatty.

“They had me looking up at the board in Texas one day, and I said, ‘I’m throwing 101,'” McCatty told Bleacher Report. “Then it was 103. And then I realized it was the temperature.”

That was a good gag for the old days, but those numbers no longer seem so laughable.

In 2010, the average fastball for a qualified major league starter was 90.5. Last year, it was up to 91.76.

* * *

Why are pitchers throwing harder than ever?

“Because they’re trying to,” deadpanned one injury expert, paraphrasing the great George Mallory.

The expert wasn’t being sarcastic. It was a perfect four-word summation for a world gone mad for mph. From the youth leagues on up, the gun is god.

Players recognize from an early age that velocity gets you the college scholarship. Kids know a good heater gets you drafted. Vogt sees the cult of the radar gun every time he agrees to catch a high school kid during the offseason.

“They’ll come out and they’re throwing as hard as they can. And I’m diving for the ball” Vogt said, shaking his head. “I’ll ask, ‘Hey, what are you working on?’ And they’ll say, ‘I’m just trying to throw hard.”’

When young pitchers go to a showcase where scouts are watching, they aren’t trying to paint the outside corner. They’re trying to light up the gun.

It should be no surprise, then, the biggest rise in Tommy John surgeries is among 15- to 19-year-olds. The surgery rate for that age range rose 9.1 percent per year between 2007-11 according to one study.

Overall, the trend among young pitchers has been enough to prompt noted sports surgeon James Andrews to make a plea for keeping radar guns away from the youth league fields.

Good luck with that, though. For aspiring big leaguers (and, more to the point, for their aspiring parents), velocity readings are a siren call.

The youthful yearning for more mph explains the emergence of places like Driveline Baseball, a pitching mecca on the outskirts of Seattle. Owner and founder Kyle Boddy has created a stir across baseball by incorporating weighted baseballs and mini-medicine balls known as PlyoCare balls. The controversial movement has been featured in USA Today and in Jeff Passan’s heralded book, “The Arm.”

A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden understands the lure of anyone offering a few more upward ticks to the fastball.

“It was all about it for me growing up,” Mengden said. “Maybe there’s a guy out there who is 89-92 with good stuff, but scouts are way more excited about the kid who throws 95-97 and is all over the place.

“You can teach someone to pitch, but you can’t teach velocity.”

Cotton, a big leaguer at 5-foot-11, knew he’d have to get the most out of his frame growing up, so his workouts were done with an eye toward the kinetic chain. “I would kill my legs. I feel like I had to build from the ground up,” he said. “With scouts, all they wanted to see was your radar reading. How hard are you throwing?”

Only after he was drafted did Cotton begin to seriously address the rest of his repertoire, refining the change-up that has become his signature pitch.

Mike Reinold, a former Boston Red Sox head trainer and current Chicago Cubs consultant, is among those urging for cooler heads when it comes to high heat.

Reinold, the founder of Champion Physical Therapy and Performance in Boston, has emerged as one of the leading voices when it comes to the care and feeding of young arms.

He’s open to new training methods but said the problem is that “the internet has gone crazy.” Reinold said young pitchers are seeing eye-popping videos online and rushing to put their blind faith into programs yet to be backed up by data.

To help science catch up, Reinold teamed with Andrews for a study on the effects of using weighted baseballs to increase velocity. Their findings remain preliminary, but appear to fall in line with baseball’s larger trend.

The good: 86 percent of Reinold’s participants added 4 percent to their mph readings.

The bad: 27 percent of the participants wound up injured. And Reinold said that was with an extremely conservative approach over a mere six-week program.

What really raised red flags for Reinold during the study was that they found using weighted balls yielded almost immediate physiological changes. Participants developed more external rotation in their shoulder, which is good for velocity but also correlates with higher injury risk. These arms were being pushed past their limit.

Troubled by the landscape, Reinold not long ago wrote a cautionary tale on his blog: “We have enough evidence to know that weighted ball training helps to increase pitching velocity.  We’ve known this for decades. But at what cost?

“I hear this comment all the time from injured baseball players: ‘I started a weighted ball training program this winter, gained 3-5 mph on my fastball, and then hurt my arm for the first time during the season.’ I can’t tell you how common that is.”

* * *

As pitchers reach for anything to give their fastballs a boost, hitters are forced to keep pace. At what point does a pitcher throw so hard it’s unhittable?

Is it 108 mph? 110? 115?

None of the above, Giants outfielder Hunter Pence said.

“No matter how hard you throw, it’s hittable,” Pence said. “There’s no one with a 0.00 ERA. There are some tremendous pitchers out there, but there are also good hitters. It’s just the nature of competing against the best.”

The 2016 documentary “Fastball” asked physicists to explain the difference between a good heater and a great one. A 90 mph fastball takes 450 milliseconds to reach home plate. A 100 mph fastball takes 396 milliseconds.

But, impossibly, hitters still manage to get the timing just right. Even mighty Chapman can be had. A’s outfielder Rajai Davis, who played for Cleveland last season, blasted a 97.1 mph four-seamer from Chapman into the seats during Game 7 of the World Series last year.

Less remembered, except in the A’s clubhouse, is what Vogt did against Chapman on Aug. 7. Vogt fell behind 0-and-2 in the count.

“Everyone in the world knows that you’re going to strike out,” Vogt recalled this spring. “In a situation like that, you just kind of hope that he throws it in the zone. Because at 104, there’s no way to determine if it’s a ball or a strike. And that’s the honest truth.”

So Vogt banked on getting a fastball and decided if it was anywhere near the strike zone, he’d take a rip. The result was a single against a 103.9 mph rocket. At the time, it was the fastest recorded pitch ever to be returned for a base hit. (Francisco Cervelli got Chapman at 104.2 a few weeks later.)

What if Chapman had thrown Vogt a slider?

“Had it been a slider,” he said, “I would have screwed myself into the ground and laughed my way back to the dugout.”

Such is life for hitters in this era. Batters are so accustomed to gearing up for the heat that so-called “soft throwers” — merely in the low 90s — now find it easier to exploit the art of pitching.

“They’re always looking to hit the fastball, and I personally think that’s helped my game,” Giants reliever George Kontos said. “A little bit of movement — whether it’s a sink or a cut or a good change-up — will have guys mis-hitting the ball just off the sweet spot.”

A’s reliever Sean Doolittle, who has spent his career in the 95-mph range, is finding new ways to approach hitters as he works his way back from injuries.

“The hitters have adapted. It’s just weird how it works,” Doolittle said. “It’s not about just throwing hard anymore. It’s more, ‘Can you cut it? Can you sink it? Can you have some deception in your delivery to make it seem harder than it is?'”

* * *

There’s a common phrase in major league clubhouses these days: “Go until you blow.” The mentality is to throw as hard as you can for as long as you can because there is always more gas out in the bullpen.

Pitchers used to pace themselves, or at least vary the speeds of their fastballs. Tug McGraw called his hardest pitch a “John Jameson” fastball — that was a straight, hard one named after the Irish whiskey. But McGraw also threw a Peggy Lee, a slower one in honor of her song, “Is That All There Is?”

These days? Every pitch is a power ballad. Hunter Strickland was the hardest throwing Giants pitcher last season. His four-seam fastball averaged 97.7 mph.

“I’ve learned very quickly that you can’t just throw a ball by somebody. But at the same time, you can’t shy away from who you are,” Strickland said this spring. “So I still stick with my strengths, no matter what.”

Strickland is an example of a modern medical miracle. He said he was never considered a flame-thrower growing up. But a shoulder surgery and a Tommy John surgery put him on a new path. He went through an extensive, closely monitored rehabilitation process and emerged throwing harder than ever.

He isn’t throwing harder because of Tommy John surgery (that’s been repeatedly proved a myth), but rather because strengthening the rest of his body under the guidance of a physical therapist helped him add more mph by the time he was back on the mound.

But, perversely, robust conditioning is also part of the problem. Pitchers can strengthen the legs, core, scapula and rotator cuff, but eventually all that increased force will be transferred to the elbow.

The increased velocity means increased stress on the UCL, and pitchers are operating near the breaking point on every pitch.

In Conte’s study, published last spring in the American Journal of Orthopedics, he found that from 1998-2006, the ratio of shoulder surgeries compared to elbow surgeries was about 2-to-1. In recent years, the number has flipped — it’s now 2-to-1 in favor of elbow surgeries.

“It suggests that the kinetic chain is breaking down in the elbow,” Conte said in an interview this spring.

Nolan Ryan pitched for 27 seasons, keeping the fastball fire burning until his elbow gave out at age 46. But for mere mortals, the risk of injury is real with every triple-digit pitch. The motto for this hard-throwing generation ought to be live fast, die young, leave a beautiful radar gun reading.

“The time of relief pitchers lasting 15-20 years is going away,” Vogt said. “It’s getting younger and younger. And it’s, ‘Come in and throw as hard as you can.’ Because if you can’t throw it 95, you’re not going to make it.”


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     The article said:

01. "A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season."
02. "There is more heat in the forecast."
03. "Baseball America documented another 71 prospects clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year."
04. "But it’s becoming increasingly clear that baseball’s best arms are cruising at dangerous speeds."
05. "Pitchers are getting injured at record rates, and a recent wave of studies demonstrates a relationship between increased velocity and increased risk in Tommy John surgeries."
06. "The youthful yearning for more mph explains the emergence of places like Driveline Baseball, a pitching mecca on the outskirts of Seattle."
07. "Owner and founder Kyle Boddy has created a stir across baseball by incorporating weighted baseballs and mini-medicine balls known as PlyoCare balls."
08. "The controversial movement has been featured in USA Today and in Jeff Passan’s heralded book, “The Arm.”"
09. "Jharel Cotton, a big leaguer at 5-foot-11, knew he’d have to get the most out of his frame growing up, so his workouts were done with an eye toward the kinetic chain."
10. "“I would kill my legs. I feel like I had to build from the ground up.”"
11. "“With scouts, all they wanted to see was your radar reading."
12. "How hard are you throwing?”
13. "To help science catch up, Michael Reinold teamed with Andrews for a study on the effects of using weighted baseballs to increase velocity."
14. "Their findings remain preliminary, but appear to fall in line with baseball’s larger trend."
15. "The good: 86 percent of Reinold’s participants added 4 percent to their mph readings."
16. "The bad: 27 percent of the participants wound up injured."
17. "And Reinold said that was with an extremely conservative approach over a mere six-week program."
18. "Troubled by the landscape, Reinold not long ago wrote a cautionary tale on his blog:"
19. "“We have enough evidence to know that weighted ball training helps to increase pitching velocity.""
20. ""We’ve known this for decades.""
21. ""But at what cost?""
22. "In Conte’s study, published last spring in the American Journal of Orthopedics, he found that from 1998-2006, the ratio of shoulder surgeries compared to elbow surgeries was about 2-to-1."
23. "In recent years, the number has flipped — it’s now 2-to-1 in favor of elbow surgeries."
24. "“It suggests that the kinetic chain is breaking down in the elbow,” Conte said in an interview this spring.""

     The only way to maximize release velocity without suffering pitching injuries is to stand tall, turn the back of their upper arm to face home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim the pitching arm down the acromial line.

     When the body rotates with the pitching arm, baseball pitchers are able to continue to apply force to the baseball through release.

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0100.  Coming Back From Broken Collar Bone

Hope you are doing well, just like everyone else want to say thanks again for the great content.

6 weeks ago I broke my clavicle in my collar bone.

My doctor last week told me I could start throwing again, and slowly been tossing it from last week until now.

However, I continue to feel a "creaking" feeling, in my body, as if two bones are just rubbing back and forth when I throw.

I know your PhD is in kinesiology and you are not an orthopedic, however considering my doctor said I should be 100% now back to normal, feel that he may not understand the movements of throwing. So I thought:

1) Perhaps, Dr. Marshall, you could tell me why I am experiencing this discomfort when throwing, it's not a pain, just a feeling of two bones rubbing. Don't worry, as I said recognize you are a Dr. in kinesiology, not an orthopedic, just want to hear your opinion from a pitching coach/kinesiology perspective.

2) What could I be doing to help rehab and get back to my previous throwing condition? I am a position player, yet still took pride in my arm, yet despite just lightly tossing lately cannot get much power throwing. From the bone rubbing feeling to just what feels like a deterioration in muscle. Part of it might be a mind game as well as I am in constant fear of damaging it worse/again.

Any help or advice is much appreciated.

Thank you for your time!


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     First, what did you do to your clavicle that caused it to fracture?

     In general, when baseball pitchers bend forward, the pitching shoulder and the clavicle grind on each other.

     How can the pitching arm move without stress when the clavicle is perpendicular to the to the Humerus bone.

     My answer is for you to learn the Marshall pitching motion.

     In my pitching motion, the baseball pitchers stand tall, turn the back of the upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim their pitching arm down the acromial line.

     To learn the Marshall pitching motion, you need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     I recommend that you watch section 08. Football Training Program, it will teach you how to 'horizontally sail' the square Lid from a four-gallon bucket and how to impart rotation to the four baseball pitches.

     Master this pitching motion and you will never suffer any pain.

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0101.  My baseball pitcher has some last questions

My delivery felt very good being patient facing live batters.

It's something you have to trust that the velocity will be there. I was able to command all pitches in the zone.

One thing I do need to get better at is rotating the hips and shoulders at the same time.

This will help me get my throwing side through better and help me throw better quality pitches all around.

How do rotate my hips and shoulders at the same time better?

How do I keep my foot on the rubber until I land without jumping out making me drag my pitching leg?


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     Instead of thinking of rotating your hips and shoulders, you simultaneously throw your upper arm inward and Rear knee down your acromial line.

     Instead of from dragging your Front foot, you need to keep your head level and on the acromial line from start to finish.

     You should look like a 'power walker' in the Olympics.

     Whether you are 'drop stepping' of 'cross stepping', instead of using your Rear leg to push backward off the pitching rubber, you use your Front foot to pull your Rear knee down the acromial line.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, March 19, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

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0102.  Coming Back From Broken Collar Bone

Thanks for the response, sir.

I broke it unrelated to baseball, in an outdoor accident.

So you are saying this grinding feeling is slightly natural to the "traditional" baseball throwing motion?

I chose not to respond until I attempted your throwing motion yet I still feel this rubbing between my neck and shoulder where I broke my collar bone.

Could it be me not performing the motion correctly, not fully healed yet despite what the doctor said, or is it just natural?

Any thoughts are appreciated, you are a great guy.

On a personal note, do you hold any resentment towards organized baseball?

As we all know baseball is a traditional game, to some degree that is its appeal and attraction, however as you preach it sometimes can be destructive.

Do you believe your theories and practices will grow and progress further into the game?

For what it is worth, it is my belief that baseball will one day widely accept your ideas, and once people look back you will be noted as a pioneer in Cooperstown.


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     When I first teach baseball pitchers how to horizontally sail the square Lid, I have them stand as though they were throwing darts at the target with their Rear foot in front of the Front foot in line with the target and not moving the body with their pitching arm in my 'Slingshot' position.

     In the 'Slingshot' position, my baseball pitchers raise their upper arm to vertically beside their head with their forearm behind the elbow pointing backward.

     To throw the Lid, you point the elbow at the target and inwardly rotate the upper arm, extend the elbow joint at the target and inwardly rotate the forearm ending with the thumb of the hand facing downward.

     When you master the standing still 'Slingshot' action, you will be ready to use my Wrong Foot body action and 'Slingshot' pitching arm action.

     I do not resent professional baseball, I pity the pain baseball pitchers suffer.

     My baseball pitching eliminates all pitching injuries and maximizes the release velocity.

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0103.  Do We Need the Wrong foot drill?

I'm wondering if you really need your wrong foot body action drills. In this drill you step forward with the back (pitching) foot. This would imply that you are applying force with your back foot.

In your actual pitching motion it is my understanding that you don't want any force applied with the back foot off the rubber. So is the Wrong Foot body action counter productive?

I wonder if I should simply use your No Glove step drill since, to me, rotating over the glove foot is the key to your pitching motion.

Is the juice worth the squeeze with the wrong foot drills?


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     To answer your question, 'yes.'

     Instead of dropping the 'Wrong Foot' drill, I am adding another drill. I call it the 'Dart Throw' drill.

     Now the first drill is the 'Dart Throw' body action; 'Slingshot' glove and pitching arm actions. This drill teaches my baseball pitchers to horizontally sail the Lid where the body is still and their Rear foot points at the center of the strike zone with the Front foot is in line.

     The second drill is the Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill. The Wrong Foot body action teaches my baseball pitchers to drive the pitching arm down the acromial line.

     The third drill is the No Front Foot Step body action; Slingshot or Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.

     The fourth drill is the competitive set or wind-up body action; Slingshot or Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions. Until my baseball pitchers have perfect body balance, I prefer that my baseball pitchers use only the Set Position.

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0104.  Toll on pitchers at WBC is a concern for Girardi
Newsday
March 14, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL: Don’t quote Joe Girardi on this, but we definitely got the sense that the Yankees’ manager was relieved it was the Mets’ Jeurys Familia — and not his own Dellin Betances — who was used on consecutive days at the World Baseball Classic this past weekend.

Giradi is a fan of the tournament, and like commissioner Rob Manfred, believes the Classic is important for the sport. But Girardi also thinks the WBC has potentially dangerous flaws, which is why he suggested Tuesday the first two rounds should be pushed back a week, with the semifinals and championship played at midseason, in the days leading up to the All-Star Game.

“Because he’s got his country here,” Girardi said, pointing toward his right ear, then added, while gesturing to his left, “and he’s got all the other mangers here.” Splitting the Classic into two halves, spaced more than three months apart, may sound radical. But to Girardi, subjecting pitchers to the current WBC workload, at this stage of spring training, is the less logical strategy. And the pressure on the Classic’s managers, such as the Dominican Republic’s Tony Pena (also Girardi’s first-base coach) makes their job nearly impossible.

That’s the internal tug-of-war Pena probably experienced Sunday, when he chose to send out Familia for the 11th inning, with the D.R. ahead 10-3 after using him to save Saturday night’s intense 7-5 win over Team USA. Problem was, Pena had Familia up anyway to pitch the bottom of the 11th — before it turned into a blowout — and the Mets’ closer only threw 11 pitches the previous night, fewer than his other choices.

As Girardi pointed out, if the Dominican team had lost Sunday’s game, and needed to play a Monday tiebreaker, Pena’s pitching staff would have been seriously taxed. “He might have had to forfeit,” Girardi said. “That’s our concern about pitchers. You’ve got to make sure they’re brought along slowly.”

Familia pitching on consecutive days, and three times in four, is not ideal this early in spring training. But it didn’t violate any WBC rules, which stipulate a pitcher can go back-to-back as long as he gets a day off afterward. Otherwise, 50 or more pitches require a minimum of four days rest between outings; 30 or more, one day. For the first round, each pitcher is on a 65-pitch limit, followed by 80 for the second and 95 for the championship.

Therein lies the issue for Girardi, who would prefer to see the first round moved to this week, which would allow starters to be stretched out more — and give relievers more time to build arm strength. In his view, the current schedule puts the WBC managers in an impossible spot.

“You hope that guys don’t necessarily have to throw two days in a row this early,” Girardi said. “But you get an extra-inning game, and then you can only use so many guys, and it becomes tough.”

As for the WBC’s Final Four, Girardi’s blueprint calls for extending the All-Star break to a full week — maybe by having three fewer regular-season games, or starting three days earlier — and then playing the semis on Tuesday, the championship on Wednesday, followed by Thursday’s All-Star workout and the game itself on Friday. The season would resume the following Monday.

“Then you have guys that are built up,” Girardi said. “You’re not worried about them going two days in a row. I think they’re more prepared. Maybe teams think it’s more risky, but more Tommy John [surgeries] happen in the month of April than any month. So now you put them in a competitive situation in March, and there’s concerns. I think they have a better chance of being hurt in March.”

Girardi has faith in Pena, a catcher for 18 years in the majors who also has plenty of managerial experience. But he’ll also be holding his breath every time Betances takes the mound for the D.R. And remains grateful that Masahiro Tanaka, his No. 1 in the midst of a terrific spring, opted not to play for Japan.

“I think that when it comes down to it, you want to give your players the opportunity,” Girardi said. “But you don’t have a problem when they say no.”


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     With my pitching motion, my baseball pitchers are able to spend thirty minutes every day to keep the skills and fitness sharp ready in two weeks of spring training.

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0105.  Schafer's bid to be a two-way player ends with elbow surgery
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 14, 2017

After weeks of busily trying to prove himself as both a lefty reliever and an outfielder this spring, Jordan Schafer has one mission as of Tuesday.

He must heal.

Schafer will have surgery Friday on his left elbow to address a tear in the ligament, and the recovery will cost him this season. The damage was discovered late Monday during an MRI, and after consulting with the team’s physicians Schafer decided Tuesday to take a surgical approach. At the time of surgery, Dr. George Paletta will determine if Schafer requires a complete reconstruction of the ligament or if he’s a candidate for “primary repair.”

Schafer, 30, signed a minor-league contract with the Cardinals this past winter and came to spring training as a non-roster invitee trying to pull off an unusual bit of multitasking. The Cardinals were willing to consider him as both a lefthanded pitcher and a fourth or fifth outfielder, or the “25.5 man” on the 25-man roster, as general manager John Mozeliak said. The concern the team had was how much that would tax the former top prospect’s body.

The lefty began feeling some discomfort and tightening in his left forearm during his previous two appearances. He also, in those same starts, felt the command of his offspeed pitches come undone. He pushed through the soreness in his appearance Sunday, suggesting afterward that he was “out there to compete.” He insisted it wasn’t “anything serious.”

“I haven’t had any arm problems at all,” Schafer said. “I just think I’ve been kind of pushing myself and I did a lot here early on. I think I just need to let it cool down.”

Schafer appeared in five games for the Cardinals and allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out five, three of them in one of his first appearances.

If Schafer needs a complete reconstruction of the ligament — or Tommy John surgery – then his rehab will take at least 12 months, less if he attempts to return as a position player. Once inside his elbow, the surgeon can determine if Schafer is a candidate for “primary repair,” an alternative that has not been done often. The ligament must be in good condition and the tear located at the bone for a “primary repair” to be done, but if it’s possible, the recovery time is shorter. Royals reliever Seth Maness and Cardinals reliever Mitch Harris are two of the three pro pitchers to have had primary repair.

Both are pitching this spring, less than a year after surgery.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0106.  Turlock's Treadwell feels pop in elbow, will have Tommy John surgery
Modesto Bee
March 14, 2017

Turlock High’s Damon Treadwell will have Tommy John surgery this week after experiencing discomfort in his elbow while pitching at the Area Code Games in August.

The tall right-hander will have surgery Wednesday in Walnut Creek with a doctor that works closely with the Oakland A’s organization.

He is nervous, but ready for the road ahead.

“I was definitely bummed,” said Treadwell, who also pitches for NorCal Valley, a club that has helped several Stanislaus District athletes achieve their college dream.

“Missing my senior year … that’s the season kids look forward to the most. But it’s just another bump in the road. I’ve got to work a little harder now, but I have no problem with that.”

Treadwell was slated to be the Bulldogs’ ace this season. He was 5-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 2016, striking 52 batters in 42-plus innings.

Turlock won the Central California Conference and was eliminated in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I tournament.

“It’s a shame that anybody has to have that kind of injury during the upswing of their career,” said Turlock coach Mark de la Motte, who traveled to Long Beach to watch his ace pitch in the Area Code Games. “He’s one of the best pitchers in our area.”

Treadwell didn’t realize the significance of the injury until January, when he began his buildup for the high school season. He said there was an unusual “pop” while pitching at the Area Code Games.

“When I felt that first pop, I figured something was wrong,” Treadwell said. “Elbows shouldn’t pop like that.”

His doctor, however, advised rest and strength-building exercises. An MRI wasn’t scheduled.

After about three months of rest, Treadwell felt another “pop.” This time, an MRI revealed the severity of the injury: a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Even with today’s advancements, Treadwell understands the cut-throat nature of Tommy John surgery. He could be throwing in four months or never again.

“It really just depends on the person and how the body reacts,” Treadwell said. “You have to have confidence you can comeback from something like this, especially when it’s the sport you love.”

While the injury will cost Treadwell his senior season, de la Motte said the University of the Pacific remains committed to the 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-hander. Treadwell was coach Mike Neu’s first official recruit in August of 2015.

Dallin Tilby will fill Treadwell’s void in the starting rotation. De la Motte likes Tilby’s athleticism – he also plays football and basketball – and upside.

The junior gave up two runs on seven hits in his first start, a no-decision.

“He’s very good now,” de la Motte said, “and he will only get better.”

Tilby is in good hands.

Pitching coach Rob Mendonca is responsible for developing the Bulldogs’ pitchers. Mendonca is a former head coach at Turlock and the uncle of Tommy Mendonca, a professional baseball player who led Fresno State to the 2009 College World Series championship.

“He played for me and was the head coach when I was at Stanislaus. Now he’s the pitching coach,” de la Motte said of Mendonca. “He does a great job with our young pitchers.”

Treadwell said he’ll remain a fixture around the yard. Until Wednesday, he could be spotted playing catch left-handed.

“I have all the confidence in the world in my coaches and the players,” Treadwell said. “Turlock, they always find a way.”


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0107.  Carrasco has swelling in right elbow, will likely miss start
Cleveland Plain Dealer
March 14, 2017

GOODYEAR, AZ: Carlos Carrasco, a key component to the Indians' starting rotation for 2017, has swelling in his right elbow and will most likely miss his next start.

Manager Terry Francona told reporters Tuesday that an MRI revealed the swelling.

"Everything is OK," said Francona, after the Indians' 6-5 Cactus League loss to the Giants. "He's got a little swelling in there, but nothing structurally is (wrong) or anything like that.

"There's a pretty good chance we're going to bump him back a start. We're just trying to work through some stuff. His wife (Karelis) is expecting in about a week to 10 days. We're trying to figure out between bumping him back and him leaving to be with his wife -- we're still working our way through that."

Carrasco allowed eight runs on eight hits in the second inning Monday against the White Sox. Afterward he told reporters that he threw 90 percent fastballs because he wanted to work on that pitch. He said he kept waving catcher Yan Gomes off when he called for another pitch.

Now, with word of the swelling in Carrasco's elbow, perhaps he didn't want to throw his breaking balls because they hurt his elbow.

Carrasco suffered a broken right hand on Sept. 17 when he was hit by an Ian Kinsler line drive. He missed the run to Game 7 of the World Series, but was thought to be an important part of the rotation this year.

Last season Carrasco went 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts despite his broken hand and a strained left hamstring that put him on the disabled list at the end of April.


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     To prevent swelling in the elbow, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0108.  LSU's Cartwright ending playing career after elbow and shoulder surgeries
The Advocate
March 13, 2017

LSU pitcher Alden Cartwright, who sustained a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament last spring and needed Tommy John surgery, has ended his playing career, he announced on Twitter Monday afternoon.

Cartwright, a senior from Baton Rouge, suffered the elbow injury during a relief outing against Auburn last April. As he was rehabilitating from the Tommy John surgery, the right-hander began experiencing shoulder problems.

He underwent rotator cuff surgery this fall, but he estimated that he was dealing with both elbow and shoulder problems well before either surgery, often just pushing through the pain. Cartwright approached LSU coach Paul Mainieri with the news Monday, but his retirement was something he had been considering for about 12 weeks.

"My heart started to be out of it, and it would almost do a disservice to the team because I’ve always been a team guy – anything I can do for the team to help," Cartwright told The Advocate. "I just wasn’t at that level anymore, and I can look at myself in the mirror and say I was OK with ending my career."

Any chance Cartwright would pitch in 2017 was already uncertain prior to the shoulder surgery, but Mainieri began to doubt if he would be able pitch next season either.

"I just think Alden is one of those pitchers that got the most out of his ability," Mainieri said. "He was really versatile and quality pitcher for us, but it didn’t come easy for him. It was a lot hard work, and he had to maximize his ability to be an effective pitcher for us. Now having to rehabilitate two different surgeries on his arm at the same time and hope to come and regain the form that he once had was going to be really, really difficult.

"I’m grateful to have had Alden in the program," Mainieri continued. "I think that he’s a terrific young man that loves the LSU baseball program so much. His enthusiasm was very contagious among our team, and I’ll miss having him around."

Prior to his elbow injury at Auburn, when he was "probably pitching the best I had in my career," the Runnels High product held a 2.32 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 15.1 innings on the mound. For his career, primarily as a reliever, Cartwright registered a 4-1 record with a 3.00 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 69.0 innings.

"When we lost him last year, I thought it had an adverse effect on our team," Mainieri said. "We lost a quality pitcher out of the bullpen. I was sorry for him, but I was also sorry for our team.”


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0109.  Twins lose May to torn elbow ligament
Pioneer Press
March 11, 2017

FORT MYERS, FL: For the second time this month, the Twins have received knee-buckling news regarding the elbow health of one of their core performers.

Three days after 2016 first-round pick Alex Kirilloff underwent Tommy John surgery, the Twins announced Saturday that right-hander Trevor May also has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. Dr. Pearce McCarty made the season-ending diagnosis after reading the magnetic resonance imaging exam.

May, who had overcome a season-ending stress fracture in his back suffered last summer, will seek a second opinion next week but was still gathering information along with his agent before selecting the orthopedist for that exam.

“It’s a big blow, especially with how last year went and trying to get back to where it was,” May said. “I was excited. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to do that this year.”

May, 27, said he felt “a little grab” in his elbow while making an 0-2 pitch to Andrew McCutchen in the second inning of his last start on Wednesday night against Team USA. May ended up walking McCutchen but rebounded to throw 34 more pitches in a 58-pitch outing over four effective innings.

“I downplayed it in my head,” he said. “I thought it was some tightness in my flexors, something I’ve felt before. A lot of times it’s a coin flip for whether or not it’s nothing or it’s bad.”

He was his usual upbeat self afterward while meeting with the media, but when his elbow remained inflamed over the next few days he decided to seek medical evaluation.

May, a valued part of the Twins bullpen the past season and a half, was making inroads on regaining a spot in the starting rotation. Through three starts, he had posted a 3.52 earned-run average across 7 2/3 innings; he had allowed six hits, four walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter while striking out five.

Originally acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade for Ben Revere after the 2012 season, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound May had never missed a single day with an arm injury of any consequence since beginning his professional career in 2008.

“I’ve literally never missed a day of baseball activity because my arm hurt,” he said. “You hear these stories all the time, especially with Tommy John. It’s just, ‘One day I showed up and it happened.’ We don’t know exactly what causes these things, and still don’t.”

If May requires Tommy John surgery, he would likely be out 12 to 14 months, which would put his availability in question through the early part of the 2018 season. He will consider all options, including modified Tommy John, which former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness is attempting to return from; and platelet-rich plasma injections, which Garrett Richards (Los Angeles Angels) and Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies) have used within the past year to avoid surgery.

May’s injury removes him from a widespread competition for the fifth rotation spot that still includes Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, Adalberto Mejia, Ryan Vogelsong, Nick Tepesch and Rule 5 pick Justin Haley. Vogelsong, 39, will get his first start of the spring on Sunday in a split-squad game at the Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom he spent two prior stints.

“I’m here competing for a spot, and I thought I made a statement that I’m supposed to be throwing in that capacity as a starter,” May said. “That vision I had for this season was starting to manifest itself. That makes the blow a little bit harder to take.”

May, eligible for salary arbitration for the first time next winter, had been experimenting with different grips on his curveball and had made changes to his workout program and delivery in order to take stress off his lower back. In addition, he had bounced from starting to relieving roles since the first conversion in July 2015, after which his velocity spiked to 98 mph.

“There’s a lot factors that were different, let’s just put it that way,” he said. “Maybe the ball came out of my hand a little wrong. Sometimes when you rely too much on your UCL, that’s what it is. You can’t take that much stress, and it goes. That’s why you have everything else in your arm.”

Twins general manager Thad Levine said he and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey were impressed by May’s confidence in an early spring meeting, where his stated goal was to start a postseason game for the Twins this fall.

“That just goes to show the drive he had coming into camp,” Levine said. “I think we view this as that goal doesn’t change, that viewpoint doesn’t change, just maybe the year changes in which he’ll get to achieve it.”


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0110.  New IHSA pitch limits can help save competitive pitchers from themselves
Chicago Tribune
March 8, 2017

Pitching in his fourth game in three days, Matt Blaney headed back to the mound for the last two innings of a travel-league championship game because that was where his competitive drive steered him.

It didn't matter that Blaney's Chicago-area team led 9-0. It didn't matter that Matt's father, Tom, kept trying to make eye contact with his son in the dugout to give him the signal to stop throwing. It didn't matter that, at the time, Matt was 14.

This was baseball life as the Blaneys knew it. This is the reality many families of promising pitching prospects live, a dangerous mindset that plagues all levels of the sport and contributed to Illinois becoming one of 44 states to impose pitch limits on high school hurlers.

"I'd motion to Matt with my fingers to my neck, like, 'OK, cut it off now,' and he would shake his head no,'' recalled Tom, who accepted responsibility for not being more assertive. "On the way home from games like that, we'd get ice on his shoulder and arm. He'd be like, 'Dad, I'm not coming out. If they want me to go, I'm going.' I was like, 'You're going to hurt your arm.' ''

Tom's words proved prophetic in August 2015 when his worst fears were realized. At a summer-league game on the Illinois-Chicago campus, Matt struggled with command. The right-hander's 85-mph fastball lacked its normal zip, suspicions confirmed by the ever-present radar gun that registered 78. At a tournament in Kentucky a week later, the wildness continued.

"My body felt I was throwing hard, but there just wasn't any velocity,'' Matt said. "It really dipped. Something was wrong.''

A recommendation landed Matt in the capable hands of Mark Cohen, a surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush respected for his experience dealing with elbow problems. Cohen advised six months of rest, with the hope of avoiding surgery, but an MRI after the layoff confirmed the inevitable. If Matt ever wanted to pitch again, he would require Tommy John surgery — which replaces the elbow's ulnar collateral ligament with a tendon harvested elsewhere in the body.

"My dad and I looked at each other and thought, 'Oh, God' …more devastation than anything,'' said Matt, who underwent surgery May 10, 2016.

Facing such calamitous news has become almost commonplace for teenage pitchers. According to a 2015 study conducted by some of Cohen's partners and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 57 percent of Tommy John surgeries from 2007 to 2011 were done on 15- to 19-year-olds. Each year, the surgery rate for that age group rose 9.1 percent.

"When I started 24 years ago, we'd see one or two (teenage Tommy John patients) a year, but now we'll see four or five in a week every summer,'' Cohen said.

The surgery has evolved into such a popular, proven alternative that Cohen knows of young pitchers who have sought the procedure to improve their performance. He chuckled at the recollection.

"The myths are incredible and, yes, we have parents and kids coming to essentially become bionic and see the surgery as almost a rite of passage,'' Cohen said. "They all know one of three major-league pitchers has had Tommy John surgery, so it's something they perceive as advantageous. Of course, it's all false. You don't throw harder after Tommy John surgery. You throw back to your potential.''

Matt Blaney's pursuit of his own potential continued this week back at practice for Lincoln-Way East. A 5-foot-9 senior hoping for appointment to the Naval Academy, Blaney expects to slowly build back arm strength by pitching in relief by the end of the month before working his way back into the rotation.

"It will be long-awaited,'' he said.

A 6-inch scar on his right elbow serves as a constant reminder for Blaney, the first to admit the ordeal strengthened more than his arm. He credits the mental toughness necessary for rehabilitation for making him a better student and a smarter pitcher who learned to throw to contact. He blames nobody but himself for piling up innings that eventually converted him from pitcher to patient.

"I don't think I was overused; I was a competitor,'' he said. "I wanted to stay in games. I always wanted to go the next inning. Coaches would let me keep pitching, but they were only doing what I asked to do.''

Hopefully, the new IHSA rule making emotion moot and limiting the number of pitches to 105 per game — with four days' rest mandated after throwing the maximum — results in a trickle-down effect. Too much glory surrounds extreme examples such as Illinois State pitcher Brady Huffman throwing 167 pitches for Genoa-Kingston High in a 10-inning game last spring. The legend of Kerry Wood's 175-pitch outing for Grand Prairie, Texas, in a 1995 high school regional always should be more instructive than entertaining.

"I'd like to see the rule applied to every level of youth baseball,'' Lincoln-Way East coach Paul Babcock said of pitch limits. "Most high school coaches would agree.''

Not to mention surgeons.

"Nowadays, there's such a premium placed on winning that you hope the people making these decisions respect the parameters,'' Cohen said. "We need coaches, families and kids on board. Guidelines are only as good as the people who follow them.''

The IHSA implementing more to protect young arms represents a quality start.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0111.  Tommy John surgery ends Tominaga's season
The Beacon
March 07, 2017

University of Portland Pilots’ baseball senior pitcher Davis Tominaga underwent Tommy John surgery earlier today and will redshirt his senior season to recover.

Tominaga felt a pop in his right elbow and started feeling tightness and pain half way through the fall semester. The coaches rested him by November and he felt good after the Christmas break. But all of a sudden, he says, he felt the pain again and it had gotten worse.

“One day, I just woke up and couldn’t throw,” Tominaga said. “The pain was just too much.”

Tominaga went to a doctor. His fear was confirmed: He had a tear on his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow and needed to have Tommy John surgery to repair the ligament.

The UCL is located on the inside of the elbow and connects the bone of the upper arm (humerus) to a bone in the forearm (ulna). The surgery— named after former Major League pitcher, Tommy John, who received the procedure in 1974— is common among pitchers and studies estimate that between 70 and 80 percent of players return to their competition level. The most common cause of a UCL tear is arm overuse.

Tominaga was a part of Portland’s four-man rotation last year, so head coach Geoff Loomis will need to find someone to fill his slot. Right now, he’s looking at a rotation of freshman Grady Miller, junior Corbin Powers, junior Jordan Horak, and sophomore Kevin Baker.

Last season, Tominaga went 4-10, with a 4.75 E.R.A, 57 strikeouts and led the team in innings pitched (85.1).

“Davis was a starting pitcher in our rotation last year, so not having him is a serious concern,” Loomis said.

Tominaga is optimistic that the injury won’t end his career.

In 2008, Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson had Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm. He remained hurt in the 2009 season, but in 2010, he was fourth in Cy Young voting for the National League and was an all-star. Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright also underwent Tommy John in 2011, but finished second and third in Cy Young voting in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and was an all-star in both years.

Recovery time for Tommy John surgery is typically around 14 to 18 months.

“The coaching staff is completely supportive of me having surgery and redshirting this season,” Tominaga said. “The coaches have been awesome in helping me through it.”

For Tominaga, it’s all about the rehab and the process. He wants to just keep his mind focused on the recovery process and stay optimistic.

“Our baseball players are around each other every day, so it does have an impact when a player gets injured,” Loomis said. “For them, it’s like a brother getting injured. That’s how close they are. The friendship these guys have goes beyond the field, so when a player gets sidelined, the guys and our staff rally around them, just like a family would.”

The Pilots have gotten off to a rocky start this spring, as they are just 1-9 and are currently riding an eight-game losing streak.

Portland will have their first game at Joe Etzel Field on Thursday, March 9 for the tip off of a four-game series with Northwestern.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0112.  My baseball pitcher has questions

In my recent outing, I was missing with a lot of balls high. That's usually the only place I ever miss.

How do I get that ball down and have better command of my fastballs?

Things I know I need to do to make adjustments for getting the Ball lower are:

01. Drive the Ball down my acromial line at a downward angle.
02. Get my pitching leg through.
03. Get a shorter stride.

How do I do a better job at driving the baseball down my acromial line at a downward angle to get throw the baseball lower.

Still unable to get my pitching leg through over my landing leg and up at slingshot position due to compromising with traditional pitching movements.

Still trying to learn how to get a shorter stride with lifting my leg and striding out.

Do you know of anyways to get a shorter stride pitching with a traditional leg lift?

Or any different ways to get my pitching leg through so I can drive the baseball down my acromial line.

Thanks a lot

Your responses mean a lot and help me every time.


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     To keep your release position on a downward angle, you have to step such that you do not lower your head and drive all pitches at the top of the strike zone for all types of pitches.

     Instead of lifting the front leg, use the front leg slide action to get baseball to home plate quickly. Tell them that you want to keep the same rhythm with and without base runners.

     If you lift your front foot, then you lose the rhythm and cannot get in front of the front foot.

     You could tell pitching coaches that when you get in front of the front foot, you are able to apply force to the baseball longer down the 'acromial' line. You don't have to say 'acromial' line.

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0113.  My baseball pitcher thanks me

I like that cue a lot not letting my head drop.

I’ve definitely been letting my head drop by collapsing my back leg.


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     Short step with heel landing, stand tall, turn the back of the upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate the hips and shoulders forward together over the Front foot, aim the pitching arm down the acromial line, reach high and drive the baseball downward at the high strike position.

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0114.  My baseball pitcher is making great gains

Doing my wrist weights, heavy balls, footballs, and lids recently, for the first time I was able to throw in front of my landing foot like you want me too.

I was able to get in front of my foot then explode with the snap pronation. It felt great and powerful. It also felt like I've never used some of the muscles before.

I was able to get in front of my landing foot, but wasn't able to extend my landing leg knee while pulling my mass through.

I know if I am able to perform this in my delivery, it will add some more velocity to my pitches and help me drive better down my driveline all the way through release.

What are your thoughts?


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     You are making great strides.

     Being able to get your body in front of your landing foot is great.

     That means that you have rotated your hips and shoulders beyond perpendicular to the driveline.

     To get your hips and shoulders beyond perpendicular means that you are moving your center of mass farther down the acromial line.

     Keep your head high and release your pitches as high as you are able to reach on a downward slope.

     Keep trying to release your pitches as later as possible.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, March 26, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0115.  My baseball pitcher needs help

Yes, I will work on this stuff every day and hopefully I can get it to transfer to the game.

I also need to stop looping and lock out my pitching upper arm. I have a bad case of grabbing when I get in the game.

I also need to work on not coming across at all and finishing on my throwing arm side every single pitch.

What are your thoughts?


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     When you move your upper arm forward and upward into 'lock', you should only think about moving your elbow to forty-five degrees in front of your head.

     The only time that you should think about what you are doing with your pitching hand is when you are setting the position for throwing curve balls, torque fastballs, maxline fastballs and screwballs during the 'horizontal rebound' and during your 'pronation snap' your release.

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0116.  The pitching coach is giving my baseball pitcher bad information

When you say "turn your pitching hand to face away from your head" you mean to towards third base... correct?

Also the main thing that is holding me back is not being able to just step out on my pitching motion. Instead they want me to stride out with a closed hip.

It's harder to implement your correct movements striding out traditionally.

I need to do a better job at getting in front of my landing leg and turning my pitching hip and leg along with my upper arm at the same time.

I stride out and my pitching foot stays on the rubber but right before I land I swing my glove foot up higher than it originally started. Sort of like Tim Lincecum. This gives me an extra unwanted length to my stride. It pulls my pitching hip open. It drags my foot off the rubber and takes my hips too early. Therefore I can't get my mass into the ball and drive my pitching hip, leg, and upper arm down my acromial line at the same time like we want.

This swinging of my glove foot happens when I open it up, so if I learned to stride out and land with a closed glove foot I could keep my pitching foot on the rubber. But I also don't want to hurt my knee or leg landing with a more closed foot.

I just need to eliminate that swinging of my glove foot. I know a quick easy fix would to just use your motion and step out.

Also have been pitching very well and racking up a lot of strike outs.


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     Yes.

     When you 'turn your pitching hand to face away from your head,' you prevent the pitching hand from 'floating' behind your body.

     When the heel of your Front foot contacts the ground, you focus on the pitching elbow and positioning your pitching hand for throwing the breaking pitches, torque fastball, maxline fastball and reverse breaking pitches.

     You can smile and do what we do or you can tell the pitching coaches that you feel better with your hips and shoulders open and you are able to release your pitches farther forward.

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0117.  True Marshall Curve Ball

To throw your pronated curve ball pitchers have to release their pitch under the ring finger side of their middle finger.

Even for guys knowing what they are trying to do this is more difficult than it sounds.

Most of the time the pitch might be pronated, but it is released under the index finger.

1. Do you agree with this assessment?

It seems to me that to release the pitch under the ring finger side of the middle finger pitchers either have to flex their wrist or bend their elbow more.

2. Is their any cue you give your pitchers to help them release your curve ball correctly?


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     To throw Maxline Pronation Curveballs, baseball pitchers have to drive the ring finger side of the Middle finger horizontally through the top seam of the baseball.

     By tightly holding the Index finger against the Middle finger, the Middle/Index fingers increased the force through the top seam of the baseball.

01. Therefore, I do not agree.

     As throwing the Lid shows, to throw the Maxline Pronation Curve, my baseball pitchers need to ulnar flex the wrist.

     As a result, the back of the pitching hand faces upward throughout the drive and the release.

02. The cue is to horizontally sail the Lid.

     For years, I held an appropriately-sized football vertically in my hand and had my baseball pitchers drive their Middle/Index combination horizontally through the top point of the football.

     When I saw one of my baseball pitchers release the football over the top of the Index finger, I immediately grabbed the square Lid from a four-gallon bucket.

     When this baseball pitcher threw his first Lid, the Lid fluttered to the ground.

     With this baseball pitcher threw his second Lid, he horizontally sailed the Lid and he had a great Maxline Pronation Curve from then on.

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0118.  Several arm surgeries have complicated thing for Mississippi State
Jackson Clarion Ledger
March 17, 2017

STARKVILLE, AR: Andy Cannizaro chuckled when he heard the question. Then he repeated the inquiry back to himself: Who is going to be tomorrow’s starter? He looked around for a moment and posed a question of his own.

“Can any of you guys pitch?” the Mississippi State first-year skipper jokingly asked a group of mostly out-of-shape media members surely past their respective primes.

There were no volunteers.

“I know (MSU pitching coach) Gary Henderson is going to see if he can get out on the mound tomorrow,” Cannizaro added with a laugh.

This was last Monday, after Mississippi State beat Columbia to complete a four-game series that was wrapped up a day late because of rain. The Bulldogs had used 12 different pitchers in the series and still had to play Arkansas Pine Bluff on Tuesday. Cannizaro suggested that he may need to use several pitchers and ask each to pitch one inning or two in order to get through the game.

He wasn't joking at that point.

That is the situation MSU (12-6) is in. The Bulldogs entered this season with only Konnor Pilkington set as an obvious starter along with question marks for middle relief roles, and things haven’t been any easier since.

Why? Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction known as Tommy John surgery.

Pitchers Jared Padgett, Ethan Small and Keegan James underwent Tommy John surgery over the summer. That was after MSU announced last April that pitcher Noah Hughes needed the surgery. Blake Smith, who would likely be the team’s closer, has been out since Feb. 21, and while the school has yet to announce it, sources said Smith needed the surgery as well. Lefty middle reliever Kale Breaux is the latest MSU pitcher to undergo the surgery, and got it done last week after appearing in only one game this season.

Reliever Parker Ford rejoined the bullpen after having Tommy John surgery in November 2015. He has made two appearances and has allowed three runs and three hits without recording an out.

Is that normal?

On average, a college program will have one player undergo Tommy John surgery every three years, according to Dr. Glenn S. Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute. LSU, for example, has only one pitcher currently out after needing Tommy John surgery.

Dr. Larry Field of Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopeadic Center isn’t surprised by MSU’s problem, however, because of the sheer rise in surgeries recently. During the 2000s, an average of 16 major league pitchers underwent the procedure each year, yet there were then a record 36 such operations performed in 2012, according to data from Baseball-Reference.com.

“They are epidemic in our country now, and for one program to have five athletes that require Tommy John reconstruction in one year is really, honestly, not out of the realm of normal,” Field said. “I would argue it’s even typical of big programs like Mississippi State. It’s very common and can be very disruptive to a program.”

MSU has had three different pitching coaches in three years. Wes Johnson, a velocity guru, replaced Butch Thompson last season. Henderson replaced Johnson ahead of this season. While doctors said any time mechanics are changed, there is concern, Field argued specialization in sports, especially at a young age for pitchers, is likely the primary problem.

“I don’t even bother ask athletes and parents when the season ends because it seemingly never does with special teams and pitching instruction,” Field said. “There are consequences to that highly repetitive activity and the demanding nature of that activity, i.e. trying to throw a baseball as fast as possible.”

Field knows of 12-year-olds who have needed Tommy John surgery and said that more awareness needs to be raised to discontinue the trend.

“I would suggest that a significant percentage of these athletes that are high-level pitchers that go to high-level programs like Mississippi State come with a history of elbow problems,” Field said. “They may not have had a previous Tommy John ligament tear, but there are changes that are commonly present in these athletes' elbows that are there even much, much younger than college.”

Regardless of how common it is and regardless of the reasons for the surgeries, this is the reality for MSU and that’s partially how SEC batting champion and sophomore centerfielder Jake Mangum made his first start since high school on the mound in that game against Arkansas Pine Bluff.

While Canizaro suggested Mangum would pitch before the season, he figured it would be in a middle-relief role--not as an emergency starter.

MSU opened its SEC schedule against Arkansas on Friday night. With playing three-game series instead of series featuring four games, the Bulldogs are in better shape to fill innings, but the headaches remain.

With Riley Self out last weekend with an arm issue and Ryan Rigby battling a groin injury this season, the juggling act became even more difficult. Spencer Price remains as a solid late inning reliever, but MSU doesn’t have many reassuring options after that.

Relievers are being used as starters. Starters are being used as relievers. The results haven’t been pretty.

MSU has used seven different starters already and it used eight all of last season. MSU also has issues closing games, with the game against Morehead State on Feb. 21 in which the Bulldogs used five pitchers in the ninth inning and allowed 10 runs serving as the most obvious example. The Bulldogs’ team ERA is 4.55.

Pilkington, who has a 1.73 ERA, started Friday night and is counted on as the Bulldogs’ ace — now more than ever.

“I never know if I am going to go three innings, one inning or seven or eight,” Pilkington said. “I just go out there and give it everything I've got every game. With the bullpen, you've got to rely on them because you’re not going to throw nine innings and a shutout every time.”

Peyton Plumlee will start Saturday and has provided quality innings with a 1.88 ERA and 2-0 record.

So what about Sunday’s starter? That wasn’t known when Cannizaro spoke with the media on Wednesday. A long conversation amongst the coaches followed. For Cannizaro, the talks are becoming too familiar.

“Sometimes they last all night,” Cannizaro said. “We’ll leave the building sometimes with something in mind and then somebody will have an idea, and then it’s usually some kind of group text message, late-night talks, that kind of thing. We’re just doing everything we can to get through this thing right now.”

For MSU, that means playing defense and continuing to produce well offensively. It is unknown, of course, what guys such as Padgett, Small, Hughes and James would have provided for MSU, but at the very least they would’ve likely had formidable roles in the bullpen.

In turn, that likely would have led to fewer instances of Cannizaro being asked who tomorrow’s pitcher is.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s the hand that you’re dealt,” Cannizaro said, “and you just make the most of it.”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0119.  Gonzalez expected to undergo Tommy John surgery
Denver Post
March 17, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, AZ: Rayan Gonzalez, a 26-year-old minor-league prospect pitching impressively in his first major-league spring training, left Wednesday’s game in considerable pain with an apparent elbow injury.

Gonzalez, whom the Rockies added to their 40-man roster in November to protect him from being poached by other teams, injured his arm in the eighth inning on a pitch to Milwaukee’s Dustin Houle. He called to the dugout for help, pointing to his forearm as he tried to make a fist.

“I’m concerned about this one,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “It was elbow discomfort. He was feeling some pain.”

The Rockies will evaluate Gonzalez into Thursday, but fear surfaced immediately that Gonzalez might need Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

Gonzalez was walked off the field by Black, bullpen coach Darren Holmes and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger. He never went to the bullpen, instead walking straight to the clubhouse.

Gonzalez struck out a batter and was charged with Houle’s walk. In 3 1/3 innings this spring, he allowed one earned run and struck out six against one walk. At Double-A Hartford last season, he struck out 49 in 46 appearances, with a 3.12 ERA.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0120.  How many pitches is too many pitches?
St. George Daily Spectrum
March 18, 2017

On a cold night in November 2015, Brecken Lewis felt a pop in his right elbow.

The Dixie State freshman felt the familiar searing pain that many across the country in all levels of baseball have felt over the years.

One doctor told him it was a nerve problem, which explained the tingling sensation Lewis felt whenever he pitched. So he tried to throw again.

“I got on the bullpen mound and same thing, let one go and could feel another pop,” he said.

The diagnosis from a second doctor in Las Vegas confirmed Lewis had a torn ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL, in the elbow that required Tommy John surgery.

It's a procedure in which the UCL is replaced by a tendon from the patient's own body and usually requires around 12 months of rehabilitation.

Lewis, a former All-State and All-Region pitcher at Cedar High, had his surgery last May. First his elbow was in an immobilizing brace.

Then came the rehab process, starting with physical therapy.

It eventually graduated to where Lewis was washing cars for a summer job and worked out his shoulder that way.

Fast forward to last Tuesday, when Lewis pitched against live hitters for the first time since the surgery, his purple scar on the inside of his elbow visible in the sunlight.

His long and sometimes boring recovery hit a huge milestone.

Lewis' situation could be mitigated — or avoided altogether in the future — after the National Federation of State High School Associations passed a rule last June requiring each state high school association, like the UHSAA, to adopt new pitching restrictions based on the amount of pitches thrown.

Under the UHSAA's rules, a pitcher must rest for one day if he throws 36-60 pitches, two days for 61-85 pitches and three days for 86-110 pitches with 110 being the maximum.

Dixie head coach Danny Ipson said most high school coaches agree that pitch count limits are a good thing for players' health.

"Anything we can do to err on the side of preserving the health and longevity of the athlete, I think we’re certainly all for that," he said.

But prep coaches around Southern Utah also share another feeling about the limits, specifically why they were introduced.

“We’re getting beat up over something that’s not really caused by us,” Enterprise coach Kyle Bundy said. “I think most of the problem right now stems from travel ball, such as summer ball.”

Southwest Baseball Academy in St. George and the Marshall Gates Foundation in Kearns, which sponsors the Utah Marshalls (former Pine View standout Dakota Donovan played for the Marshalls last summer) and Utah Bucks (Lewis played for the Bucks two summers ago) are a few of the more well-known travel baseball teams in Utah.

The issue the high school coaches have with travel ball is the clubs aren't mandated to adhere to pitch count limits.

Several coaches, including Bundy, Ipson, Snow Canyon coach Reed Secrist and Desert Hills coach Chris Allred, say that leaves the door open to club coaches overusing kids, which can lead to fatigue and injuries.

“I’ve got a freshman that had Tommy John surgery ... Talking to him he felt like he threw too much in travel ball and coaches wanted him to keep going and throw more and throw more,” Cedar baseball coach Eric Fieldsted said.

The club teams don't have to adhere to pitch count limits because there's no governing system or league — something like the UHSAA — that can punish a coach for breaking the rules, according to Michael Gargano, who coaches at SBA and Dixie State.

Gargano said it’s up to the individual clubs to implement their own pitch count limits and adhere to those, which is what he said SBA has.

For its pitch count, SBA uses an algorithm that’s based on a player’s age, size and how experienced the player is baseball-wise, he said.

Gargano, who coached Pine View baseball to the 2015 state championship, said the new pitch counts aren't the absolute solution.

“The pitching count is a good first step, but I think they need to add more in to, ‘You need to look at fatigue, body type, don’t catch the same day,’ there’s gotta be more into it than just pitch count in my opinion,” he said.

Baseball players, especially pitchers, have always been more susceptible to non-contact elbow and shoulder injuries than a typical sport.

But the sheer amount of arm injuries across baseball has many, including MLB and USA Baseball's 2014 initiative "Pitch Smart," pointing the finger at overuse when pitchers are younger.

“Obviously overuse will do it, but overuse leads to fatigue and that just increases the risk for that injury too,” he said. Overuse can occur many ways: a coach keeping a pitcher on the mound for more pitches than he can effectively throw, a pitcher throwing without adequate rest, or even a pitcher being taken off the mound and slotted in as catcher, where the arm doesn't get a break.

Sometimes a pitcher just doesn't want to come out of the game. Allred says it happens frequently with little kids who want to impress their coaches be "being tough."

The responsibility ultimately falls on coaches to recognize when a pitcher is getting fatigued and to not irresponsibly pitch a kid more than he can handle, the pitchers themselves to also recognize their fatigue and no pitch when tired, and parents to make sure their children are following proper arm care procedures and make sure their pitching output isn't excessive.

In 2014, USA Baseball and MLB partnered to launch the "Pitch Smart" initiative. According to MLB's Pitch Smart website, it's a series of "practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers for youth pitchers."

Citing decades of research and opinion by doctors, Pitch Smart lists several reasons for the apparent rise in shoulder and elbow injuries. The single biggest factor is "daily, weekly and annual overuse."

Overuse was why Thunder pitching coach Brandon Turley had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Turley pitched in high school and then in college at Southern Virginia University. He threw at SVU from 2000-01 and had his surgery following the '01 season.

"What the doctor said was because of the overuse (the labrum) had frayed from the overuse, it wasn’t a one-time thing. That’s what caused it," he said.

Coaches, athletic trainers and pitchers alike all say that no matter how often you throw, properly attending to an arm is essential.

This isn't a groundbreaking development, and as such, local schools already have guidelines for what their pitchers need to do in warmup, cooldown and off days to promote proper arm care.

Lewis hopes the high school pitch count limits can prevent some injuries from happening. His advice? Don't overlook warmup.

“Every kid’s different in how they warm up, but I know a lot of kids in high school warm up in an improper way,” he said. “We were always told to warm up to throw, not throw to warm up. We were always taught to break a sweat.”

Pitching coaches and athletic trainers recommend a warmup consisting of stretching, dynamic stretching and using elastic arm bands before gradual throwing. Again, this isn't anything new and most schools have their pitchers do some form of this.

It's the same with the cooldown after a game. Often you see pitchers jogging in the outfield for several minutes after a game. That's important, as is applying ice to the elbow and/or shoulder.

After practice last Tuesday, Lewis drove to the athletic training facility under the football stadium.

There, the baseball athletic trainer Kaz Sakita stretched Lewis’ shoulder out on a table for several minutes before heavily wrapping Lewis' shoulder and elbow in battle armor-esque ice bags and pads.

“Not once did I ever ice in high school and, who knows, maybe that could be another long-term effect thing,” he said.

Lewis is fortunate that his recovery has gone smoothly. His plan is to competitively pitch again next season.

Others in all levels of baseball have seen their baseball careers go downhill or end altogether as a result of such elbow and shoulder injuries.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

     With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers are able to throw as many pitches as his substrate.

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0121.  Gonzalez' s injury another blow to Rangers' homegrown pitching woes
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
March 19, 2017

SURPRISE, AZ: A lot of internet bandwidth and dead trees have been wasted each spring, speculating on who will be the Texas Rangers’ fifth starter.

It’s the bane of every baseball beat writer and columnist.

We weigh the candidacies. We scrutinize the performances. We troll the manager for insights.

One constant remains:

The Rangers are certain to float the notion that the multiple off-days in April will allow them to hide their fifth-best starting pitcher.

Thus, we sat last season through a four-inning, seven-run spot start by Kyle Lohse. And we noted that in fifth starter Nick Martinez’s five starts in mid-June he allowed 32 hits, 20 runs and seven homers, all in 23-plus innings.

And we noticed that the No. 5 starter tag-team of, at various times last season, Martinez, Lohse, Cesar Ramos, Lucas Harrell and Chi Chi Gonzalez combined to start more games (18) than Yu Darvish.

To suggest, therefore, that the fifth starter is merely a placeholder betrays the reality. Those two dozen pitching starts still count.

Some teams, not necessarily the Rangers, are far too cavalier about the identity of their No. 5 guy. And that’s my point. Games handed away by ill-chosen No. 5 starters in April and May become victories a team has to recompense in August and September.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister says he hasn’t decided yet who this April’s No. 5 starter will be. But things have a way of working themselves out.

Martinez hasn’t pitched well in nearly three weeks. Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa, who was Sunday’s starter in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners, is still more a curiosity than a viable rotation candidate.

And then there is the regrettable tale of Chi Chi Gonzalez, the franchise’s first-round pick in the 2013 draft.

At 25 years old, Gonzalez has struggled to show the Rangers that he is a bona fide major league pitcher. The numbers increasingly suggest otherwise.

When team physician Dr. Keith Meister informed Gonzalez over the weekend that he had a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, the news should not have been met with surprise. Chi Chi had pitched so badly, something had to be wrong.

The Rangers have advised a conservative treatment plan that involves no surgery. Gonzalez said he will meet with Phoenix physician Dr. Michael Lee and get a second opinion.

“I thought it was just typical soreness,” Gonzalez said. “It was the days in-between.

“The bullpen days were the hardest. It just wasn’t getting any better and kept staying the same, and I figured I should say something. I wasn’t thinking anything was wrong with my elbow. I was just thinking maybe I’ll get a day off, get some rehab, and it should be good."

If the elbow doesn't respond to a stem-cell injection, Gonzalez may have to undergo Tommy John surgery, which would sideline him for at least an entire year.

But truth be told, Chi Chi Gonzalez, the 23rd player selected in the 2013 draft, wasn't pitching like a guywho was banging on the door of a big league rotation.

A.J. Griffin and Dillon Gee are, in varying degrees. Both pitched well amid gridiron dimension over the weekend at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

If I had to make an educated guess, those two will follow No. 3 starters to the mound in the season's first week.

The cavalry may be coming, but pitcher Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross are still recovering from injuries and confined to bullpen sessions.

How did this team 's pitching cupboard become so bare of options?

Answer: Trades for veterans. Tanner Roark. Kyle Hendricks. Carl Edwards. Jerad Eickhoff.

Yikes.

Homegrown Rangers pitching is thriving--somewhere else.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0122.  Anderson needs Tommy John surgery
Lake County News Herald
March 20, 2017

Indians pitcher  Cody Anderson needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the Tribe announced on March 20.

The surgery means Anderson will miss the entire 2017 season. Anderson was not in the plans to be part of the starting rotation this year, but the baseball season is long. Over six months and 162 games, the Indians are bound to lose a starter somewhere along the way. Anderson would have been a candidate for promotion from Columbus to be part of the rotation at least temporarily.

Dr. Keith Meister, who also examined Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis, examined Anderson and confirmed the diagnosis of a UCL sprain along with a mild flexor strain. Anderson elected for the surgery with the hope of bouncing back in 2018.

“It can be a really difficult decision,” Tribe manager Terry Francona told reporters in Goodyear, Ariz. “I think through the medical people and the doctors, Cody made a really mature decision. This way, it’s all in front of him. Knowing the way Cody works, he’ll come back even better because he’ll work so hard in other areas and he’ll have the rest of his career in front of him.”

Anderson, 26, was 7-3 as a rookie in 2015, but he struggled last season. He was 2-5 over nine starts and finished with a 6.68 ERA.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0123.  Cluster of injuries opens questions about Red Sox' methods
CSNNE.com
March 21, 2017

It seems like every arm the Red Sox pick up in the Dave Dombrowski era ends up breaking, or at least bending the wrong way at some point.

Injuries can be coincidence and freak developments. But as health questions dominate Red Sox camp, it's fair to start to wonder how well the Sox are evaluating medicals before adding players.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he doesn’t detect anything abnormal this spring when it comes to the number of injuries.

“I think you probably have health questions because you’re focusing on our camp. That’s why. They’re normal,” Dombrowski said before the most recent concern to a Red Sox pitcher, a tight triceps for Drew Pomeranz, arose. “I don’t find anything that’s been abnormal this spring compared to any other spring I’ve ever been.

"We’ve focused a great deal on medical. But we’ve been doing that for years and we continually look at that all the time. So I don’t think there’s anything abnormal.”

But the worries are nonetheless numerous.

David Price, the biggest Dombrowski acquisition of all, has an elbow injury and is to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

Dombrowski reiterated recently that when the team signed Price, his medicals were reviewed in depth.

“It’s very thoroughly discussed," Dombrowski said. “Of course, you don’t want him to go down at this point. You know, any pitcher that’s in that position, that’s pitched a lot, has some wear and tear. But I’ve also been around pitchers that are 37 or 38 and continue to pitch and have been fine.”

Power reliever Tyler Thornburg, a Dombrowski acquisition, has had trouble with his shoulder -- trouble that appears rooted at least in part in a misunderstanding about how to go about his offseason conditioning program. The Milwaukee Brewers, Thornburg’s previous team, had a different program.

Shouldn’t someone have made sure Thornburg understood exactly what to do? Or is more at play here?

Thornburg is to throw in a simulated game on Tuesday before potentially returning to Grapefruit League action.

In Pomeranz, the Sox have what might be a bellwether situation.

The team had multiple opportunities to return the lefty to the Padres because of his medical condition last summer, after the Sox dealt pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza to San Diego straight up for Pomeranz.

A tight triceps on Sunday gave way to feelings of optimism Monday, when Pomeranz said he felt better and plans to make his next start.

But that doesn’t change Pomeranz’s history of injuries. He went for a stem-cell shot to promote healing in his throwing arm over the winter.

The Sox were between a rock and a hard place when they learned last summer the Padres had not been forthcoming with Pomeranz’s medical records. They needed an arm, and Pomeranz was healthy enough to pitch, so they chose not to rescind the deal.

But Pomeranz was acquired for his future value as well as his 2016 value.

If the Sox didn’t have a strong grasp on the condition of his arm, that’s a potentially big misevaluation. And if they did foresee what seems like perpetual worry with Pomeranz, then Espinoza was a mighty big piece to surrender for uncertainty.

The list goes on.

There's Carson Smith, the righty reliever Dombrowski traded for in his first winter with the Red Sox. Smith is expected back midseason after Tommy John surgery last summer.

A pitcher who came over in the same deal with the Mariners as Smith, Roenis Elias, has a strained oblique and is in the middle of a three-week shutdown period.

Don’t forget Hector Velazquez. The righty was signed out of the Mexican League this spring and thrown into the fire too quickly in Fort Myers.

The Red Sox had to ease off Velazquez's workload as he felt some stress on his elbow -- a situation that sounded avoidable, had the Sox been more cognizant of the routine change Velazquez was facing and his prior workload.

Per Baseball-Reference.com's count, Velazquez threw 246 2/3 innings in 2016. Were he in spring training in Mexico, he said he would have rested longer.

“Well, who’s going to prevent Elias from [hurting] an oblique?” Dombrowski said. “Thornburg, I talked to him, he’s fine.

You’re going to go through those with some pitchers in spring training. I haven’t had a [time] where you haven’t. I mean, David [Price's] situation you’re not anticipating it. But I’d have been surprised we made it through the year and someday didn’t have something.

“But, I bet you if you looked, 90 percent of the teams, maybe 100, 95, have some problems. That’s just pitchers’ arms. That’s just the way it is . . . I could tell you and I have said this before, and I know everybody else would say this: with the sophistication of the medical industry nowadays, I don’t know the last time I’ve traded for somebody or signed somebody: nobody has a pristine arm. Nobody. I can’t even tell you the last time -- it doesn’t exist.

"So you’re going to know that that’s just part of the equation. And then you have to weigh what type of risk you’re willing to take. And so we spend a lot of time on that.”

All the injuries to Dombrowski acquisitions could be one big coincidence. But the Sox are doing themselves a disservice if they don’t question whether something else might be at play, whether there’s a process to be improved, whether they're spending time on all the right things.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0124.  New rule will make pitch counts a must this spring
Yakima Herald
March 21, 2017

YAKIMA, WA: Jake Fife was a strike-thrower. He was also a consummate competitor, a baseball player with a whatever-it-takes mentality who, as he proudly recalls, “left it all out on the field.”

And even though the Selah High School, Yakima Valley College and Central Washington University pitcher-infielder developed trouble with his throwing (right) elbow during his college days, and even though as the first-year head coach at Naches Valley he understands the impetus behind the WIAA’s new pitch count rules, he doubts they would have altered his situation.

“I’m not a hundred percent for it or a hundred percent against it,” Fife said. “I think the thing with me was just wearing down over a long period of time. Just throwing as hard as I did for as long as I did, from when I was a little kid on, it just sort of took a toll.”

The rules, formulated by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and approved by the WIAA’s executive board last January, are intended to protect high school and middle school pitchers from overuse and the sometimes ire consequences that result.

As such they have been welcomed by most of the area’s prep coaches.

“This is long overdue,” said Cle Elum’s Colby Sherrill. “It’s ridiculous with high school freshmen having Tommy John surgery.”

Key among the rules, which replaced pitching limitations based on innings, is that three calendar days of rest is required for someone throwing 76-105 pitches, two calendar days for 51-75 pitches, one calendar day for 31-50 pitches and no days for 1-30 pitches. The limit for a single calendar day is 105.

Every pitch thrown from the mound to a hitter will count. Warmup pitches or pitches thrown during a game delay will not count.

And the home scorekeeper — the official scorekeeper — will be charged with keeping count while coordinating that effort with the visiting scorekeeper.

Umpires will not be involved either in counting pitches or enforcing rules. All pitch count concerns will be addressed by the league.

If a pitch count is determined by the league to have been exceeded, the result will be that of a team using an ineligible player — meaning forfeiture.

“I like it,” said Ellensburg’s Todd Gibson. “I guess the old school of thought is that we (coaches) can take care of our kids’ arms, and I’ve never — knock on wood — had a kid with arm trouble.”

Said Kittitas’ Eric Sorensen, “It wasn’t necessarily a matter of coaches asking kids to do too much. But with small schools like ours, now we need to find other kids and teach them how to pitch.”

Selah coach Mike Archer, meanwhile, said the rules assume that all pitchers are created equal, from a physical standpoint, and that they aren’t is something he and his coaching staff have taken into consideration.

“We’re always aware of our guys,” Archer said. “Some guys are more physical or more mature than others, and therefore they’re capable of handling more without any danger of a problem developing. But I get it. I think the pitch count is reasonable.”

Fife, mentioning that his 100-percent mentality traced back to his youth, had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow after his prep career.

“They told me it might last for two years, or it might last for five or 10,” he said. “I got two more good years out of it, and was thinking about having another surgery.

“But then I thought, you know what, it might be a good idea to bear down on my schoolwork and move on with my life. And now I’m in pretty good shape.

“I can still throw BP (batting practice) and I can still reel in a salmon, so that’s good enough for me.”


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     With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers are able to throw as many pitches as his substrate.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0125.  Kline has follow-up elbow surgery
Frederick News-Post
March 22, 2017

Branden Kline, a pitching prospect for the Baltimore Orioles, underwent a follow-up arthroscopic procedure on his right elbow last week.

Kline, 25, was recovering well from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in October 2015, but he felt some discomfort prior to spring training, the network reported.

The Orioles sent him to see Dr. James Andrews, who cleaned some soft tissue out of Kline’s elbow. The pitcher could resume throwing in three or four weeks.

Kline has not pitched in an official game since May 2015 for the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He was 3-3 with a 3.66 ERA in eight starts for the Baysox before experiencing tightness in this throwing arm that led to Tommy John surgery.

This most recent surgery represents the latest setback for Kline as he attempts to climb the ladder in the Orioles’ organization.

In May 2013, he took a bad step in a conditioning drill and broke his right leg, costing him the rest of that season for the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds.

Kline returned the following season to pitch for his hometown Frederick Keys. He went 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA in 23 starts for the High-A Keys in 2014 before being promoted to Bowie toward the end of the season.

He was 0-2 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts for the Baysox at the end of the 2014 season before becoming a regular member of their starting rotation for the start of the 2015 season.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0126.  Smith injures UCL
San Jose Mercury News
March 22, 2017

Giants lefthander Will Smith will see Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles as he gathers information before making a decision about how to treat his sprained elbow ligament.

While a UCL sprain used to mean an automatic Tommy John surgery, doctors at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic have been at the forefront of a procedure that involves taking bone marrow from the hip and injecting stem cells directly into the ligament. Angels pitcher Garrett Richards avoided Tommy John surgery when he was shut down in May of last season, and reportedly is throwing 98 mph this spring.

However Smith and the Giants choose to proceed, the club expects to be without the left-hander for several months at the least.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0127.  Reds prospect Hanson to undergo Tommy John surgery
SB Nation
March 23, 2017

Reds righthander Nick Hanson will undergo Tommy John surgery. Hanson, the Reds' 3rd round pick from last June's draft, is still just 18 years of age, and he was signed for an over-slot amount of $925,000 to entice him to forgo his commitment to play for the University of Kentucky.

A 6-5 righty out of Minnesota, Hanson pitched sparsely after being drafted last season, throwing just 16.2 innings in 8 games with the AZL Reds in Goodyear. Still, he's an extremely projectable pitcher from a location not necessarily known as a hotbed of pitching production, and it's obvious the Reds held him in high regard for quite some time.

For the Reds, it's not just a setback, but another gut punch in a somewhat alarming trend. Four of their last five 3rd round draft picks  have been pitchers and Hanson now joins each of Wyatt Strahan (2014), Mark Armstrong (2013), and Dan Langfield (2012) as pitchers who have missed entire seasons due to major surgery. Each of Strahan and Armstrong have recently dealt with Tommy John surgery themselves.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0128.  15 year Old Elbow Pain

I’m attempting find the cause of pain in my son’s distal bice/forearm that he suffered from early last season.  Last year he grew 3+inches and this year 2.5 inches, so I’m assuming this may be part of it.  His pitching history has been I did not let him pitch regularly until last year as a high school freshman.  He also typically plays 3rd base, has an athletic has and throws average speed for his age, low 70s and last year low to mid 60’s.

He was able to make it through last HS season, but his AAU, summer season and fall ball season he could not pitch.  This year he is only doing high school.  We started the season in January with a pitching clinic for 10 weeks, once a week for 1 hour leading to the season, pain free.  However once captains practices started some slight pain arrived. A week of rest and then pain again.  Both time this pain was from throwing a bullpen of 25 pitches.  The pain now become present in his fielding throws and slightly when hitting.  However, the pain goes away with rest and ice, but quickly becomes aggravated to a point where it is unbearable for him.

He throws in the 3/4 arm slot with elbow at shoulder height and is 5-11, 155 lbs.

We have seen a baseball PT and pitching specialist, locally in Boston.  The result were distal bicep concern and the thought of messaging the rear rotator cuff as he felt a reaction in the bicep by massaging the rear rotator cuff as well as quadrup breathing to adjust the body (PT recommended) and strengthening of the scapular muscles and decelerator leg muscles (pitching coach recommended).  My thought would be to get back with the pitching coach but the pain is too bothersome.

I contacted the PT and he mentioned getting him in for the rotator cuff massage and voodoo threading (which I’m skeptical on, not know much behind it other than a bunch of internet posts).  I have started him on bicep strengthening doing negative curls with 5 lbs dumbells for a 5 count during the drop phase.

Hopefully, though your medical background as well as dealing with numbers of baseball players, you may be able to shed some light on what may be happening, as baseball is his first love of sport.


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     Your son needs to learn my baseball pitching motion.

     To start, your son has to learn how to horizontally said the square Lid from a four-gallon bucket.

     In my pitching motion, the baseball pitchers stand tall, turn the back of the upper arm to face toward home plate, rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot and aim their pitching arm down the acromial line.

     To learn the Marshall pitching motion, you need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     I recommend that you watch section 08. Football Training Program, it will teach you how to 'horizontally sail' the square Lid from a four-gallon bucket and how to impart rotation to the four baseball pitches.

     Master this pitching motion and you will never suffer any pain.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, April 02, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0129.  It's been awhile

It's been awhile since we have communicated. There is a fellow in our town who was a 2008 second round MLB pitching draft pick. I have known him all his life. He was as traditional in his pitching delivery as you can be. About 2 years into his professional career, he injured his shoulder and elbow to the point all he felt was pain and loss of arm strength.

After his release from pro ball, he and his brothers started a baseball "academy". They were all very traditional in their approach and teaching methods of throwing and pitching. Their methods have actually injured young arms with very badly irritated UCL and shoulder joints. One young man even slightly fractured his humerus while throwing with them. Eric rehabs them after they come to him and he retrains them to throw without pain.

This fellow is about 30 years of age and is training to see if he can get his skill level up to getting a pro contract again. He is getting frustrated because after weeks of work, the best velocity he can get is mid to upper 80's.

Eric works out every day doing all around strength and agility training because he teaches that, as well as Marshall drills. But he has not thrown a baseball for 9 months himself. So out of curiosity, he picked up a ball standing flat footed, raised his arm above his head, laid his forearm horizontal behind his head with it pointing toward second base. He took one step and threw the ball, stone cold without any warm-up. The gun read 85 mph. Then he walked away.

I just laughed and told him that had he done some wrist weights and iron balls before hand to "warm up" and thrown about a dozen baseballs he would have been hitting 88-90 that day. And if he were to get serious about full blown training, within a few months he would be in the low to mid 90's without a doubt. I told him that you told me that you believed he had the genetic potential to reach 96-98.

The point is, he and I are able to demonstrate the routines and full body and arm actions that maximize throwing velocity AND spin. These other guys know us and know we don't ever have sore arms. But they are so resistant to learning anything. They just keep using and training kids with the old traditional methods, and they keep getting the same old bad results.

What is it they say the definition of insanity is? You keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results?


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     If this pitcher stood tall and rotated his hips and shoulders forward together over his Front foot, then he could apply the same force to the baseball though release.

     The worse pitchers can do is rotate their hips, then rotate their shoulders over their Rear foot while bending forward at their waist after raising their Front foot.

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0130.  My baseball pitcher likes some pitches and some need work

I've been pitching really good and racking up a lot of strike outs.

The sinker is really good to both lefty and righties and I'm throwing it for a strike.

Righties can't hit my torque fastball. It breaks like a slider really late and is hard. I understand I need to pronate this pitch and not cut over on it. I need to do a better job at this so I can protect the back of my pitching elbow.

The curve is getting a little harder but still too slow out of my hand. I need it to break harder. How do I put more spins on the maxline pronation curve ball and get it to break hard and late?

My fastballs are good. Just need to throw harder. I need to do a better job at force-coupling my pitching arm and using my glove leg.


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     The maxline and torque sinkers are the centerpiece of your sequences.

     The torque fastball needs the least of pronating your forearm.

     On the torque fastball, as long as you turn your thumb downward at release, your elbow will be fine.

     The curveball torque and maxline needs the most pronation.

     If you want to throw a faster curveball with less down movement, throw a two-seam curveball. The tw0-seam curveball will break hard and late. Remember, you need to start all pitches at the top of the strike zone.

     With the four-seam curveball, the seam increased friction causes the baseball to move downward so much that you cannot keep it in the strike zone. Batters chase it the dirt. Never start a four-seam curveball above the strike zone.

     To increase your velocity, you have to aim your driveline down the acromial line and rotate your hips and shoulders forward together over your Front foot.

     Instead of blocking your hips, you need to open your hips and shoulders to release the baseballs as close to home plate as you are able.

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0131.  Mets mull extra relief pitcher to begin season
Newsday
March 25, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: The Mets are debating the merits of carrying an extra relief pitcher to begin the season, sources said Saturday, an added wrinkle that could change the dynamics in the final scramble for the last spots on the Opening Day roster.

Should the Mets carry an extra bullpen arm for added protection early in the season, it would likely come at the cost of the bench spot that appears ticketed for utilityman Ty Kelly, who is not on the 40-man roster.

An extra bullpen spot would make it easier for the Mets to carry Josh Edgin. The lefty has worked on pitching with diminished velocity following Tommy John surgery. He would be exposed to waivers and almost certainly claimed by another team if he does not make the team, one reason he’s being considered.

If Edgin were to make the roster, the battle for the final spot would come down to righthanders Paul Sewald and Rafael Montero. In a 3-0 victory against the Braves on Saturday, both pitchers improved their chances.

Sewald tossed a scoreless inning to lower his ERA to 1.46. He’d have to be added to the 40-man roster to make the team. Meanwhile, Montero has done the most to re-establish his standing in the organization. After a disappointing season, Montero has a 1.96 ERA after five scoreless innings against the Braves.

“I’ve seen a different approach, I’ve seen a whole different guy, again the way he’s going about things,” manager Terry Collins said. “His velocity is up. He’s pitching inside, which he didn’t do very often. And I think that makes a big difference.”

Most importantly, he challenged a lineup composed of big-league hitters, breaking free from a tendency to nibble around the zone.

“It’s good to just build up confidence again,” Montero said through a translator. “My sinker was working a lot today. I put the ball in the middle. And you’re going to get a lot of balls hit on the ground.”


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     If all professional baseball pitchers use my pitching motion, then the teams would keep eight baseball pitchers until they are forty years old and still getting batters out.

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0132.  Two Tommy John surgeries haven't halted Tim Collins' improbable career
Washington Post
March 27, 2017

When the Washington Nationals break camp and head north Thursday night to begin their regular season, Tim Collins will stay behind in West Palm Beach preparing for his own Opening Day, one tentatively scheduled for this summer. The left-handed reliever was among the first round of Nationals reassigned to minor league camp early this month because he was never in contention for a roster spot. Collins actually might never throw a pitch in the Nationals organization, at any level, because it’s been two Tommy John surgeries since Collins last pitched in any game of consequence, which happened to be Game 6 of the 2014 World Series.

That the Nationals took a flier on Collins when he opted for free agency last November isn’t surprising. The organization has not shied away from drafting or signing pitchers who have undergone the surgery, tapping into the market inefficiency for talent it otherwise probably wouldn’t have a chance of acquiring. Collins wasn’t even the only two-time Tommy John recipient in camp: Shawn Kelley and Joe Nathan have also had their ulnar collateral ligaments replaced twice.

But Collins is different because he is 5 feet 7 3/4 inches tall. According to Baseball Reference, he is one of the 12 shortest people to pitch in a major league game since the beginning of the expansion era in 1961.

“My body, physically or scientifically, shouldn’t be capable of doing what it does,” said the 27-year-old Collins, who also underwent sports hernia surgery three years ago. “So to have two Tommy Johns and try to come back from that, scientifically if anybody looks at it, it’s kind of impossible. But then again, throwing is impossible when you research it.”

When Collins graduated from Worcester Technical High in 2007, he stood 5-5, weighed 130 pounds, and threw an 82 mph fastball. The profile, despite being one of the best high school pitchers in Massachusetts, didn’t attract any significant interest from four-year college programs. He signed with the Community College of Rhode Island to play baseball in the fall.

The plan changed that summer when J.P. Ricciardi, a Worcester native and the Toronto Blue Jays General Manager at the time, attended an American Legion game in Worcester to watch a pitcher on the opposing team. Collins wasn’t supposed to pitch and started in right field, but he entered the game in relief and struck out 12 batters in four innings. A bullpen session was then set up with a Blue Jays scout and the organization advised Collins to attend St. Petersburg College in Florida because the Blue Jays’ rookie league manager was the head coach there. But Collins had already signed with CCRI, so Ricciardi signed him as an undrafted free agent. Three days later, the 17-year-old Collins flew to Florida to join the Gulf Coast League team.

“Just right place right time,” said Collins, who lives in Glen Allen, Va. with his wife and two children during the offseason.

A body transformation fueled Collins’s rocket rise through the minors. By the time he broke camp on the Kansas City Royals’ Opening Day roster in 2011 – he was traded from the Blue Jays to the Atlanta Braves to the Royals the previous season while striking out 13.6 batters per nine innings – he had added 40 pounds of muscle and 14 inches to his vertical leap, even growing a couple inches from high school. The makeover added 10 mph to his fastball, and he paired it with a wicked curveball to become a mainstay in the Royals’ bullpen over the next four seasons. He posted a 3.54 ERA and struck out 9.4 batters per nine innings in 211 innings across 228 games, and appeared in four playoff games, including three in the World Series, in 2014.

“He throws high fastballs.” 

Nationals pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “Those short guys, they’re able to get under it and it’s just a different look you don’t see every day. It’s kind of an oddity when you see it, the ball comes uphill. Their delivery is at a plane you don’t see all the time.”

It was a curveball that derailed Collins’s career in a Cactus League game two years ago. He felt a twinge as soon he threw the pitch, but stayed in for the remainder of the at-bat to throw about 10 more. The discomfort intensified with each toss, escalating from extreme fatigue to fiery agony. Orthopedist James Andrews performed Tommy John surgery on his left elbow the next week.

That was in March 2015, and Collins was told he’d be on the mound pitching in games again in 12 to 16 months. But a year later, something just didn’t feel right. Simple, everyday tasks like turning a door knob still hurt, and the pain was localized around the ulnar collateral ligament. So Collins requested an MRI exam, and it showed his UCL was completely torn again. A month later, on April 15, 13 months after his first Tommy John surgery, orthopedist Neal ElAttrache performed Collins’s second procedure.

“It was just kind of disbelief,” Collins said. “To find out 12 months later you need it all again, but even longer … to say it was frustrating is an understatement.”

This rehabilitation process’s pace was more deliberate initially than the first time to avoid avulsion fractures, and Collins’s return window was consequently extended to 12 to 18 months. His goal is to begin a rehab assignment in June and start pitching in games in July. Collins can opt out of his contract that month, but he emphasized he wants to stay with the Nationals.

“Wherever that assignment might be, big leagues, Triple A, Double A, whatever, I feel like I’m here to stay,” Collins said. “I don’t want to call it quits because I’m not in the big leagues by July. My goal is to finish this year healthy, whether that’s Triple A or in the big leagues, and be healthy for 2018.”

Collins began throwing again in October for six weeks before taking six weeks off at Thanksgiving and resuming in January. By mid-March, just before the Nationals reassigned him, he was throwing three days on and one day off.

“One day you feel like you’re not going to progress, and then the next day, boom, it clicks,” Collins said. “It’s a weird feeling, but it just happens.”

It happened again a few weeks ago playing catch at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Collins had been wondering when his arm strength would reemerge, when the ball would have the life with minimal effort like it did before the surgeries. Then one day it just did. They are the kind of days that make him feel like he’ll beat the odds again.


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     I earned a Cy Young Award at 5'06 1/2" tall and I made it work.      To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0133.  Red Sox seeking relief from pitching injuries
Providence Journal
March 28, 2017

BRADENTON, FL: The final week of March has its own special rituals: Even the most promising of brackets have been burned, the final lousy snowstorm of the winter is close to melting, and the Red Sox place one of their key relievers on the disabled list.

On Tuesday, it was Tyler Thornburg's turn, a shoulder impingement meaning the presumed set-up man will miss the first few weeks of the season. It continues a disconcerting trend for Boston, which has routinely seen newly acquired relievers hit the DL early in their Red Sox tenures.

Since 2011, the Red Sox have traded for or signed to a major-league contract 15 different relief pitchers. Thornburg is the eighth to end up on the disabled list by the first week of May. He joins Bobby Jenks, Andrew Bailey and Carson Smith in hitting the DL by Opening Day. Joel Hanrahan and Anthony Varvaro found it by the end of April, Matt Albers and Dan Wheeler by Cinco de Mayo.

The severity of those injuries varies: Hanrahan, Jenks and Varvaro never really recovered from theirs. Bailey's was a freak thumb injury, though the shoulder one he suffered in June of that season took him years to overcome. Wheeler's stint on the DL was largely performance-related.

This spate of injuries extends beyond the current tenure of president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, of pitching coach Carl Willis and of manager John Farrell.

So how can it be explained? Can it be explained at all?

In the case of Thornburg, Boston's shoulder program has come under the closest scrutiny. Earlier this month, Thornburg had mentioned that unfamiliarity with the off-season program may have gotten him behind the ball when it came to his spring performances. On Tuesday, Red Sox brass adamantly defended that program.

"There's a lot been written targeting our shoulder program here. I would discount that completely," Farrell said.

"It is not the throwing program," said Dombrowski, who called the program "outstanding."

In conversations with the Providence Journal on Tuesday, two former Red Sox relievers rebutted the idea that the throwing program could be a problem.

"The throwing program didn't have any effect on me in a bad way," said Hanrahan, who hit the disabled list in April of his first season with the Red Sox in 2013 and needed Tommy John surgery by May. "I'd been doing a shoulder program for 15 years. Theirs isn't any different from anybody else's."

Hanrahan, now a pitching coach in the Pirates system, said his injury was merely a matter of being "my time."

Burke Badenhop is one of the exceptions to the rule with Red Sox relievers, never requiring a stint on the disabled list during his one season with Boston in 2014. He's also as familiar with the transition Thornburg is experiencing as anyone: He, too, was dealt from the Brewers to the Red Sox, and in fact, he and Thornburg were off-season throwing partners the winter before Badenhop pitched for the Sox.

"I never thought Boston's stuff was too crazy," said Badenhop, who remembered the Rays' throwing program being the most arduous of his professional career. "I don't remember them giving me too much of a shoulder exercise program (in the winter). I definitely didn't do one."

Badenhop, who now works in the Diamondbacks baseball ops department, did say that adjusting to different throwing programs can be difficult. He would know, as someone who played for five different teams over his last five seasons.

"When I got to Tampa and they started to do a lot of stuff, I was definitely sore in different spots. If you're doing stuff you've never done before, it could be completely different," he said, adding that spring training offered plenty of time to rest and still prepare for the regular season.

"When you come into a new organization, there's a period where guys adapt," Farrell said. "Could it have been different from what he's done in the past? Sure. But to say it's the root cause, that's a little false. That's a lot false, and very shortsighted."

"Any player I've ever had, they go through (that adjustment)," said Dombrowski. "People have different things they emphasize, but I can't tell you anything (here) is unique. The reality is it's a regular throwing program."

Badenhop added that he very much liked Boston's shoulder program, and he wondered whether most of the serious injuries endured by new Red Sox relievers were, as Hanrahan surmised about himself, "ticking time bombs." Hanrahan, Jenks and Bailey, in particular, never returned to their prior form. He praised the work of the Red Sox training staff.

"I will completely attribute how well I pitched and a lot of my success to the care from those guys in keeping your arm healthy," he said. "How much they cared in keeping you healthy, knowing that sparked me to have a great year. It was a positive."

Hanrahan had a different theory on why so many relievers get hurt early in their Red Sox tenure.

"Any time you get traded, you go in and want to show out. You want to show why they traded for you," he said. "Maybe guys try too hard."

"I'll give some credence to what Hanrahan said," Badenhop said. "Thornburg is coming in on a big trade. He went from Milwaukee, which is the only team he's known and hasn't been very good, to now one of the primary set-up guys on a team looking to win the World Series. Maybe it's a whole different animal. It could affect you different ways."

Badenhop had also come to the Red Sox from the Brewers, though he said his time with the Rays in the A.L. East properly prepped him for Boston. His year in Milwaukee in between felt "like throttling back."

Dombrowski doesn't think reliever injuries are unique to the Red Sox. They aren't.

"I don't think you're just talking about Boston," he said. "There are a lot of ups and downs with (relievers) throughout their careers. I can't speak for the past.


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     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

     The Rays training program does not teach baseball pitchers how to release breaking pitches under the Middle finger, instead the over the Index finger.

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0134.  Blue Jays' Schultz undergoes Tommy John surgery
Sportsnet.ca
March 29, 2017

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Bo Schultz had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Wednesday.

“He’s got a couple of [bone] chips in there and they’ll look at the ligament while they’re in there,” manager John Gibbons said of Schultz Tuesday, before the full extent of his injury was known.

The 31-year-old posted a 5.51 earned-run average and 1.224 WHIP in 16.1 innings over 16 games for the Blue Jays last year, a season in which he returned from hip surgery.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0135.  Brady Aiken rejected $5 million and got hurt; now past No. 1 pick fights for MLB future
Bleacher Report
March 30, 2017

GOODYEAR, AZ: No spring training backdrop is as dramatic as that of the Cleveland Indians, where dozens of tired, abandoned jets are parked on the desert floor in their final resting place. Pilots refer to these acres of dusty real estate as "The Boneyard." Under a scorching sun, the aircrafts await their turn to be dismantled.

On a patch of green grass across the street, a small group of Indians minor leaguers finish another day of workouts by sprinting some 40 yards or so toward those jets. Then, back again. Sweat glistens. Smiles gleam. Another sprint, and then another. And somewhere in this anonymous pack is only the third high school pitcher in history to be selected No. 1 overall in baseball's annual amateur draft.

Brady Aiken, the left-hander whose career has been grounded since Houston drafted and then squeezed him in 2014, is emerging tall from a three-year span in which it appeared as if his baseball life might've been in line to be dismantled right along with all those dead jets.

"It makes for a pretty cool sunrise," he says, enthusiasm and wonder again filling his voice as he gazes toward the airplane graveyard.

"Spring training's awesome," he continues. "Everyone's out here, you're in a big group together, having a good time."

It was not easy to pick Aiken out of this pack and, for now, that's exactly the way he prefers it. He did his time in the eye of the hurricane. He lived the line from the Bruce Springsteen song, the one that wonders: Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?

Yes, today is all about these blessed sunrises, not sunsets. The negotiations with Houston that dissolved into a smoldering wreckage in 2014, the Tommy John ligament-transfer surgery he underwent two years ago on March 25, the rehabilitation, the waiting, the wondering, the grinding, the first few tentative steps in his comeback late last summer...those are the sunsets, so many of them, and good riddance to all.

Now, there are no more restrictions. There are no more negotiations.

There is only what's up ahead in the distance.

"This is probably the happiest that he's been, the best place he's been in physically and mentally ever in his life," Jim Aiken, Brady's father, says. "The Indians are such a great organization. They've been so good to him."

The Indians caught him on the rebound, selecting him in the first round, 17th overall, in the 2015 draft. His arm was healing at the time. No matter. Cleveland believed enough to give him a $2.5 million signing bonus and a ticket to their spring training complex to rehab under the club's watch and with its help.

For that, Aiken will be forever grateful.

"That stuff that happened in the past is obviously not something we wish would have happened," he tells B/R in his first lengthy sit-down interview since the Indians drafted him. "But we're in a really good position now.

"I'm in a really good organization and, although I did have surgery, I rehabbed with a fantastic team that is really good with rehabbing pitchers. That's the most important thing for me, making sure that my career is going in the right direction. Which it is."

He is still a baby, only 20, though given the wringer he's been through, he must be about 50 in dog years. This idea elicits a chuckle. Why not? He's trained himself to look for the bright side.

"I learned a lot in the process and definitely have grown in the mental side of the game in ways that I wouldn't have if I was just playing every day," he says. "You learn so much patience. Being in rehab with some guys who were down here, big leaguers, it was pretty cool."

One of them was Indians starter Josh Tomlin, who was the first person to say hello to Aiken at the Indians' Arizona facility two summers ago. Tomlin, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, was rehabbing from shoulder surgery at the time.

"I knew who he was, and I knew the path he had the year before," Tomlin says. "So I figured I'd try to make it as easy as I could for him."

It was before his senior season in high school that the 6'4" left-hander with the Hollywood looks and the sensational stuff made a bold proclamation to his family and advisors, the agent Casey Close and his crew: His goal was to be picked first in the draft that summer. Not just the first round. First overall.

Aiken knew Carlos Rodon, the North Carolina State left-hander who wound up being picked third overall by the Chicago White Sox, was being talked about as a potential No. 1. He was eyeing rival high school star Tyler Kolek, who would go No. 2 overall to the Marlins.

So he ran. He threw. He lifted. He worked his tail off, and on June 5, 2014, the Astros cooperated. They picked him first.

It was the last time they would cooperate.

They offered a $6.5 million signing bonus (less than the $7.9 million MLB had slotted for the No. 1 overall pick), then pulled it back when medical exams reportedly revealed a small abnormality in Aiken's elbow near his ligament.

Weeks went by before the Astros made another offer, this one lowered to $3.1 million and then, just before the signing deadline, $5 million. Aiken and his camp balked, and the Astros became the first team to fail to sign its No. 1 pick in 31 years, since the Minnesota Twinsand Tim Belcher were at odds in 1983.

Caught in the crossfire was pitcher Jacob Nix, who was selected in the fifth round by the Astros and offered a $1.5 million signing bonus, way higher than the $370,500 that MLB recommended for the 136th overall pick. Nix, too, went unsigned because when the Aiken negotiations blew up, the Astros lost a portion of their allotted draft-pool money and were unable to sign Nix at the agreed price without incurring penalties. Like Aiken, Nix told the Astros to take a later, lower offer and shove it.

Longtime friends since pitching together for the United States 18-and-under national team when they were in high school, the two enrolled at IMG Academy, a boarding school and sports training facility in Bradenton, Florida. They were even roommates.

"What happened sucked, but we were having fun," Nix, now in San Diego's camp after the Padres selected him in the third round in '15 and gave him a $900,000 signing bonus, tells B/R. "We had a lot of fun at IMG. We joked around a lot, but we knew when to get serious and get our work done."

Then, in the first inning of his first game at IMG, on his 13th pitch, Aiken's elbow blew out.

"It was just one pitch, first inning, and it just kind of clicked a little bit," Aiken says. "I was like, 'Oh, man, that's kind of weird.' It didn't really hurt too bad. I just kept throwing, and it progressively got worse to the point where, yeah, this doesn't feel the greatest."

That night, Aiken, Nix and several others had planned to go to dinner. Instead, his elbow now remapping his future, Aiken stayed behind. Nix stopped at Cold Stone Creamery and picked up some mint chip ice cream.

"He was in his room and looked pretty down," Nix says. "So I was like, I'm going to bring this guy some ice cream." This is the part where the dream that became a lie turned into something worse.

"It happened so quick," Aiken says. "I flew out a couple of days later and got the surgery the next morning after. It was almost like a daze. Within 24-48 hours, I was done with surgery before I even knew it."

His elbow was fixed by Dr. David Altchek, the same surgeon who had reconstructed Indians starter Carlos Carrasco's elbow, in New York. Nix packed up his friend's belongings in Florida and shipped them to his home in San Diego. To Aiken, still, it was a shock that he even was in this position. Despite the warning flares the Astros reportedly saw on the medical reports, Aiken always had been healthy and expected to stay that way."

I wasn't worried that anything was going to happen," he says of his thoughts after the Houston deal fell apart. "I was excited to get back on the mound and prove my point, prove that all the training I had done was good and everything that I'd prepared for was going to pay off."

Despite absorbing arrows nationally from many who knew little about his situation, Aiken politely declines to discuss where things went sideways with the Astros. So does his father.

"Our story is going to stay within our family and our support staff," Jim Aiken says. "A lot of stuff that was said was very, very hurtful not only to Brady, but to our family. A lot of bad stuff was said, most of it not true."

As he healed from surgery, the family's tight circle closed ranks. Aiken regrouped with his father, his mother, Linda, sister Halle, Close and David O'Hagen, the local San Diego representative from Close's agency.

The rehab seemed endless. His first full calendar year in Cleveland's organization after the '15 draft, it was his full-time job.

"A lot of people don't understand how long you're throwing," he says. "From late August until, shoot, the end of October, it was 15 months or so of nonstop throwing."

He learned what everyone else who has been through rehab knows: Some days are good, some not so good. Some steps forward are bold, others are wobbly. You can't do too much, but you can't do too little, either. It's long. It's boring. It's painful. It's relentless.

All this when you're 19? The sun cannot set quickly enough on each day.

It wasn't until last June 20, exactly two years and 15 days after he had been the first overall pick in the country, when he finally pitched in a game for the first time, stepping onto the mound for the Indians' Instructional League team in Arizona. And over the next 10 weeks, those who sided with the Astros because Aiken had dared to snub them while standing on principle, got their short-term gratification: In nine games (eight starts) for the Indians' Arizona Rookie team, he went 0-4 with a 7.12 ERA. When Cleveland sent him to Low-A Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League near season's end, he went 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA in five starts.

It wasn't only the lackluster numbers, though. His fastball velocity last year was in the 89-91 mph range. In high school, he sat at 92-94 and touched 95, 96.

"I wasn't at my best, but I did have some games where I threw well," Aiken says. "My velocity was down a little bit, but I think that helped me out because I had to learn how to throw, learn how to pitch. I couldn't just go out there and blow fastballs by guys. I had to learn how to throw in to guys, throw out to guys, work my off-speed stuff in the right spot. That definitely helped me grow as a pitcher."

The Indians, of course, paid little attention to the velocity part of Aiken's first steps back. General manager Mike Chernoff, saying he has "no concerns whatsoever," notes the obvious: It is not unusual for a dip in velocity to occur at the end of a long rehabilitation process. More important than velocity issues, Chernoff says, is that young pitchers lose development time while they are sidelined. Which is why Aiken right now is perfectly happy to be away from the headlines and working in the shadows with the rest of the minor leaguers. He's playing catch-up.

"He is so strong, body-wise," Chernoff says. "As he builds up this spring, we're much more concerned with his delivery, making sure that's consistent.

"I think the big thing is, coming in this year is, he's no longer a rehab player. His mindset is, he can be more aggressive. It's been a long time for him. There can be some tentativeness."

For his entire life, Aiken had done everything by the book in attempting to preserve his arm. He observed pitch counts. Innings limits. And the fickleness of the pitching elbow still caught him.

"You always look back and wonder, could we have done anything differently and, honestly, no," he says. "Even in summer ball in high school, I was on a pitch count and innings limits.

"There were some frustrating times."

Glancing in the rearview mirror, though, is wasted energy. He knows he must live in the present, and he's gotten pretty good at that. Plus, the Indians are there to serve gentle reminders.

"It can be a challenge when the focus is on getting back to where you were," Chernoff says. "Getting back to where you were in high school is not good enough to get you to the major leagues. There's no prospect status anymore. It's not about potential."

The Indians had zero hesitation using their first-round pick on Aiken in '15 even though he was on ice at the time because they had done extensive background work on him a year earlier. Their medical people were confident they could bring him back to an elite level, and the club has faith that its performance coaches and mental skills coaches can ace the rest.

"Look, he had been through a lot," Chernoff says. "What was he, 18? I can't even imagine going through the ups and downs he went through.

"Right from the outset of the draft, we talked about, 'Here is what a plan could look like.' There was going to be anxiety. We tried to make him see it's a two-way street, see the resources we have.

"With what he had been through, he deserved that. In the end, he owns his own career. We want to help him build the career he wants to have."

Here in the shadow of the dead jets, the reconstruction of Brady Aiken is beginning to crank up to full speed. He throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seamer, a changeup and a curve, the two-seamer emerging from afterthought in high school to well polished now.

"I think the main thing is, last year, I was kind of shying away from a few pitches every once in awhile," says Aiken, who is expected to start the season with the Lake County (Ohio) Captains in the Class A Midwest League. "But now that I've had an offseason, it almost doesn't feel like I had surgery. Going into this season, I feel like a normal pitcher. No limitations, no restrictions on my arm. It feels good to be a normal player again."

It is a new normal. "Damaged" isn't so much the word Chernoff chooses to describe him as "resilient."

"Every player at some point faces adversity," Chernoff says. "Brady faced extreme adversity early, and the resiliency he had…those are the attributes that are going to help him get to the big leagues.

"It's how you overcome adversity that defines your career."

You can see it happening here one sunrise at a time, the dawn of each new day presenting Aiken with his latest opportunity to overcome and redefine, one healthy pitch at a time.

"There's no regret on my side," he says. "I know I didn't do anything wrong. No one can predict stuff like that to happen.

"I'm glad I'm where I am now, with a great organization and in a great position to start this year and start moving up."


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0136.  Nebraska loses another key bullpen arm for season
Lincoln Journal Star
March 30, 2017

The Nebraska baseball team has lost another key arm for the season.

Head coach Darin Erstad said junior reliever Reece Eddins will have Tommy John Surgery next week.

Erstad said Eddins "felt something towards the end" of his outing against Kansas State on Tuesday. Eddins threw 2? innings, throwing 41 pitches. He allowed one hit, one run and struck out one.

"The crazy thing is he really hadn't got it rolling yet this year, and that was the best stuff he had," Erstad said.

The right-hander from Lee's Summit, Missouri, appeared in seven games and had a 5.91 earned-run average.

Eddins had a breakout sophomore season. His 1.85 ERA ranked second on the team, and it was the eighth-lowest in school history among pitchers who threw at last 40 innings.

Nebraska recently lost freshman pitcher Paul Tillotson to a season-ending shoulder injury. Junior Zack Engelken continues to recover from a shoulder injury, but "he's had a few setbacks," Erstad said.

Ben Miller, who plays at first base, could see his role increase as a pitcher. Sophomore right-hander Ethan Frazier also could see an increased role, Erstad said.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, April 09, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0137.  My baseball pitcher needs power, not high releases

I really like this cue you gave me: "To increase your release velocity, you need to get the rear side of your hips and shoulders closer to the baseball."

When I try to release all my pitches as high as I can I feel I can't get much behind the ball. It feels like I'm throwing the ball up instead and not towards the target.

How do I get a better understanding of reaching as high as I can to throw my pitches?


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     You need to get all the power you have into your pitches.

     Don't worry about how high that you release your pitches.

     The Triceps Brachii will take care of the height at which you release your pitches.

     The Triceps Brachii muscle has the highest percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers of all the muscles in the pitching arm.

     Lean on the pitches and let them rip.

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0138.  Torque Sinker?

Can you describe your Torque Sinker?

1. Does it have same grip as Marshall True Sinker?
2. Is it thrown from Pitching Arm Side of rubber?
3. Does it mover to Glove side?
4. It's easy to pronate release of your Sinker so this appeals to me. Is that why you'd choose Torque Sinker over your Slider?


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     With the Latissimus Dorsi muscle keeping the straight lines, my baseball pitchers are able to cross step on the pitching arm side and drop step to move their body wide of the glove side.

01. The screwball grip and pitching arm is the same on either side of the pitching rubber.

02. My baseball pitchers are able to throw screwballs to both sides of the home plate.

03. With the circle of friction spiral, the baseball will drop down. I threw the four-seam screwball to both sides of home plate. I included a Torque True Screwball in my 2 1/2 hour video.

04. My baseball pitchers are able to throw Maxline Pronation Curveball and a Torque Pronation Curve. Unfortunately, we cannot throw a Maxline Fastball Slider.

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0139.  Torque Sinker

In Q# 130 you wrote: "The maxline and torque sinkers are the centerpiece of your sequences."

What did you mean by Torque Sinker?


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     I teach my baseball pitchers to drop step off the glove side of the pitching rubber when they throw their maxline fastball.

     I teach my baseball pitchers to cross step off the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber when they throw their torque fastball.

     The maxline sinkers are maxline fastballs, but with the maxline sinkers releases.

     The torque sinkers are torque fastballs, but with the torque sinkers releases.

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0140.  Tommy John surgery on the rise among youth pitchers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
March 30, 2017

Alex Kirilloff, the Minnesota Twins’ No. 1 pick in the 2016 MLB draft, met the high expectations swirling around him during his first season in the minors, earning the title of Appalachian League Player of the Year with a .306 average and seven home runs.

But in late August, the Plum product injured his left elbow on a throw from the outfield, and earlier this month, he underwent Tommy John surgery.

As a sometimes-pitcher in high school, Kirilloff wasn’t overworked, and now he is an outfielder in the Twins organization. But “the cumulative effect” of hitting, throwing and pitching — along with his intense baseball schedule while he transitioned from high school to professional baseball — wore on him, said pitching expert Dennis Esken, who has known Kirilloff since he was 5.

“He had that whole winter to spring, and then he was drafted right into the summer, and then in the summer it happened,” said Esken, a special advisor to Kirilloff’s father’s baseball training school. “It was the wear-and-tear effect.”

Kirilloff is now a victim of an issue that has long been associated with professional pitchers, but the injury is limited neither to pitchers nor to professionals.

Tommy John surgery is on the rise, and ulnar collateral ligament problems are a major issue in youth baseball. Fifteen to 19-year-olds accounted for 57 percent of Tommy John procedures in the United States from 2007-2011, according to a 2014 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

“There’s not one factor in this whole thing,” said Gary Green, medical director for MLB and clinical professor at UCLA. “If there were one cause, we’d probably have found it by now, and it’d be easy.”

While pitch counts and rest are fingered as ways to prevent the injury, several risk factors are being studied. John D’Angelo, director of league economics and strategy for MLB, identified several potential risk factors for Tommy John injury, including fastball usage, number of pitches, number of pitch types, rest between outings, release points, weight, height, age, peak velocity, average velocity and even mound height. One theory holds that better awareness around the injury accounts for much of the increase.

One thing that is known, Green said: Players who play professional baseball with a history of UCL problems or reconstruction have a higher risk of getting injured a second time.

“As in most things in medicine, prevention is much better than treatment,” he said.

Forty-four states, including Pennsylvania, have implemented pitch count limits at the high school level, D’Angelo noted during a presentation at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in March.

To that end, USA Baseball and MLB launched Pitch Smart, a set of age-specific guidelines for pitchers. For example, Pitch Smart recommends that 17- and 18-year-olds not throw more than 105 pitches in a game, although that amount varies based on days of rest. Pennsylvania limits high schoolers to 100 pitches per game (based on rest) and 200 pitches each week, although the state does not have age-specific guidelines.

“The key is that when you’re younger, the pitch limit should be more strict, and as you get through your teens and into college, you can increase those limits,” said Bryson Lesniak, an associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s sports medicine program and a team physician for Pitt and CMU.

Another contributing factor is that baseball players often play for multiple teams or specialize in the sport year-round.

“When you’re training, the body has a constant balance between breakdown and regeneration, so if you’re breaking down faster than you regenerate, you’re going to get an injury,” Green said.

Even as awareness around Tommy John increases, researchers are still working to determine the various risk factors for the injury. Previously, curveballs were considered a risk factor, Lesniak said, but now, pitching mechanics are believed to be more significant.

Lesniak recommended that players take off at least four months during the year — and encourages pitchers not to play catcher on their non-pitching days.

“The catcher makes as many throws as the pitcher does,” he said. “I try to convince my pitchers to play first base.”

Esken cited overuse and poor arm action as causes for elbow problems, and he encourages pitchers to develop deliveries that are not over the top and to focus on hip flexibility.

New treatments, such as stem cells or UCL repair techniques, could allow players to avoid surgery or reduce the time spent in recovery, D’Angelo said, although research on those interventions is in early stages. That being said, Green noted that the rest, strength-training and emphasis on technique that players undergo as they recover from Tommy John surgery could help them in the long run.

After initially opting for plasma therapy, Kirilloff underwent surgery and is expected to be out until at least late September. Esken is optimistic about the Twins’ No. 3 prospect.

“He might get to some fall baseball,” Esken said. “He’ll come back. He’ll be fine.”


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     Orthopedic Surgeon and medical director for MLB and clinical professor at UCLA, Gary Green said:

01. “There’s not one factor in this whole thing.”
02. “If there were one cause, we’d probably have found it by now, and it’d be easy.”
03. "One thing that is known: Players who play professional baseball with a history of UCL problems or reconstruction have a higher risk of getting injured a second time."
04. “As in most things in medicine, prevention is much better than treatment”
05. “When you’re training, the body has a constant balance between breakdown and regeneration, so if you’re breaking down faster than you regenerate, you’re going to get an injury.”

     Orthopedic Surgeon Gary Green has no idea what he is doing.      To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0141.  Kluber pitches with blister before Indians offense, bullpen go pop
Cleveland Plain Dealer
April 04, 2017

ARLNGTON, TX: A pitcher is allowed to bring his pitching hand to his mouth while he's on the mound as long as he dries his hand before stepping on the rubber. Corey Kluberdoes that a lot, but in Monday night's season opener against Texas, he did it more than usual.

Manager Terry Francona said Kluber was dealing with blisters on his pitching hand.

"I think the humidity got some blisters going," said Francona. "It was so humid and we haven't been used to that."

A blister might not seem like a big deal, but they can be to a pitcher. Perhaps that's why Kluber was reluctant to talk about the subject after the game. He said it was just a callus that ripped a little bit. When asked which finger it was on, Kluber said, "One of them."

When asked if it limited the kind of pitches he was able to throw, Kluber said, "I don't want to use an excuse. I just didn't spin the ball as well as I would have liked. I just adjusted to it."

He did say he was never close to coming out of the game.

Kluber allowed five runs in the first three innings before the Indians rallied for an 8-5 win with three runs in the ninth. Rougned Odor hit a leadoff homer in the second. Carlos Gomez hit another leadoff homer in the third and Odor added a three-run homer later in the inning. Odor started the season with homers in his first two plate appearances. The last big leaguer to do that was Washington's Bryce Harper in 2013.

The blister, or blisters, apparently wasn't allowing Kluber to get the ball down in the strike zone as Gomez and Odor hit the first pitch they saw in the third. After the third, Kluber threw three scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to do some meaningful work.

"It was nothing earth shattering," he said. "I made some adjustments to what I wasn't doing great in the first few innings. Those adjustments worked."

After Odor's second homer, Kluber retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. He started the sixth by striking out Odor in a 10-pitch at-bat.

"Corey probably would have liked to put some of those pitches in different spots," said left-hander Andrew Miller. "He kept us in there and put a few zeroes up and gave us a chance to come back. The mentality we had last year, I don't think is gone. Hopefully, we showed that tonight."


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     To prevent blisters on the Index and Middle finger, baseball pitchers need:

01. Sand the fingertips to match the end of the Index and Middle fingers.
02. Use lotion to keep the skin soft.

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0142.  Brewers starter Guerra placed on DL
Associated Press
April )4, 2017

The Brewers have placed opening day starter Junior Guerra on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right calf and recalled reliever Brent Suter from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Manager Craig Counsell said before Tuesday’s game against Colorado that Guerra could be out six weeks with what he called a significant strain.


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     Mr. Guerra strained his Plantaris muscle.

     To avoid staining the Plantaris muscle, baseball players need to do 'speed-ups.'

     Speed-ups alternate easy jogging for ten yards and gently speeding up for ten years for ten times and increase up to twenty times.

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0143.  Does Lugo need Tommy John surgery for partially torn UCL?
New Jersey.com
April 04, 2017

The Mets' pitching depth is suddenly in question.

One day after right-hander Noah Syndergaard left his Opening Day start with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand, the Mets are holding their breath regarding the right elbow of Seth Lugo.

Marc Carig of Newsday is reporting that Lugo has a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is also reporting that elbow expert Dr. James Andrews is reviewing Lugo's medical records.

However, a partially torn UCL doesn't necessarily mean Tommy John surgery.

Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka almost won the AL Cy Young Award in 2016 while pitching with a ligament tear in his elbow. Angels ace Garrett Richards was diagnosedwith a partial tear in his UCL last season and is opted for stem cell treatments instead of Tommy John surgery and they were successful. He's scheduled to pitch for Los Angeles on Wednesday against the Oakland A's.

Lugo was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation on Sunday.

Monday morning, Lugo told the mediathat he was seeing team doctor and upper extremity specialist, Dr. David Altchek and was hoping that Altchek would clear him to start throwing the same day.

"They just wanted to get his approval and opinion," Lugo said Monday morning. "I'm pretty sure I know what he's going to say, 'How's it feel?' (I'll say) 'It feels good. Let's go play.'"

However when pressed by the media, manager Terry Collins conceded that Lugo could be out longer than originally anticipated, saying, "He's going to miss some time with his elbow."

The Mets said they would have an update from general manager Sandy Alderson on Wednesday, prior to their game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.


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     To prevent blisters on the Index and Middle finger, baseball pitchers need:

01. Sand the fingertips to match the end of the Index and Middle fingers.
02. Use lotion to keep the skin soft.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0144.  A Call for Arms
New Bern Sun Journal
April 05, 2017

There has been a hot topic issue circulating for many years now around the game of baseball — from the Major Leagues all the way down to Little League. That topic — arms.

Arguments over arms and how they should and should not be treated has sparked changes to the game.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) took action and has released new restrictions on high school pitchers beginning this season.

There are separate guidelines and rules according to how much a pitcher does in a game as each state association has a pitching restriction policy.

For the North Carolina State Athletic Association (NCHSAA), the restrictions go as follow:

First off, there is a cap — no high school pitcher is allowed to exceed 105 pitches thrown in a single day.

One hundred five is a high number of pitches; major league managers usually start considering pulling their starters not too long after 100 in most games.

In addition to that, if a pitcher throws 76 or more pitches in a game, he must take four days of rest before pitching again.

If he throws 61-75 pitches, he must take three days rest. If 46-60 pitches are thrown, two days rest is required. If 31-45, one full day rest is mandatory and if he throws 30 or less, he can pitch again without rest.

The idea behind this to try and preserve arms of kids while they are still young and to avoid surgery and damage to the arm and/or shoulder.

Thoughts from a long-time coach

Former New Bern High School baseball coach Gary Smith, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience combined with New Bern and Providence High in Charlotte, has many thoughts on the game and the new rules.

“My personal rule for my players was always one hour of rest per pitch,” Smith said.

“I don’t think it’s overly restrictive and I certainly don’t think the 105 limit is overly restrictive.

Smith himself was a pitcher in his playing days and he always kept a watchful eye over the pitchers when coaching the Bears.

“I think in the end it comes down to two parts — pitch count and rest,” he said.

“Anything usually over 15 pitches to me becomes a long inning, but it matters how the guy gets to that long inning too.”

A current pitcher’s and coach’s perspective

West Craven High School starting pitcher Brandon Bradley is a senior on the baseball team and throws 85 mph pitches.

He features a fastball, slider and chageup as his pitches.

Bradley has been able to keep his arm healthy so far in his baseball career.

“I think the rule is a good thing. It doesn’t really bother us too much because we have a lot of guys who can pitch,” Bradley said.

“I’ve been blessed with good health to this point. After the season is over, I usually take a month or a month-and-a-half break to rest my arm.

Bradley’s high school coach, Mike McKeel, has coached the Eagles for going on his fifth season and says he supports the rules and calls them “good and interesting” for the game.

“I think it’s a good thing, I mean we always had our own method of getting the kids enough rest that wasn’t a whole lot different,” he said.

“I think it makes us coaches work harder to strategize and plan according to who needs rest and how many pitchers we have to have.”

McKeel is blessed this season with upwards of five guys who can effectively pitch, but says he knows it’s hard for less fortunate coaches.

“I’m sure it’s going to be really hard on the smaller, 1A and 2A schools,” he said.


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     Pitch counts do not prevent injuries.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0145.  McKay to leave LSU program
Baton Rouge Advocate
April 05, 2017

Sophomore pitcher Cole McKay is leaving the LSU baseball program.

The 6-foot-5 McKay has not pitched this season as he was recovering from what coach Paul Mainieri called a minor surgical procedure in January. Mainieri confirmed in a text that McKay had left the team.

"We wish him the best," Mainieri said in the text message.

He logged eight innings in eight appearances as a freshman, striking out 12 while walking 11 and posting a 6.75 ERA.

McKay was a highly-sought recruit out of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas. The hard-throwing right-hander was named the 2014 Baseball America High School Pitcher of the Year after going 8-0 with a 1.50 ERA as a high school junior.

McKay is the fourth player LSU has lost from its expected roster since the start of the calendar year. Junior designated hitter Bryce Jordan and junior reliever Doug Norman were lost for the year to injury, and senior reliever Alden Cartwright retired after undergoing Tommy John surgery last spring.


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     LSU head baseball coach Paul Mainieri has no idea how to teach and train baseball pitchers.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0146.  Lee has torn UCL, plans to pitch through pain
ESPN1420.com
April 05, 2017

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun pitcher Colton Lee has a complete tear of the UCL in his throwing arm. He suffered the injury on March 22nd against Tulane.

The baseball injury requires Tommy John surgery for repair. The 5th year senior from Mississippi plans to delay the surgery and attempt to play through the pain.

A PRP injection would alleviate the pain, but wouldn’t allow him to attempt to start throwing again for 6 weeks.

“He wants to help the team, that’s the kid he is,” said head coach Tony Robichaux. “If he can’t handle the pain, he’ll go ahead and do Tommy John (surgery). We’re not asking him to do that. That’s what he wants to do.”

Lee, a reliever in his last year of eligibility, has thrown 4.1 innings on the season, sporting a 4.15 ERA in 5 appearances. He’s walked 4 and fanned 3 batters.

“He feels if he’s going to help the team, (he’s) going to gut it out,” explained Robichaux. “He’s going to do Tommy John (surgery) no matter what. He’d just do it now if he can’t throw with the pain.”


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     To prevent injuring the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement.

     Then, contract the Pronator Teres muscle before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0147.  Richards leaves first start back with bicep cramp in fifth
Los Angeles Times
April 06, 2017

It all seemed swell. In his first time on a major league mound in 11 months, Garrett Richards was dominating Oakland. A groundout to begin the bottom of the fifth inning made it 11 consecutive Athletics the Angels’ right-hander had retired Wednesday at the Oakland Coliseum.

And then it went awry, not terribly, but quickly. He lost command of a few breaking balls and his fastball velocity dipped. After Richards’ first pitch to Matt Joyce, Angels catcher Martin Maldonado jogged to the mound, asked the pitcher a question, and signaled to the dugout for a trainer to visit. Richards pointed to his arm and walked off the mound.

“It felt like somebody punched me in the arm,” he later said.

Postgame, the pain had waned. Per the initial diagnosis, Richards suffered only a biceps cramp, not a recurrence of the torn ulnar collateral ligament that forced him to miss most of 2016. The scare shrouded the Angels’ 5-0 victory over the Athletics, but the club said he was removed for precautionary purposes and could make his next scheduled start Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

“Everything’s fine,” Richards said. “Everything moves on as planned.”

No one knew quite what to expect in Richards’ return, because he opted to repair the tear with a stem-cell injection rather than Tommy John surgery, the far more common course that requires a longer recovery. Steve Yoon, the doctor who performed the injection, said this week that Richards was healed based on the tests he has examined.

The last time Richards left a major league mound, last May Day in Texas, the Angels announced he was dehydrated. He played catch the next two days before the elbow injury was diagnosed.

Two scouts in attendance at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday each said they did not detect a significant deterioration in Richards’ pitches before his departure. They only saw him grab his arm above his elbow seconds before he left.

Ninety minutes earlier, Richards took the mound firing 97-mph fastballs to Joyce, who singled. He then induced a groundout, struck out Ryon Healy and walked Khris Davis. Stephen Vogt chopped a ball back up the middle, and Andrelton Simmons ranged over to secure the out.

Richards settled from there, requiring only 14 pitches to strike out the side in the second, five to finish the third, and 18 in the fourth. To begin the fifth, Trevor Plouffe grounded out into the shift. Then Yonder Alonso and Marcus Semien singled on hanging sliders, Rajai Davis grounded out, Joyce approached the plate, and Maldonado approached the mound.

“It’s just something that flared up that inning,” Richards said. “It was a long inning, and I just kind of stiffened up a little bit. But, there’s no red flags to be worried about.”

Richards’ abbreviated final line demonstrated the type of efficiency the Angels hope to see this season from the man they need to be their ace. He threw 76 pitches in 42/3 innings, walked one, and struck out four, and allowed only the three singles.

After he pitched in a triple-A game late last month, Richards said he was pitching at about 85% effort and declared his hope to maintain that level of exertion come Wednesday. He said he did that until his last five or six pitches, when he felt the cramp.

“I did today what I’ve been trying to do, and that’s fill up the zone,” Richards said. “I went right after guys and made them hit my pitch.”

Amid it all Wednesday, the Angels produced ample offense. In the second inning, C.J. Cron singled to center, Cameron Maybin worked a walk, Andrelton Simmons drilled a double to right, and Danny Espinosa blooped a single into left. That was good for three runs.

The Angels added a pair of runs in the fifth, when Yunel Escobar walked and Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols all singled.

In relief of Richards, left-hander Jose Alvarez and right-handers J.C. Ramirez and Yusmeiro Petit completed the shutout effort.

The right-hander on whom the team’s season depends will remain in Oakland and travel back with the Angels after Thursday’s day game. He passed the team’s strength tests, and Manager Mike Scioscia said there are no plans for him to undergo an MRI.


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     To prevent Biceps Brachii muscle cramp, baseball pitchers need to stop releasing their breaking pitches over their Index finger.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0148.  Ryan's blister remedy for Syndergaard: Pickle juice
Newsday
April 06, 2017

Noah Syndergaard is the second-most famous Mets pitcher to deal with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan experienced it in 1968 and then the Mets’ treatment of choice was . . . pickle juice.

That does not appear to be part of Syndergaard’s regimen. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had no update on the righthander’s blister, which forced him to leave after six scoreless innings against the Braves Monday on Opening Day.

"Super Glue is 2017 protocol,’’ Alderson said Wednesday. “There is stuff that you can do to help heal the blister."

Alderson would not say what care Syndergaard is receiving but did not seem concerned the blister would be an ongoing issue. Syndergaard refused comment though a Mets spokesman. He is scheduled to pitch at home Sunday against the Marlins. Dodgers lefty Rich Hill, a former member of the Long Island Ducks, missed several weeks last season due to a blister on his left middle finger.

Speaking from Round Rock, Texas, Ryan, 70, said the blister comes from “people throwing across the seams, that’s where the grip is. Once you get a blister that skin on the blister’s dead and you have to get enough new skin on there where it’s not sensitive. So that’s where the pickle brine might come in.

“I don’t know that being a power pitcher necessarily makes them more susceptible to it, because I think anybody can get that, depending upon how their release point is on the ball."

Ryan said the pickle juice was a remedy employed by then-trainer Gus Mauch. “The blister prevented me from starting games and they didn’t know how to deal with it and that’s how the pickle brine came into play,’’ Ryan said. “Mauch got [the idea] though training boxers earlier in his career. They would soak their feet in pickle brine because they’d develop blisters from doing much road work in those days."

Mauch reportedly got the pickle brine from the delicatessen department in Daitch-Shopwell, a supermarket near his home in the Bronx. It seemed to work for one start when Ryan struck out 10 batters. “What it did for me, the brine, it would toughen your skin," Ryan said. “I would say it had a tendency to thicken your skin, at least make it appear that way."

But it did not have a lasting effect, Ryan said. “Gus retired, the assistant trainer [Tom McKenna] took over as the head trainer and he suggested I take a surgical scalpel and trim all the excess skin off my finger, and that would be the last thing I would do before I went out and pitched. I developed feel for it. It worked and I did it for the rest of my career."

Ryan, who never conquered his wildness with the Mets, was traded to the Angels for third baseman Jim Fregosi in 1971 — forming a scab for Mets fans that has never healed — and went on to become baseball’s all-time strikeout leader with 5,714. He also threw a record seven no-hitters in his 27-year career.

Ryan said he has monitored Syndergaard, a fellow Texan, who grew up in Mansfield, about 200 miles from Round Rock.

“I watched his career,” Ryan said. “I remember when he was drafted. Somewhere down the road our paths will cross and I’ll have the opportunity to visit with him."


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     To prevent blisters on the Index and Middle finger, baseball pitchers need:

01. Sand the fingertips to match the end of the Index and Middle fingers.
02. Use lotion to keep the skin soft.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0149.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (4/2-7)
April 09, 2017

SUNDAY (4/2)--3 games
Average number of pitches per game: 304.33
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.23
Average number of innings per starter: Exactly 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 7.00
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 9.52

MON (4/3)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 280.91
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.85
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.45
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 16.90

TUE (4/4)--9 games
Average number of pitches per game: 288.89
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.15
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.89
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 11.29

WED (4/5)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 290.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.33
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 7.54
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 18.37

THU (4/6)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 275.42
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.66
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.75
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 18.52

FRI (4/7)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 300.87
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.03
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.73
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 27.72


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     Thank you.

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0150.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 4/2-7/2017

  No out: 371
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None on: 279
Runner at first: 53
Runners at first and second: 19
Runners at first and third: 1
Bases loaded: 3
Runner at second: 13
Runners at second and third: 3
Runner at third: 0

One out: 340
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None on: 199
Runner at first: 49
Runners at first and second: 21
Runners at first and third: 9
Bases loaded: 9
Runner at second: 35
Runners at second and third: 7
Runner at third: 11

Two outs: 347
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None on: 160
Runner at first: 71
Runners at first and second: 26
Runners at first and third: 15
Bases loaded: 9
Runner at second: 38
Runners at second and third: 14
Runner at third: 14


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     Thank you.

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0151.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 371/1602 (23.16%)
------------
None on: 279/1181 (23.62%)
Runner at first: 53/250 (21.20%)
Runners at first and second: 19/64 (29.69%)
Runners at first and third: 1/8 (12.50%)
Bases loaded: 3/15 (20.00%)
Runner at second: 13/67 (19.40%)
Runners at second and third: 3/11 (27.27%)
Runner at third: 0/6 (0.00%)

One out: 340/1630 (20.86%)
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None on: 199/881 (22.59%)
Runner at first: 49/316 (15.51%)
Runners at first and second: 21/130 (16.15%)
Runners at first and third: 9/49 (18.37%)
Bases loaded: 9/49 (18.37%)
Runner at second: 35/128 (27.34%)
Runners at second and third: 7/38 (18.42%)
Runner at third: 11/39 (28.21%)

Two outs: 347/1517 (22.87%)
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None on: 160/691 (23.15%)
Runner at first: 71/299 (23.75%)
Runners at first and second: 26/139 (18.71%)
Runners at first and third: 15/43 (34.88%)
Bases loaded: 9/55 (16.36%)
Runner at second: 38/175 (21.71%)
Runners at second and third: 14/45 (31.11%)
Runner at third: 14/70 (20.00%)


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     Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, April 16, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0152.  My baseball pitcher wants to force-couple the release

In your question and answers forum you said this in regards to force coupling:

"With regard to baseball pitching, 'Force-Coupling' happens when my baseball pitchers use their Latissimus Dorsi muscle to drive their pitching upper arm straight toward home plate.

     Then, when their pitching elbow reaches as far forward as possible, my baseball pitchers use their Latissimus Dorsi muscle to inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

     Because, at this moment, the Latissimus Dorsi muscle moves the pitching elbow backward and inwardly rotates the pitching upper arm, the Triceps Brachii applies force straight toward home plate.”

How far does the pitching elbow reach exactly before the Latissimus Dorsi muscle moves the pitching elbow backward. I feel as if I cut my elbow off too soon by my ear.

Also, I need to force-couple all my pitches correct?

To try to force-couple now, I just try to lean back through release and pull my upper arm back towards second base.

Is there anything else I can do to increase my force-couple to increase my release velocity?


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     Yes, you need to force-couple all pitches.

     I also call it, Recoil.

     Latissimus Dorsi II muscle attaches to the floor of the bicipital groove of the head of the Humerus bone (upper arm).

     Latissimus Dorsi I muscle attaches to the inferior angle of the Scapula bone.

     When you are inwardly rotating the upper arm (Humerus bone) forward, you also pull the inferior angle of the Scapula bone backward and downward.

     That is how the elbow moves back then forward.

     Or how your elbow pops up.

     If you watch Jeff Sparks from the side view at 500 frames per second, you will see the elbow move back then forward.

     That is why I have you snap your pitching elbow backward after your release.

     That snap back action increases your velocity.

     The forearm pronation snap-back through release increases your velocity.

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0153.  2-Seam Fastballs

In the traditional world, what traditional baseball stat guys call a 2 Seam fastball moves just like your 4 seam Maxline fastball. Unlike your 2 Seam fastball the index and middle fingers are placed along the short seams rather than perpendicular to the short seams.

Watching the pitch at 30 FPS, it does appear to run to the pitching arm side of home.

1. Have you seen this pitch?

2. Can you explain why it would run to the Pitching Arm Side of home plate?

It seems to me it should be able to be thrown to the glove side of home plate as well.


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     2-seam fastballs do not move as much as 4-seam fastballs.

     I tell my baseball pitchers to throw 2-seam pitches until they have two strikes or 4 seam pitches when they have to work hard on the best batters.

     Our 2-seam torque fastballs move to the glove side and our 2-seam maxline fastballs move to the pitching arm side.

     2-seam fastballs move downward and 4-seam fastballs move downward less.

     The more back fastball spin keeps the baseball from moving downward.

     To keep curveballs in the strike zone, I tell my baseball pitchers to throw 2-seam curveballs.

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0154.  My baseball pitcher needs to keep the 'Slingshot' tight

I've been pitching really good.

Your Torque Fastball has been my best pitch.

Your Sinker has been great too and nasty for the most part. I've been missing arm side and high with it when it's not on. Or I cut it off and pull it low and glove side too much.

What adjustments can I make for the sinker?

I haven't thrown the curve ball much but I need it to be sharper and harder still.

I can throw the bucket lids great, but can't transfer it to the baseball exactly.

What are your thoughts on this?

Also still trying to get in front of my landing foot with my delivery correctly but it will come.


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     Remember, my pitching motion is like throwing darts or javelins in straight lines.

     If you have a great torque fastball, then to get a great torque fastball sinker by ripping down the inside of the circle of friction.

     To throw a maxline fastball sinker, you need to drop step and keep your pitching arm just above the button of your cap and inwardly rotate your upper arm.

     To have great torque and maxline pronation curveballs, you have to keep the palm of your pitching hand facing downward from start to finish of the 'Slingshot' action again by your forearm brushing the button on your cap. The difference pronation curveball depend on cross stepping or drop stepping.

     You throw great Lid pronation snap releases with the tip of your Middle finger in the corner of the Lid.

     Do the same pronation snap releases with baseballs with your tip of your Middle in the corner of the corner of the top seam of the baseball.

     Brushing the button on your cap keeps your pitching arm action tight.

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0155.  Mr. Ignorance

Dear Orthopedic Surgeon Gary Green,

        I have email you several times to meet with the 12 Experts on Pitching Injuries and you never responded.

        I designed a baseball motion that not only eliminates pitching injuries, but, in 1974, also allowed me to pitching in 208 innings in 106 games and 13 consecutive game and you never responded.

        In an article, I read the following.

Tommy John surgery on the rise among youth pitchers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
March 30, 2017

        In that article, Orthopedic Surgeon and medical director for MLB and clinical professor at UCLA, Gary Green said:

01. "There's not one factor in this whole thing."
02. "If there were one cause, we'd probably have found it by now, and it'd be easy."
03. "One thing that is known: Players who play professional baseball with a history of UCL problems or reconstruction have a higher risk of getting injured a second time."
04. "As in most things in medicine, prevention is much better than treatment"
05. "When you're training, the body has a constant balance between breakdown and regeneration, so if you're breaking down faster than you regenerate, you're going to get an injury."

        Orthopedic Surgeon Gary Green has no idea what causes pitching injuries.

        I not only pitched 208 innings, 106 games and 13 consecutive games, when I did not pitch game, I pitched batting practice to the extra batters.

        If only an ignorant Expert in Pitching Injuries would ignore what I have done and the doctoral degrees in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Motor Skills and the first to use three high-speed 16mm film with 1000 second per minutes.

        Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall


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0156.  My baseball pitcher has an injured friend

A buddy of mine re-fractured their olecranon and surgically had a screw implanted which will remain in him.

He is in a cast now and physical therapy to start 10 days after cast removed 10 days after surgery.

How soon can they start MM strengthening program and what size WW should they start at ?


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     This buddy of yours needs to 'horizontally sail' the Lid until he is a perfect Lid sailer.

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0157.  Mr. Ignorance

Dear Dr. Marshall,

Thanks for your email and wanted to clarify a few things.

First, I am not an orthopedic surgeon.

Second, I'm sure you have been interviewed by the media and understand that a journalist selects out a few quotes from an interview to use in their article.

I'm sure you would agree that a few quotes in a newspaper article does not represent a person's entire thoughts on a complicated issue.

I have shared your research, our conversations and your emails with the UCL committee.

They appreciate your contributions to the field.

The MLB research committee reviews research proposals and you are welcome to submit a proposal for review and funding.

If you are interested, please let me know and we can send you the research grant proposal forms.

Lastly, I have always been professional in our correspondences and respected your opinions on pitching injuries.

Although I don't agree with some of your positions, that does not indicate a lack of knowledge.

Intelligent people can differ.

Name calling and labeling someone ignorant does not befit someone of your professional background.

However, if you feel the need to do that, I do have a medical degree and I would prefer, "Dr. Ignorant" as opposed to "Mr. Ignorant."

Thank you,

Gary Green, MD
Medical Director, MLB


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Dear Dr. Green,

     Thank you for your email and I want to clarify one thing.

     When my wife read that I wrote, Mr. Ignorance, she said that I was calling you Mr. Ignorant. I told my wife that under no circumstance would I call Dr. Green, Mr. Ignorant. I was saying that I felt ignored.

     Pitching arm injuries result from pitchers throwing curve balls by releasing the baseball over the top of the Index finger.

     When pitchers release curve balls over the Index finger, the upper arm inwardly rotates and the forearm outwardly rotates (supinates). As a result, the olecranon process bangs against the olecranon fossa causing a loss of the extension of the elbow range of motion.

     To prevent the banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, pitchers need to have their upper arm inwardly rotating and the forearm also inwardly rotating (pronate). The Pronator Teres muscle pronates the forearm and flexes the elbow which keeps the olecranon process from banging into the olecranon fossa.

     To keep the pitching arm from flying laterally away, the Latissimus Dorsi muscle enables pitchers to apply straight line force on a line between second base and home plate.

     In 1967, I lost 12 degrees of extension range of motion and 12 degrees of flexion range of motion. As a graduate Kinesiology instructor, I was able to take 400 frames of film per second from the side view and 60 frames of film per second. In 1971, I used three high-speed cameras with a 1000 per second lights synchronizing the three frames of film.

     I am very interested in receiving the research grant proposal forms.

     Sincerely Dr. Ignorant,

Dr. Mike Marshall

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0158.  From Green, Gary M.D.
Friday, April 14, 2017 2:47 PM

I will have our research coordinator send you the forms.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Thank you.

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0159.  McHugh shut down for six weeks with elbow injury
Houston Chronicle
April 08, 2017

General manager Jeff Luhnow's decision to hold off trading for a frontline starting pitcher last offseason will be firmly tested, especially now that the Astros lost No. 3 starter Collin McHugh until at least June.

With McHugh shut down from throwing for the next six weeks because of an elbow injury, the Astros are left with questionable depth behind the five starters currently in their rotation. Their best internal reinforcements for the time being are bullpen arms with starting backgrounds or unproven prospects who require more seasoning in Class AAA.

McHugh, a fixture in the middle of the Astros' rotation since 2014, faces an uncertain road ahead. The 29-year-old righthander was diagnosed with a posterior impingement of his right elbow, the team said on Saturday. He will be treated non-surgically, so his next six weeks will consist of rest and rehab at Minute Maid Park under the guidance of the Astros' training staff.

"His shoulder was feeling better. This is something that came up essentially out of the blue," Luhnow said. "It will be resolved. It's just a matter of what the path is and how long it takes. But it will be resolved and hopefully we'll have him back out there before the end of the first half and he'll help us down the stretch."

Asked if McHugh's injury alters his stance in regard to pursuing external reinforcements, Luhnow responded: "Not at this point."

"We feel like with our five starters giving us five quality starts right out of the gate, that's a good place to be," he said. "We'll monitor as it goes along, but (Mike) Fiers looked good (Friday night) and (Brad) Peacock's been valuable out of the 'pen. (Chris) Devenski's been good out of the 'pen. So at this point we're going to keep going the way it is until something else happens."

An MRI that McHugh underwent Friday afternoon revealed no issues with his ulnar collateral ligament, the part of the elbow associated with Tommy John surgery. McHugh said he's never had elbow problems in the past. He isn't sure if his injury is related in any way to the "dead arm" he experienced coming into spring training or compensations he might have inadvertently made with his arm because of it.

"There are probably a thousand possibilities, truthfully, of how it could have happened," he said. "It could have just been coincidence. It could have been overcompensating for my shoulder for a while this spring and this offseason. But the fact remains that it happened and it happened when it did. You've just got to move on. You've got to move forward."

McHugh said he initially felt discomfort after the first inning of his rehab start Thursday night with Class AAA Fresno. He described it as tightness, not unlike what a pitcher might feel on a cold day, he said. Applying heat in the dugout and stretching his arm out through warm-up pitches before the second inning didn't alleviate the sensation, so he called for a trainer and was removed from the game.

Tests conducted by the Astros' doctors Friday in Houston revealed inflammation the team hopes will heal with rest. Six weeks from Saturday takes McHugh to May 20, at which point even if all is well he would still need ample time to build up his arm as if he's going through a spring training.

"I don't think there's any measure of relief when you know you've got to be shut down for a while," he said before the Astros' game against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night. "As a competitor, obviously, you want to be out there. You want to pitch. You want to help the team.

"But you've got to re-arrange your mindset a little bit now knowing that helping the team looks a little differently now. It looks like getting stronger, being prepared every day, rehabbing my tail off and making sure that when my time does come around I'm ready to help, whether it's mid-season or whenever."

McHugh took solace in the fact his UCL is structurally sound. He admitted that as a pitcher whenever you have an elbow problem you start to think about the worst-case scenario.

"It was good news that everything's structurally fully intact," he said. "The doctors feel really pleased obviously about how that looks. I think they're hopeful, we're hopeful and the training staff and myself know the work and the path we have ahead of us."

The Astros, meanwhile, can ill afford another injury in their rotation, which consists of lefthander Dallas Keuchel and righthanders Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Joe Musgrove and Fiers, who took McHugh's spot to begin the season.

Behind those five, their long reliever, Peacock, and jack-of-all-trades in Devenski are among their top reinforcements. The Astros love Devenski in his current Andrew Miller-esque bullpen role but would have to consider him for the rotation in the event of another injury.

Touted prospects Francis Martes and David Paulino represent the Astros' highest upside depth pieces, but Martes is far from a finished product and Paulino is still working his way back from a bone bruise in his elbow he suffered during spring training. (Paulino has yet to throw off a mound but has resumed playing catch at the Astros' spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Martes, 21, and considered the industry's 15th-best prospect by Baseball America, is scheduled to make his Class AAA debut on Monday. He's expected to reach the majors this season, though not until he proves himself in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. The Astros also have Brady Rodgers in Class AAA, but the 26-year-old righthander has struggled in the past against major league competition.

If the rest of the Astros rotation stays intact, it should be good enough to get the team to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Through one turn in the rotation their starters had a 1.80 ERA.

With pitchers, however, season-long health is always a big "if." The Astros had 11 different pitchers make at least one start for them last season. Their depth will undoubtedly be tested again in 2017.

"We knew we'd be challenged at some point. We were hoping it wouldn't be this early in the season," Luhnow said. "But the good news is that this is an injury that (McHugh) will come back from and we're going to use our depth and that's why we have it."


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under their Middle finger.

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0160.  Penders needs to treat his star pitchers with caution
The Daily Campus
April 12, 2017

Those who have seen Mason Feole pitch would be hard pressed not to think of Anthony Kay while watching him. A hard throwing lefty, the freshman burst onto the scene in a season where most people expected Tim Cate to be the Huskies’ best pitcher. In seven starts, he’s 5-0 with a team-best 2.28 ERA, most recently shutting out conference foe Memphis with eight shining innings to help the Huskies complete their second consecutive conference sweep.

That’s not to take anything away from Cate, though. The sophomore is not far behind his teammate with a 2.40 ERA and a 3-1 record in five starts. He was great last year and over the summer, when he played for USA baseball.

Jim Penders better not destroy these two.

Don’t get me wrong, head coach Jim Penders is a great guy and a great coach that all the players love. But his tendency to overuse his starters has real ramifications. Last season, UConn had a superstar in Kay, a southpaw with a fiery fastball and some wicked off-speed pitches. During the American tournament, he made the decision to pitch Kay the day after he threw over 100 pitches, which I regard as the nail in the coffin for Kay’s arm. Kay was drafted by the Mets in the first round, but is missing the entirety of this season with Tommy John surgery. There’s no question that it was Penders’s liberal use of him that resulted in this, as he was the anchor of the rotation for the 2016 season.

Feole is no different, and Penders is already utilizing him to his fullest; he went eight innings in his last start and seven the start before, and has logged the second-most total innings (43.1) behind Wills Montgomerie (47.0 innings). Cate has pitched 30.0 innings in five starts, but since UConn is more or less operating on a three-man rotation with a streaky bullpen, much like last year, he will be expected to pitch at least six innings per start, which is what he’s averaging right now.

Last season, Penders had the tendency to make a lot of frequent, sometimes unnecessary, pitching changes. This season has been better, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t proceed with caution, especially with conference play in full swing. Even though Feole is a freshman and Cate is a sophomore, I can’t imagine either of them staying at UConn past their junior year if they keep up their level of play.

Some of the speculated causes of the increase in Tommy John surgeries around baseball is the rigor and frequency at which ballplayers play nowadays—there is a league for every single season, and kids are pitching nonstop throughout the year if they want any hopes of playing baseball beyond high school.

Even though these guys are so young, too much wear-and-tear early on will set the stage for the possibility of tearing their UCL later down the line. With Kay going down right after leaving UConn, Penders needs to stay cautious and make sure he doesn’t put his newest star pitchers on the path for Tommy John.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0161.  Rockies prospect Nikorak undergoing Tommy John surgery
Bseball America
April 12, 2017

Rockies righthander Mike Nikorak, the team’s second of two first-round picks in 2015, is having Tommy John surgery today and will miss the 2017 season.

The news is a disappointing blow for the 20-year-old from Stroudsburg (Pa.) High. He had struggled significantly in his first two seasons as a pro, showing shaky control and diminished velocity. He went 1-4, 6.70 in 47 innings over two seasons at Rookie-level Grand Junction with 51 walks and 34 strikeouts.

But Nikorak appeared to be making strides this spring. With simplified mechanics, he was touching 96-98 mph regularly in spring training while showing improved control.

Now he’ll miss the entire 2017 season, and with current timetables for Tommy John surgery rehab, he’ll likely miss a significant portion of the 2018 season as well.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0162.  Yankees prospect Kaprielian to have Tommy John surgery
ESPN.com
April 13, 2017

New York Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian will have Tommy John surgery on his injured elbow next week and will miss the remainder of the season.

Kaprielian was placed on the minor league disabled list last week after experiencing pain in his elbow. The right-hander underwent tests last week and ultimately decided to undergo the surgery; it will be performed next Tuesday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who is based in Los Angeles.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that the organization thinks Kaprielian could miss anywhere from 14 to 16 months, meaning he would not return to pitching until midway through the 2018 season.

"It is definitely not what we wanted," Girardi said. "Our hope was he could pitch this whole year and really make some strides in being a pitcher for us. That is not going to happen. We are all going to have to deal with this together and get him back on the mound at some point next year."

Kaprielian, 23, was a first-round draft pick in 2015 and is considered the Yankees' top pitching prospect. He recently was rated by ESPN's Keith Law as New York's fourth-best prospect and the No. 28 overall prospect in baseball.

Kaprielian's 2016 season was cut short on April 21 after his third start at Class A Tampa, because of a strained right flexor tendon. He returned to pitch in the Arizona Fall League and went 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA in seven starts, striking out 26 in 27 innings.

Kaprielian was limited to one major league spring training appearance, striking out three in two scoreless innings against Toronto on March 16. He was assigned to Class A Tampa again for the start of this season.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0163.  Padres hopeful Perdomo's shoulder inflammation in minor
San Diego Union-Tribune
April 13, 2017

In what felt like a bit of deja vu, the Padres officially placed Luis Perdomoon the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with right shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to April 9.

On April 9, 2016, also here in Denver, the Padres announced they had placed Tyson Ross on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Though team officials initially expressed optimism that their No. 1 starter would return before long, Ross never threw another pitch for San Diego.

For Perdomo, there is not yet reason for heightened concern. Nor is there a timetable for his return, given the unpredictable nature of shoulder injuries.

The right-hander has been shut down since he alerted the Padres of his condition following a bullpen session early this week. Depending on how he progresses, he could resume throwing during the weekend.

“I think it’s a mobility issue for him, to hear the trainers tell it, and not nearly a strength-related issue at all,” manager Andy Green said Wednesday, adding that a team doctor examined Perdomo on Tuesday. “Lot of stretching stuff over the next few days, try to get mobility back all the way until his range of motion is ideal.

“If he doesn’t experience any real bad symptoms, then we’ll accelerate his path pretty quickly, get him back on the mound going for us.”

Perdomo first felt something in the posterior of his shoulder after his final start in spring training.

“Nothing significant in his mind, not even enough to warrant telling us,” Green said.

Perdomo started the Padres’ home opener April 7, holding San Francisco to one run through five innings. He was lifted in the sixth after surrendering a grand slam. He recently reported that his shoulder had not bothered him during that outing, but it tightened near the end of his latest bullpen.

“I was able to pitch with it, but towards the end, it was just a little too much,” Perdomo said through an interpreter. “It felt pretty inflamed.”

Perdomo is the second member of the Padres’ opening-day rotation to make just one start before landing on the sideline. Right-hander Trevor Cahill, who was shelved by a lower back strain, appears on track to come off the disabled list Sunday in Atlanta.

Both Cahill and right-hander Jarred Cosart, who has replaced Perdomo in the rotation, threw bullpens Wednesday. The Padres’ first off-day of the season is Thursday.

“We’re going to have to kind of unwind that rotation a little bit to figure out how we want to slot (Cahill and Cosart),” Green said.

Perdomo’s DL stint is the first of his young career. He said he had not previously experienced any shoulder problems.

“Of course, you’re always a little worried, but I’m relaxed now,” Perdomo said. “I think at this point it’s just a matter of getting healthy.”


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     To prevent shoulder injuries, baseball pitchers need to turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home plate and rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot.

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0164.  New high school baseball rules designed to protect pitchers
The Desert Sun
April 13, 2017

Last week, Palm Desert senior pitcher Jeremiah Estrada stood next to one of the most famous names in baseball, waiting to be honored as the top baseball player in the valley at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells.

Estrada and his father exchanged small talk with the legend who’s just as famous inside the Hall of Fame as he is in a hospital’s operating room. Tommy John asked Estrada how hard he threw on a regular basis. “He said ‘96’,” John recalled. “I said, ‘It doesn’t make a difference how hard you throw. Well, it does to get drafted, but once you’re in the game, it matters only if you can get batters out or not.’”

If things go according to plan this spring and summer, Estrada, a potential first or second round MLB Draft pick, will become one of the highest-drafted baseball players to come out of the Coachella Valley, largely due to his speed as well as his control on the mound.But when you throw that hard at such a young age, Estrada noted, things can always change with the flick of a wrist.

“It’s sad to hear about young people having to go through things like Tommy John (surgery) or shoulder pain,” he said. “But it could happen any day. I try to take care of my arm as much as possible.”

Starting this season, the California Interscholastic Federation has instituted news rules to save the arms of pitchers like Estrada with major league aspirations, as well as those trying to make the most of a high school career.

Along with 45 other states who sanction baseball, California has instituted a pitch count rule and mandated rest periods for pitchers, existing alongside an innings-per-week limit that has been in place for years. This new mandate follows an order from the National Federation of State High School Associations this past June for member institutions to do a better job of regulating the use of young pitchers in high school sports.

In previous seasons, pitchers in California were limited to throwing 10 innings, or 30 outs, per Monday-Saturday game week, and they couldn’t make more than three appearances. Now, in addition to those stipulations, the CIF has mandated that no pitcher may throw more than 110 pitches in a given game. Along with that has come mandated rest periods depending on how many pitches a player throws in a given game.

All that new number crunching has the potential, if not managed correctly, to put a team used to dominating with a single ace who has a shallow bullpen at a disadvantage. But three local baseball coaches, who are using the new rule in multiple ways, agree that the rule comes with few changes in how they manage their teams.

For those it will affect, it’s only for the better.

“It started with club teams. I think that’s where it’s abused the most in the summer and winter,” said Palm Desert coach Darol Salazar, who is on the CIF Southern Section rules advisory committee. “I’ve only known a few coaches who would get their kids up to 125 or 130 pitches, but most would never do that. Those that do often are those that are here one year and gone the next, just filling in without much knowledge.”

“I’m generally pretty supportive of CIF in general because they do have the best interest of the athlete in mind,” Shadow Hills baseball coach Jason Beck said. “Now that baseball is a more of a 12-month sport, the rule in place protects the player from over-extending himself and can provide more longevity for them so they can get more length out of the time they pitch, rather than throwing everything they have in youth or high school baseball.”

That intense focus on the future particularly rings true for Estrada, who’s committed to play college baseball for UCLA starting next year.

Different from most, though, are Estrada’s prospects for the MLB, where he’s projected to be a first or second round pick in this June’s upcoming draft. That potential lucrative future has had Salazar extra cautious even before this pitch count rule came into effect.

Without the rule, pitching aces could theoretically close out games they didn’t start, assisting teams not as deep on the mound. Last year, Estrada did that just once.

“We take care of everybody, but we’re really careful with him because this June, he has a chance to get drafted high, and we want him to have that,” Salazar said. “The high (in pitches) this year for Jeremiah is 85, and he threw 90 once last year.”

The key now for pitchers who want to throw complete games, or go five or six innings and stay below the 75-pitch mark, is efficiency, which is particularly tough for a player like Estrada. Because he’s so good, throwing above 95 MPH at times, one or two-pitch ground outs come less often. He’s striking people out, but that may lead to five pitches per at-bat – even more with foul balls.

Luckily for the Aztecs, they boast the deepest pitching lineup in the valley, with four starters Salazar feels confident sending out against anyone, along with two closers he can use whenever necessary. Even during parts of the season where the Aztecs are entered in tournaments and playing games two, three or four days in-a-row, Palm Desert doesn’t have to flirt with running into issues with the new regulations.

Often, especially during weeks solely filled with DVL games, the Aztecs will throw junior ace Jonny Cuevas on Tuesdays and attempt to keep him under 75 pitches. Because Estrada is so dominant, they can throw him Fridays, build a big lead and pull him, putting as little wear on his arm as possible, while allowing Cuevas to clean things up.

“Jonny has a rubber arm, so he can go if we need it,” Salazar said. “With Jeremiah, there’s not a lot of teams in the league that can stay with us when he’s out there, so we get him out of there whenever we can.”

Shadow Hills, in its first season in the DVL and already positioned as one of the best teams in the valley, has eased into the new rules in a similar fashion.

Beck said the Knights’ coaching staff has always monitored pitch counts, setting pitchers at a maximum of 70 throws early in the season, allowing them to build strength and have the ability to comfortably throw as many as 95 pitches during the regular and postseason.

“We don’t want to get too close to the max,” Beck said. “If you’re close to that and pushing the limits, you’re trying to push through something.”

With one of the deeper pitching staffs in the valley, the Knights have three main starters they’ve relied on this season. This new rule, in part, helped Beck and his staff establish the pecking order because it allowed more guys to have a shot early in the season when tournaments forced them to throw more guys.

At Xavier Prep, though, the story has been different in adjusting to the new mandates from CIF. Both Salazar and Beck noted that they imagined this new rule would only drastically affect teams with small rosters, and with 12 players, the Saints fit the bill.

Head coach Andrew Clark has had to dig deep into his roster, but he’s gotten creative and has tried to use the new rule to spur a unique plan to keep up or even give him an advantage.

Clark has used six of his 12 players to pitch in some capacity – three seniors and three underclassmen – and five have started in their first 14 games. At the start of the season, he said he was using each player almost like a bullpen guy, using multiple guys per game and sometimes only keeping them to 30 pitches each so they could pitch multiple games in-a-row during tournament action.

“Early in the week, you’re doing a lot of thinking and calculations beforehand to make sure you can get through that week,” Clark said.

Now, later in the season, the rule has allowed him to see who he can rely on when there are only two games per week and more on the line.

“Now, I can reel those guys back in and throw them 50-60 pitches per game,” he said. “They can stay stronger longer, where in years past, some guy might throw 80 or 90 each time. It’s not my future, it’s theirs. This year keeps you more accountable, is a good thing and doesn’t hinder anything.”

Accountability plays a big part in this new rule, too. By the book, opposing coaches are supposed to check in with each other after each inning to make sure both teams have identical pitch counts for their men on the mound. Coaches can check-in with each other before games, too, to make certain a given pitcher has gotten the mandated rest.

That high level of communication has been rare, according to all three coaches. Salazar said he’s experienced a coach checking in-game only once. It’s clear, especially locally, coaches have been relying on an unwritten honor system. “If we’re asked, we have it, but we’re not asking anyone and they’re not asking us,” Salazar said.

Coaches better follow the new rule, though, all three agreed. All it would take is one parent noting a violation for a coach and a program to face trouble from the CIF.

“If it was us and we violated it, someone would come and we have it written down. We’d get caught,” Salazar said.

“I don’t think anyone wants to be that guy that gets called to task for a violation,” Beck said.

New CIF pitch count rule

• Pitchers can throw a maximum of 110 pitches in an outing
• A pitcher must take three full days off after throwing 76-110 pitches
• A pitcher must take two full days off after throwing 51-75 pitches
• A pitcher must take one full day off after throwing 31-50 pitches
• A pitcher can pitch the next day after throwing 1-30 pitches
• The old rule of pitchers throwing a maximum of 10 innings or 30 outs per week is still in effect California in comparison
• Of the 46 states that sanction baseball, California's rule falls in the middle
• Lax end: Massachusetts doesn't follow NFHS rules and Connecticut only put in mandated rest periods without pitch limits
• Lax end: New York pitchers can come back from throwing 95 pitches after two days rest and can throw 125 pitches per game in the postseason
• Lax end: Oklahoma pitchers may begin an inning as long as they've not reached 120 pitches before it starts • Strict end: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Missouri have broken down pitch count limits based on the age or grade of the athlete
• Strict end: Wisconsin and Pennsylvania pitchers can only throw a max of 100 pitches no matter t
according to all three coaches. Salazar said he’s experienced a coach checking in-game only once. It’s clear, especially locally, coaches have been relying on an unwritten honor system.

“If we’re asked, we have it, but we’re not asking anyone and they’re not asking us,” Salazar said.

Coaches better follow the new rule, though, all three agreed. All it would take is one parent noting a violation for a coach and a program to face trouble from the CIF.

“If it was us and we violated it, someone would come and we have it written down. We’d get caught,” Salazar said.

“I don’t think anyone wants to be that guy that gets called to task for a violation,” Beck said.


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     Pitch limits do not prevent pitching injuries, releasing their breaking pitches over the top of the Index finger will destroy their elbow.

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0165.  My baseball pitcher has some questions

The sinker is one of my better reverse breaking pitches. It actually breaks more and harder than the screw ball. I can throw the screw ball very good with the football and can get 12-6 rotation but the screw ball doesn't break much with the baseball like I want it too. I may need to force-couple the screw ball.

I need a better maxline fastball. When I throw the maxline fastball so I need to tilt my index and middle fingers from 12 o'clock to about 2 o'clock?

And how forward should the circle of friction be facing towards homeplate on the ball?

My curve feels a little harder and sharper when I don't worry about my arm and just throw it as hard as I can getting over my front foot but not bending but rotating over it aiming at the top of the zone.


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     When you have the circle of friction on the front top of the baseball has a consistent downward friction movement whereas when four seams only has an interment downward friction.

     The recoil of the force-couple ending the pronation snap finish should give you a kick.

     On the maxline fastball with the drop step, you need to turn the glove arm side of the circle of friction about thirty percent that the consistent sideways friction movement moves the baseball from the middle of the strike zone to the pitching arm side of home plate.

     Unlike the torque fastball where you have to have the Index and Middle fingers releasing the baseball, with the maxline fastball, you only use the Middle finger in the middle of the baseball.

     Keep pounding the maxline pronation curve with the drop step and the torque pronation curve with the cross step.

     Rotate not bend will give you move power and move you farther forward.

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0166.  Anterior Cruciate Ligament

You've often stated that contracting the muscles of the Medial Epicondyle protect the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

My question concerns the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

1. Do either the 'Hamstring' and/or 'Quadriceps' group of muscles play a role in protecting the ACL?

Traditional pitchers jeopardize their glove side ACL's from striding too far.

2. Do the muscles around the knee joint play any role in minimizing the damage to the ACL?


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01. Unfortunately, no muscles protect the Anterior Cruciate Ligament.

02. No muscles stabilize the knee.

     The only way to keep the knee ligaments healthy is to keep the rear foot pointing at home plate as is standing tall and rotating over their front foot.

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0167.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers 4/8-14/2017
April 16, 2017

SATURDAY (4/8)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 294.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.70
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.67
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 28.24

  SUNDAY (4/9)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 297.40
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.34
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.07
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 23.08

MON (4/10)--10 games
Average number of pitches per game: 282.40
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.14
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.50
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 21.82

TUE (4/11)--12 games
Average number of pitches per game: 301.58
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.83
Average number of innings per starter: Exactly 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.08
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 19.18

WED (4/12)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 288.93
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.23
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.67
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 20.00

THU (4/13)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 303.73
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.06
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.00
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 37.88

FRI (4/14)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 300.87
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.03
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.73
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 27.72


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     Thank you.

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0168.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 4/8-14/2017

  No out: 505
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None on: 379
Runner at first: 67
Runners at first and second: 24
Runners at first and third: 5
Bases loaded: 5
Runner at second: 17
Runners at second and third: 5
Runner at third: 3

One out: 508
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None on: 284
Runner at first: 100
Runners at first and second: 32
Runners at first and third: 18
Bases loaded: 12
Runner at second: 42
Runners at second and third: 8
Runner at third: 12

Two outs: 479
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None on: 218
Runner at first: 97
Runners at first and second: 40
Runners at first and third: 17
Bases loaded: 16
Runner at second: 54
Runners at second and third: 17
Runner at third: 20


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     Thank you.

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0169.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 876/4049 (21.63%)
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None on: 658/2921 (22.53%)
Runner at first: 120/638 (18.81%)
Runners at first and second: 43/166 (25.90%)
Runners at first and third: 6/36 (16.67%)
Bases loaded: 8/37 (21.62%)
Runner at second: 30/192 (15.63%)
Runners at second and third: 8/38 (21.05%)
Runner at third: 3/21 (14.29%)

One out: 848/4025 (21.07%)
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None on: 483/2131 (22.67%)
Runner at first: 149/801 (18.60%)
Runners at first and second: 53/301 (17.61%)
Runners at first and third: 27/140 (19.29%)
Bases loaded: 21/134 (15.67%)
Runner at second: 77/312 (24.68%)
Runners at second and third: 15/98 (15.31%)
Runner at third: 23/108 (21.30%)

Two outs: 826/3750 (22.03%)
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None on: 378/1673 (22.59%)
Runner at first: 168/754 (22.28%)
Runners at first and second: 66/336 (19.64%)
Runners at first and third: 32/189 (16.93%)
Bases loaded: 25/118 (21.19%)
Runner at second: 92/432 (21.29%) Runners at second and third: 31/112 (27.68%)
Runner at third: 34/189 (17.99%)


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     Why do pitchers strike out 25.90% of their batters with no outs, when with one out 17.61% and 19.64% with two outs?

     Thank you.

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Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, April 23, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0170.  My baseball pitcher has questions about the sinkers

When you say: (For the screwball)

     "When you have the circle of friction on the front top of the baseball has a consistent downward friction movement whereas when four seams only has an interment downward friction."

You want me to get the circle of friction facing the sky?

And then I drive through the seam with the middle of my middle finger horizontally.

Do I drive straight through the ball or drive through and get over the ball?

I know I have to pronate the upper arm and recoil force-couple it as well.


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     When I say that the circle of friction is on the front top of the baseball, it means that the circle of friction is the somewhat on the front of the baseball and somewhat of the top of the baseball.

     If we were to draw a circle in one of the loops of the baseball with a black pen, the catcher would see that circle half-way between the front of the baseball and half-way between the top of the baseball.

     To throw a maxline fastball sinker or a torque fastball sinker you need to drive the circle of friction downward on the inside of baseball so that the circle of friction is half-way front and top in the middle of the baseball.

     If you watched Jeff throw his maxline fastball sinker from the front view at high-speed, then you would see painted circle of friction in my pitching motion.

     Go on-line with drmikemarhall.com, click on Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services and click on Watch Dr. Mike Marshall's Baseball Pitching Motion.

     When you click on the Dr. Mike Marshall's Baseball Pitching Motion, you will see the 6 pitches I teach.

     The first pitch is my Maxline True Screwball. In the front view at high-speed, you will see that Jeff did not have a four-seam. Instead Jeff spiraled his Maxline True Screwball rotation.

     The third pitch is my Maxline Fastball sinker. In the front view at high-speed, you will see the painted circle of friction on the front top of the baseball.

     That is the money-maker pitch.

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0171.  Elbow X-Rays of Two Major League Pitchers
By Michael G. Marshall, Ph.D.

     When I joined the 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers, right-handed pitcher, Andy Messersmith, and I became friends. While in the dugout or traveling, we talked baseball. While eating, I noticed that Andy had difficulty bending his pitching elbow sufficiently to feed himself.

     Andy said that not only could he not bend his pitching elbow sufficiently to easily feed himself, he could not brush his teeth, comb his hair, wash his face and so on. I compared his pitching elbow’s flexion angle with his non-pitching elbow. His flexion angles differed dramatically. I suggested that we scientifically investigate this difference. Andy agreed to visit me at Michigan State University after the season.

Methodology

     On January 15, 1975, Andy and I presented ourselves to Professor Bert M. Bez MD, the Chairman of the Division of Anesthesia in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine. To prevent muscle action interference, Professor Bez bi-laterally anesthetized our brachial plexuses. (At the brachial plexus, cervical nerves' five (C5), six (C6), seven (C7), eight (C8) and thoracic nerve one (T1) intertwine to form the arm’s radial, median, ulnar, musculocutaneous and axillary nerves. The brachial plexus lies beneath the clavicle’s middle and the scapula’s coracoid process.)

     Using the Subclavian Perivascular Technique, Professor Bez bi-laterally administered 20cc of a 1% solution of Lidocaine (Xylocaine). Lidocaine anesthetized the motor nerves that stimulate the elbow flexors and extensors. Without muscle action, only skeletal structures could limit elbow flexion and extension.

     An Olin Heath Center Radiographic technician placed our arms into the proper X-ray positions and forcefully fully extended and flexed our elbows. Another technician captured Anterior/Posterior (A/P) and Medial/Lateral (M/L) views of our forcefully extended elbows and a Medial/Lateral (M/L) view of our forcefully flexed elbows.

Analyzing X-Rays

   1. Anterior/Posterior Extended Elbow Measurements and Evaluations

     I used the original X-rays to make the following observation and measurements. However, because the technician could not completely extend or flex our pitching elbows, some elbow structures did not contact the X-ray plates. Therefore, parallax error may cause some incorrect measurements.

     From the Anterior/Posterior view of the forcefully extended elbows, I:

01. measured the humeral mid-shaft width and cortex depth,
02. evaluated the medial epicondyle,
03. evaluated the trochlea/olecranon process articular surfaces,
04. evaluated the olecranon fossa,
05. evaluated the capitulum/radial head articular surfaces,
06. evaluated the lateral epicondyle,
07. measured and evaluated the radial head,
08. measured the radial tuberosity,
09. measured the radial mid-shaft width and cortex depth and
10. measured the ulnar mid-shaft width and cortex depth.

Comparing Mike Marshall's Non-Pitching and Pitching Arms

   1. Humeral Mid-Shaft

     Whereas the humeral mid-shaft of my non-pitching arm measured one-inch wide with the cortex one-quarter inch thick, the humeral mid-shaft of my pitching arm measured one and one-eighth inches wide with the cortex three-eighth inch thick. Therefore, the humeral mid-shaft of my pitching arm is one-eighth inch wider and one-eighth inch thicker.

   2. Humeral Medial Epicondyle

     Whereas the medial epicondyle of my non-pitching arm showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surface, the medial epicondyle of my pitching arm showed slightly abnormal trabeculae and considerably increased mineralization, especially proximally, but a smooth, uninterrupted surface. Therefore, the medial epicondyle of my pitching arm has a slightly abnormal traveculae and considerably increased mineralization, especially proximally.

   3. Articular Surfaces of The Trochlea/Olecranon Process Joint

     The articular surfaces of my trochlea/olecranon process joint in my non-pitching and pitching arms appeared evenly-spaced, smooth and uninterrupted.

   4. Ulnar Olecranon Process

     The olecranon fossa of my non-pitching and pitching arms showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and no abnormalities.

   5. Articular Surfaces of The Capitulum/Radial Head Joint

    The articular surfaces of the capitulum/radial head joint in my non-pitching and pitching arms appeared even-spaced, smooth and uninterrupted.

   6. Humeral Lateral Epicondyle

     The lateral epicondyle of my non-pitching and pitching arms showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surface.

   7. Radial Head

     The radial head of my non-pitching and pitching arms measured one inch wide with normal trabeculae and mineralization.

   8. Radial Tuberosity

     The radial tuberosity of my non-pitching and pitching arms measured thirteen-sixteenths inch wide with normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surface.

   9. Radial Mid-Shaft

     Whereas the radial mid-shaft of my non-pitching arm measured three-quarters inch wide with the cortex one-eighth inch thick, the radial mid-shaft of my pitching arm measured thirteen-sixteenth inch wide with the cortex one-eighth inch thick. Therefore, the radial mid-shaft of my pitching arm was one-sixteenth of an inch wider.

   10. Ulnar Mid-Shaft

     Whereas the ulnar mid-shaft of my non-pitching arm measured five-eighths inch wide with the cortex one-eighth inch thick, the ulnar mid-shaft of my pitching arm measured five-eighth inch wide with the cortex three-sixteenth inch thick. Therefore, the ulnar mid-shaft of my pitching arm measure one-sixteenth inch thicker.

Comparing Andy Messersmith's Non-Pitching and Pitching Arms

   1. Humeral Mid-Shaft

     Whereas the humeral mid-shaft of Andy’s non-pitching arm measured one inch wide with the cortex one-quarter inch thick, the humeral mid-shaft of Andy’s pitching arm measured one and one-quarter inch wide with the cortex seven-sixteenth inch thick. Therefore, the humeral mid-shaft of Andy’s pitching arm measured one-quarter inch wider with its cortex three-sixteenth inch thicker.

   2. Humeral Medial Epicondyle

     Whereas the medial epicondyle of Andy’s non-pitching arm showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surface, the medial epicondyle of Andy’s pitching arm showed abnormal trabeculae and a considerably increased mineralization in its proximal one-half, a smooth, uninterrupted surface and a wide fissure appeared in the medial epicondyle/trochlear union. Therefore, the medial epicondyle of Andy’s pitching arm showed abnormal trabeculae, considerably increased mineralization in its proximal one-half and an abnormal fissure between the medial epicondyle and trochlea.

   3. Articular Surfaces of The Trochlea/Olecranon Process Joint

     The articular surfaces of the trochlea/olecranon process joint of Andy’s non-pitching and pitching arms appeared even-spaced, smooth and uninterrupted. However, two loose pieces of cartilage lay near to the medial aspect of the articular surfaces of the trochlea/olecranon process joint in Andy’s pitching arm.

   4. Ulnar Olecranon Process

     Whereas the olecranon fossa of Andy’s non-pitching arm showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and no abnormalities, the olecranon fossa of Andy’s pitching arm showed abnormal trabeculae, increased mineralization and a large calcified cartilage fragment in the fossa’s center. Therefore, the olecranon fossa of Andy’s pitching arm showed abnormal trabeculae, increased mineralization and a large calcified piece of cartilage or bone fragment in the center of the fossa.

   5. Articular Surfaces of The Capitulum/Radial Head Joint

     Whereas the articular surfaces of the capitulum/radial head joint of Andy’s non-pitching arm appeared even-spaced, smooth and uninterrupted, the articular surfaces of the capitulum/radial head joint of Andy’s pitching arm had uneven spacing and a deepened hollow in the radial head. Therefore, the articular surfaces of the capitulum/radial head joint of Andy’s pitching arm had abnormal trabeculae and demineralization.

   6. Humeral Lateral Epicondyle

     Whereas the lateral epicondyle of Andy’s non-pitching arm showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with a smooth, uninterrupted surface, the lateral epicondyle of Andy’s pitching arm showed abnormal trabeculae and decreased mineralization around its edge with a smooth, uninterrupted surface. Therefore, the lateral epicondyle of Andy’s pitching arm has abnormal trabeculae and decreased mineralization around its edge.

   7. Radial Head

     Whereas the radial head of Andy’s non-pitching arm measured one and one-sixteenth inch wide with normal trabeculae and mineralization, the radial head of Andy’s pitching arm measured one and one-eighth inches wide with an enlarged, deformed shape, normal trabeculae and slightly increased mineralization. Therefore, the radial head of Andy’s pitching arm has enlarged, deformed and increased its mineralization.

   8. Radial Tuberosity

     The radial tuberosity of Andy’s non-pitching and pitching arms measured three-quarter inch wide with normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surface.

   9. Radial Mid-Shaft

     Whereas the radial mid-shaft of Andy’s non-pitching arm measured eleven-sixteenth inch wide with the cortex three-sixteenth inch thick, the radial mid-shaft of Andy’s pitching arm measured three-quarter inch wide with the cortex one-quarter inch thick. Therefore, the radial mid-shaft of Andy’s pitching arm is one-sixteenth inch thicker with the cortex one-sixteenth inch thicker.

   10. Ulnar Mid-Shaft

     Whereas the ulnar mid-shaft of Andy’s non-pitching arm measured five-eighth inch wide with the cortex one-quarter inch thick, the ulnar mid-shaft of Andy’s pitching arm measured five-eighth inch wide with the cortex three-sixteenth inch thick. Therefore, the cortex of the ulnar mid-shaft of Andy’s pitching arm is one-sixteenth inch thicker.

Medial/Lateral Extended Elbow Measurements and Evaluations

     I used the original X-rays to make the following observations and measurements. However, because the technician could not completely extend or flex our pitching elbows, some elbow structures did not contact the X-ray plates. Therefore, parallax error may cause incorrect measurements.

     From the Medial/Lateral views of our forcefully extended elbows views, I:

01. measured humeral olecranon fossa depth,
02. evaluated the articular surface of the anterior humeral capitulum,
03. measured the ulnar coranoid process and
04. measured the maximum extension angles of our elbow.

     During maximum elbow extension, the olecranon process contacts the olecranon fossa to limit the extension angle of the elbow. To measure the maximum extension angle of the elbow, we placed dots on the anterior surface of the humeral mid-shaft, where the olecranon process touched the olecranon fossa and on the anterior surface of the ulnar mid-shaft on the medial/lateral X-rays of the extended elbows. Then, we drew lines from the humeral mid-shaft dot to the olecranon process/fossa dot and on to the ulnar mid-shaft dot. Lastly, we centered a compass on olecranon process/fossa dot such that it superimposed the humeral line and measured the ulnar angle.

Comparing Mike Marshall's Non-Pitching and Pitching Elbows

   1. Ulnar Olecranon Process

     Whereas the olecranon process of my non-pitching arm penetrated one inch into its olecranon fossa, the olecranon process of my pitching arm penetrated eleven-sixteenth inch into its olecranon fossa. Therefore, the olecranon process of my pitching arm penetrated into the olecranon fossa five-sixteenth inch less.

   2. Humeral Capitulum

     My capitulum’s anterior articular surface showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surface. My capitulum’s anterior articular surface showed normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth surface interrupted only by a small, round enlargement on its anterior/superior aspect. My pitching capitulum’s articular surface showed a small, round enlargement on its anterior/superior aspect.

   3. Ulnar Coronoid Process

     My coranoid process measured one and nine-sixteenth inches long and showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with a smooth, uninterrupted surface. My coranoid process measured one and five-eighth inches long and showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with a smooth, uninterrupted surface. My pitching coranoid process measured one-eighth inch longer. Pitching decreased my elbow’s maximum extension angle by twelve degrees.

   4. Extension Angle of the Elbow

     The compass determined that my elbow’s maximum extension angle is one hundred and eighty-four degrees. The compass determined that my elbow’s maximum extension angle is one hundred and seventy-two degrees.

Comparing Andy Messersmith's Non-Pitching and Pitching Elbows

   1. Ulnar Olecranon Process

     Whereas the olecranon process of Andy’s non-pitching arm penetrated fifteen-sixteenth inch into its olecranon fossa, the olecranon process of Andy’s pitching arm penetrated one and three-sixteenth inches into its olecranon process. Therefore, the olecranon process of Andy’s pitching arm penetrated three-quarter inch less into its olecranon fossa.

   2. Humeral Capitulum

     The capitulum’s anterior articular surface of Andy’s non-pitching and pitching arms had normal trabeculae and mineralization and a smooth, uninterrupted surfaces.

   3. Ulnar Coronoid Process

     Whereas the coronoid process of Andy’s non-pitching arm measured one and one-half inches long and showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with no abnormalities, the coronoid process of Andy’s pitching arm measured one and seven-eighth inches long and showed abnormal trabeculae and increased mineralization with a rough, irregular surface and signs of arthritis. Therefore, the coronoid process of Andy’s pitching arm measured three-eighth inch longer with a rough, irregular surface and signs of arthritis.

   4. Extension Angle of the Elbow

     Whereas the compass determined that the maximum extension angle of Andy’s non-pitching elbow was one hundred and seventy-four degrees, the compass determined that the maximum extension angle of Andy’s pitching elbow was one hundred and thirty-nine degrees. Therefore, pitching decreased the maximum extension angle of Andy’s pitching elbow by thirty-five degrees.

Medial/Lateral Flexed Elbow Measurements and Evaluations

     I used the original X-rays to make direct observations and measurements. However, because the technician could not completely extend or flex our pitching elbows, some elbow structures did not contact the X-ray plates. Therefore, parallax error may cause incorrect measurements.

     From the Medial/Lateral views of our forcefully flexed elbows, I:

01. measured how far the ulnar coranoid process penetrated into the humeral coronoid fossa,
02. measured and evaluated the olecranon process,
03. evaluated the posterior articular surface of the humeral trochlea and
04. measured the maximum flexion angle of our elbows.

     During maximum elbow flexion, the coronoid process contacts the coronoid fossa to limit the flexion angle. Therefore, to measure the flexion angle of the elbow, we placed dots on the anterior surface of the humeral mid-shaft, where the ulnar coronoid process contacts the humeral coronoid fossa and on the anterior surface of the ulnar mid-shaft on the medial/lateral X-rays of the forceably flexed elbows. Then, we drew a line from humeral mid-shaft dot to the coronoid process/fossa dot and onto the ulnar mid-shaft dot. Lastly, we centered a compass on the coronoid process/fossa dot such that it superimposed the humeral line and measured the ulnar angle.

Comparing Mike Marshall's Non-Pitching and Pitching Arms

   1. Ulnar Coronoid Process

     The coronoid process of my non-pitching and pitching arms penetrated one-eighth inch into its coronoid fossa.

   2. Ulnar Olecranon Process

     Whereas the olecranon process of my non-pitching arm measured one and one-sixteenth inches and showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with a smooth, uninterrupted surface, the olecranon process measured one inch long and showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with, except for a small ridge on its superior/posterior aspect, a smooth, uninterrupted surface. Therefore, the olecranon process of my pitching arm measured one-sixteenth inch longer and showed a small ridge on its superior-posterior aspect.

   3. The Articular Surface of the Humeral Trochlea

     The trochlea’s posterior articular surfaces of my non-pitching and pitching arms were smooth and uninterrupted.

   4. Flexion Angle of the Elbow

     Whereas the compass determined that my elbow’s maximum flexion angle of my non-pitching arm was thirty-four degrees, the compass determined that my elbow’s maximum flexion angle of my pitching arm was forty-six degrees. Therefore, pitching decreased the maximum flexion angle of my pitching elbow by twelve degrees.

Comparing Andy Messersmith's Non-Pitching and Pitching Arms

   1. Ulnar Coronoid Process

     The coronoid processes of Andy’s non-pitching and pitching arms penetrated one-quarter inch into their coranoid fossas.

   2. Ulnar Olecranon Process

     While the olecranon process of Andy’s non-pitching arm measured one and one-eighth inches and showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with a smooth, uninterrupted surface, the olecranon process of Andy’s pitching arm measured one and three-eighth inches long and showed abnormal trabeculae and increased mineralization with a rough, irregular surface. Therefore, while the olecranon process of Andy’s pitching arm measured only one-sixteenth inch longer, it showed abnormal trabeculae, increased mineralization and arthritis.

   3. The Articular Surface of the Humeral Trochlea

     Whereas the trochlea’s posterior articular surface of Andy’s non-pitching arm was smooth and uninterrupted, the trochlea’s posterior articular surface of Andy’s pitching arm showed normal trabeculae and mineralization with a rough, irregular surface with arthritis. Therefore, the trochlea’s posterior articular surface of Andy’s pitching arm showed a rough, irregular surface with arthritis.

   4. The Flexion Angle of the Elbow

     Whereas the compass determined that the maximum flexion angle of Andy’s pitching elbow was thirty-three degrees, the compass determined that the maximum flexion angle of Andy’s pitching elbow was sixty-six degrees. Therefore, pitching decreased the maximum flexion angle of Andy’s pitching arm by thirty-three degrees.

Pitching Elbow Irregularities

   1. Mike Marshall

     My three sets of bi-lateral X-rays showed the following pitching arm irregularities:

01. My humeral mid-shaft measured one-eighth inch wider with its cortex also one-eighth inch thicker.
02. My medial epicondyle showed slightly abnormal trabeculae with the mineralization of the proximal one-half considerably increased.
03. My ulnar mid-shaft cortex measured one-sixteen inch thicker.
04. My ulnar olecranon process penetrated into its olecranon fossa five-sixteenth inch less.
05. My ulnar olecranon process measured one-sixteenth inch longer and showed a small ridge on its superior-posterior aspect.
06. My elbow lost twelve degrees of maximum extension angle.
07. My articular surface of capitulum showed a small, round enlargement on its anterior/superior aspect.
08. My ulnar coranoid process measured one-eighth inch wider.
09. My elbow lost twelve degrees of maximum flexion angle.

   2. Andy Messersmith

     Andy’s three sets of bi-lateral X-rays showed the following pitching arm irregularities:

01. Andy's humeral mid-shaft measured one-quarter inch wider and its cortex three-sixteenth inch thicker.
02. Andy's humeral medial epicondyle showed abnormal trabeculae and considerably increased mineralization in its proximal one-half.
03. Andy's humeral trochlea/olecranon process’ articular surfaces showed two loose cartilage fragments on its medial aspect.
04. An abnormal fissure showed between Andy's pitching medial epicondyle and trochlea.
05. The articular surface of Andy's humeral trochlea showed a rough, irregular posterior surface with arthritis.
06. Andy's ulnar olecranon fossa showed abnormal trabeculae, increased mineralization and a large calcified cartilage fragment in the fossa’s center.
07. Andy's ulnar olecranon process penetrated into its olecranon process three-quarter inch less.

08. Whereas Andy's ulnar olecranon process measured only one-sixteenth inch longer, it showed abnormal trabeculae, increased mineralization and arthritis.

09. Andy's elbow lost thirty-five degrees of maximum extension angle.

10. The articular surfaces of Andy's capitulum/radial head showed abnormal trabeculae and demineralization.

11. Andy's radial head enlarged, deformed and increased its mineralization.

12. Andy's ulnar coranoid process measured three-eighth inch longer with a rough, irregular surface and signs of arthritis.

13. Andy's elbow lost thirty-three degrees of maximum flexion angle.

Bi-Lateral Elbow Motion Ranges

Table 1: Maximum Flexion and Extension Angles

              |----------------------------------------------------|
              |     Maximum Flexion     |     Maximum Extension    |
              |     Flexion Angle       |     Extension Angle      |
              |----------------------------------------------------|
              |Non-Pitching|  Pitching  |Non-Pitching|  Pitching   |
              |     Arm    |     Arm    |     Arm    |     Arm     |
|------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Marshall   |     34o    |     46o    |     184o   |    172o     |
|------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Messersmith |     33o    |     66o    |     174o   |    139o     |
|------------------------------------------------------------------|
The Range of Motion of Our Non-Pitching Elbows

     Whereas the maximum flexion angle of my non-pitching elbow measured thirty-four degrees, the maximum flexion angle of Andy’s non-pitching elbow measured thirty-three degrees. Therefore, I had one less degree in the maximum flexion angle in my non-pitching elbow.

     Whereas the maximum extension angle of my non-pitching elbow measured one hundred and eighty-four degrees, the maximum extension angle of Andy’s non-pitching elbow measured one hundred and seventy-four degrees. Therefore, I had ten more degrees in the maximum extension angle in my non-pitching elbow.

     To determine the maximum range of motion of the elbow, we subtract the maximum flexion angle from the maximum extension angle. For my non-pitching elbow, I subtracted thirty-four degrees from one hundred and eighty-four degrees. Therefore, the range of motion of my non-pitching elbow was one hundred and fifty degrees. For Andy’s non-pitching elbow, I subtracted thirty-three degrees from one hundred and seventy-four degrees. Therefore, the range of motion of Andy non-pitching elbow was one hundred and forty-one degrees.

The Range of Motion of Our Pitching Elbows

     Whereas the flexion angle of my pitching elbow measured forty-six degrees, the flexion angle of Andy’s pitching elbow measured sixty-six degrees. Therefore, Andy had twenty less degrees of flexion angle in his pitching elbow. Recall that Andy had difficulty feeding himself with his pitching elbow.

     Whereas the extension angle of my pitching elbow measured one hundred and seventy-two degrees, the extension angle of Andy’s pitching elbow measured one hundred and thirty-nine degrees. Therefore, Andy had thirty-three less degrees of extension angle in his pitching elbow.

     To determine the range of motion of the elbow, we subtract the flexion angle from the extension angle. For my pitching elbow, I subtracted forty-six degrees from one hundred and seventy-two degrees. Therefore, the range of motion of my pitching elbow was one hundred and twenty-six degrees. For Andy’s pitching elbow, I subtracted sixty-six degrees from one hundred and thirty-nine degrees. Therefore, the range of motion of Andy’s pitching elbow was seventy-three degrees.

Comparing The Ranges of Motion of Our Non-Pitching and Pitching Elbows

     To determine how much pitching had decreased the range of motion in the pitching elbow, we subtract the range of motion of the pitching elbow from the range of motion of the non-pitching elbow.

     For me, we subtracted the one hundred and twenty-six degrees in my pitching elbow from the one hundred and fifty degrees in my non-pitching elbow. I had twenty-four less degrees in my pitching elbow. Therefore, at this point in my professional baseball career, pitching cost me twenty-four degrees of the range of motion in my pitching elbow.

     For Andy, we subtracted the seventy-three degrees in his pitching elbow from the one hundred and forty-one degrees in his non-pitching elbow. Andy had sixty-eight less degrees in his pitching elbow. Therefore, at this point in his professional baseball career, pitching cost Andy sixty-eight degrees of the range of motion in his pitching elbow.

How Did Pitching Decrease the Range of Motion In Our Pitching Elbows?

   1. What Decreased the Extension Angle of Our Pitching Elbows?

     With the ‘Traditional’ pitching technique, coaches teach pitchers to move the baseball well beyond second base such that the centrifugal generation that the pitching arm flies laterally away from the body. To prevent the olecranon process of the Ulna bone to band into the olecranon fossa that mve across the front of their body. The consequence of this instruction is that pitchers slam the ulnar olecranon processes into their humeral olecranon fossas.

     The olecranon process epiphysis becomes a collision epiphysis. These repetitive collisions increase the thickness of the hardness of the hyaline cartilage which which decreases the depth. In addition, these collisions break pieces of cartilage that enables bone spurs to grow through of these openinges. Now and then, pitchers will bang the on the olecranon process so hard that their olecranon process fractures.

     To prevent the loss of the extension angle of the pitching elbow, pitchers have to stop slamming their olecranon processes into their olecranon fossas. This means that the have to stop pulling their pitching arm downward and across the front of their body. Instead, I recommend that pitchers drive the forearm in straight-lines toward home plate with powerful forearm pronations that prevent the collision between the olecranon process and fossa. In this way, the forearm rotates through elbow extension and never permits the elbow to ‘lock’.

   2. What Decreased the Flexion Angle of Our Pitching Elbows?

     With the ‘traditional’ pitching technique, coaches teach pitchers to release their breaking pitches over the top of the Index finger. The consequence of this instruction is that pitchers inwardly rotate their upper arm and outwardly rotate (Supinate) their forearm. To prevent their ulnar olecranon process from slamming into their humeral olecranon fossa, pitchers have their Pronator Teres muscle for pronating the forearm and for flexing the elbow that prohibit the olecranon process from banging into the olecranon fossa.

     With the 'traditional' pitching technique with a severe lateral fly-out, the Brachialis muscle can only eccentricly contract the elbow. The consequence of this instruction is to lengthen the coronoid process that reduces the flexion range of motion. When pitchers unnecessarily and excessively stress their coronoid processes, their coronoid processes enlarges. Consequently, these enlarged coranoid processes decrease the flexion angle of their elbows.

     To prevent the loss of the flexion angle of the pitching elbow, pitchers cannot use the Pectoralis Major muscle to drive the pitching arm in a curve-linear pathway. With a straight-line pathway from start to finish to the strike zone, pitchers need the Latissimus Dorsi muscle I to move the upper arm to vertical and Latissimus Dorsi II to inwardly rotate the upper arm.

     With the upper arm in straights lines, the Triceps Brachii muscle is able to powrefully extend the elbow joint and the Pronator Teres muscle to pronate (inwardly rotate) and flex the elbow joint. This means that pitchers have to stop initiating the lateral centripetal force that causes the forearm to circle laterally outward.

     Instead, I recommend that pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm straight back toward second base up to the height of the driveline which is as high as pitchers are able to point vertically high. Then, pitchers can apply force to the baseball in straight-lines toward home plate without any unnecessary or excessive stresses. Future pitchers should be able to feed themselves, comb their hair, tie and tie and so on with their pitching arms.


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     This research should teach baseball pitchers coaches how to release breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

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0172.  My baseball pitcher needs help

Thanks for that info.

My outings have been well.

I keep missing far outside glove side with my torque fastballs.

I guess I'm cutting my arm over and not finishing towards my right pocket thus getting around the ball too much.

I'm not getting behind the ball enough.

I may not be pronating enough?

I may be flying out?

Because it feels like I'm throwing with a curved linear too much being inconsistent with commanding all my pitches.

What adjustments and cues can I make for my torque fastball and driving the ball down my acromial line better?

Still pitching and competing well even though not having my best stuff but need to be better.


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     On maxline pitches, you need to drop step.

     On torque pitches, you need to cross step.

     On every pitch, you have to aim down the acromial line and never, never finish with your pitching hand beyond the middle of your body.

     You have to be able to put your pitching hand in your right rear pocket without a loop.

     Your pitching hand has to go straight at the target.

     Like dart throwers, you have to start and finish with your pitches straight at the bull's eye.

     Think inside out, not outside in.

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0173.  Throwing frequency

Before I start, I would like to mention that my father pitched for you at Henderson State University.

  I have a question about how often I should throw.

My name is Jones, and I am 16 years old, and I would say I am physically 16 years old.

I do the wrist weights and iron ball workout daily, and I throw as well.

Should I keep throwing baseballs every day, or should I occasionally mix in a day that I just do the weights and iron ball, but not throw a baseball?


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     If you are biologically 16 years old, then all the growth plates in your elbow is ready for adult training.

     Until you are biologically nineteen, you should not use ten pounds weights and six pound iron balls.

     You and your father should have watched my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     In the 08. Football Training Program segment, you will see how to 'horizontally sail' the square Lid from a four-gallon bucket.

     Throw the Lid until you master my pitching arm action.

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0174.  Blue Jays place Sanchez on 10-day DL with blister
Associated Press
April 16, 2017

TORONTO, ON: Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his middle finger, another blow to a struggling team off to a 2-9 start.

The AL ERA leader last season, Sanchez allowed five runs and seven hits, including three home runs, in a loss to Baltimore on Friday. He's 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA. The blister has been bothering him since spring training, and also was an issue last September.

Toronto recalled left-hander Matt Dermody from Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday.


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     To prevent blisters on the Index and Middle fingertips, baseball pitchers need to steal your mother's nail sander to take calluses and keep the fingernails even with the end of their fingers and use a lot of lotion to keep the skin soft and smooth.

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0175.  Girardi trying not to use late-inning relievers for multiple innings
New York Daily News
April 17, 2017

Joe Girardi won't take any chances during the regular season with trying to squeeze multiple innings out of his relievers.

Unlike what Aroldis Chapman and former Yankee Andrew Miller were asked to do for their clubs during the 2016 postseason (with the Cubs and Indians respectively), Girardi said the health of his pitchers' arms is of utmost importance during the grind of a 162-game campaign.

"You can't do it for a whole year, because you play day after day. Guys have a couple days off and it's a game you feel that you have to throw two innings, you can. You've got to remember too, by that time guys are pretty built up. Here, we're still in that process. I don't think pitchers will stay healthy. They can't. We've stretched our relievers at times during the season. We're willing to do it much more in the postseason," said Girardi.


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     With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers are able to pitch whenever the teams need.

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0176.  Athletics hope Graveman will miss only one start
San Francisco Chronicle
April 17, 2017

With Kendall Graveman joining Sonny Gray on the disabled list, two of Oakland’s starting pitchers are sidelined.

Graveman was placed on the 10-day DL with a shoulder strain Monday, and the A’s hope he’ll return to the rotation shortly after he’s eligible to be activated April 25.

“With the new 10-day DL rule, it’s kind of a different situation,” said Graveman, referring to the change from 15 days. “You know now you only have to miss one start, which gives you peace of mind.”

Graveman exited his Friday start after 74 pitches and said a day later that he felt “tightness all over.” Asked Monday if the issue involved only the shoulder, he said, “It was kind of the whole arm, the back, just kind of everywhere, so we’re just trying to do treatment on a lot of things.”

Gray continues to recover from a lat strain and threw 47 pitches in 2 2/3 innings Monday in an extended spring training game in Arizona.


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     To prevent shoulder injuries, baseball pitchers need to turn the back of their upper arm and rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over the Front foot.

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0177.  The blister from hell: Rich Hill, Dodgers haunted by baseball's baffling bubble
USA Today
April 18, 2017

Two of the major leagues’ top starters from last season, playoff performers expected to contribute substantially to their teams’ postseason aspirations this year, are sidelined by the kind of issue that might keep your grandpa from going on his evening walk — blisters.

The floundering Toronto Blue Jays put right-hander Aaron Sanchez, the 2016 American League ERA champ, on the 10-day disabled list Sunday because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

That’s the same affliction that continues to torment Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Rich Hill, who left Sunday’s game early after a blister popped open while he took practice swings in the on-deck circle; he was placed on the DL on Monday for the second time this month.

And New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard has seen two of three starts shortened by blister and fingernail problems.

As an industry approaching $10 billion in yearly revenues, baseball has found ways to maximize performance through specialized training, nutrition and rest while extending careers by surgical means.

Somehow, the remedy for the common blister remains a mystery.

“It adds to the frustration that we have been able to do some great things with medicine, but this one is eluding us,” said general manager David Forst of the Oakland Athletics, for whom Hill went 9-3 in between injuries last season.

Pitchers, who handle the ball more frequently than other players and exert pressure on different spots to manipulate its flight, have long been susceptible to blisters. Between 2010 and 2016, 11 pitchers were put on the DL because of blisters. Still, it’s rare for three prominent starters to encounter such problems two weeks into the season.

The failure to find a solution can prove costly, and not just in terms of won-lost record. While Sanchez and Syndergaard are not eligible for salary arbitration and make close to the major league minimum, Hill is in the first season of a three-year, $48 million deal. So far, he has thrown eight innings.

And while these are not the kind of ailments that send pitchers to the operating room, they can become major aggravations.

“Every time he takes the mound, the uncertainty is tough on everybody,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after using five relievers to fill in for Hill, who only lasted three innings Sunday.

The Dodgers were fully aware Hill had trouble with blisters in the weeks before they acquired him in an Aug.1 trade with Oakland, and they gave him extra time to recover before he made his Los Angeles debut Aug. 24.

His strong performance down the stretch convinced the Dodgers that Hill was worth the big contract even though he turned 37 in March. The onetime journeyman with a checkered career had become a top-notch starter thanks to an elite curveball, but the friction from that pitch also tears apart the skin on his middle finger.

The Dodgers' total investment is significant - in addition to the $48 million deal, pitching prospects Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas were dealt to Oakland to acquire Hill.

But the blister was also costly for the player. When it first bubbled up last July, Hill was 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 76 innings. In a free agent market bereft of starting pitching, Hill still got the largest deal for a starter. Yet, had he finished the season without incident, he likely would have commanded more than three years and many millions more from potential suitors.

Now, he's financially secure, but no less frustrated with the patch of skin that keeps betraying him.

“There’s got to be some kind of medical miracle out there — like a glue or something — that can keep it covered where it won’t blister again,” Hill told news reporters after his latest setback.

Former Dodgers trainer Stan Johnston did concoct a remedy called “Stan’s Rodeo Ointment,” which Hill tried while in Oakland, apparently without much success.

With trade activity intensifying as the non-waivers deadline approached last year, Hill was scratched from his July 14 start with his first-ever instance of blister woes. Three days later, Hill left the game with a bloody finger after five pitches, and he did not throw in a major league game again until five weeks later.

“There’s just no timetable or guidebook as to how do deal with these things, because every one is different,” Forst said. “With most injuries you can actively do something to rehab, and this is one where you just have to leave it alone long enough for it to heal.”

How long that takes depends on each individual, as does each pitcher’s susceptibility to the injury.

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon suggested fair-skinned players might be more predisposed to blisters because of the way their skin reacts to the elements, adding, “I’ve had blister guys. Man, it’s nasty. It really is.”

Greg Wells, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Toronto who studies elite performance in sports, said a number of factors render pitchers vulnerable.

“Why one person might be more at risk than another could have to do with the type of pitch they throw or the genetics of their own skin,” Wells said. “It could be affected by the environment they’re in, because if the skin is wet, it will increase your risk of having a blister.”

Wells said there has been little research done on the multitude of home remedies often suggested for blisters, such as soaking the affected area in green tea or applying apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel, castor oil, diaper rash cream, witch hazel, vitamin E or toothpaste.

While some of them might enhance the healing process, the skin takes time to mend completely. If it doesn’t, the area becomes vulnerable to recurrence.

“If it heals with a scab, with a callus or anything like that,” Wells said, “then you may have an increased risk of that callus breaking off.”

Whereas Syndergaard’s opening-day problem with a blister seems to have been an isolated incident — he also left Friday’s start early because of split fingernails — Sanchez has been dealing with blisters for much of his career.

Typically they surfaced on his index finger, but the latest issue has been on his middle finger and flares up after he throws several curveballs.

Sanchez, who is scheduled to visit a hand specialist in Kansas City this week, sounded just as exasperated as Hill in addressing the little problem with the big consequences.

“We don’t really know when it comes, how it comes, why it’s coming,” Sanchez told news reporters. “I’m hoping it’s not going to take too long, but it’s so hit-and-miss. The finger, it’s one of the most important things for me in terms of feel and command, and for me to go out there and not be on your top (form), it’s hard to compete.”


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     To prevent blisters on the Index and Middle fingertips, baseball pitchers need to steal your mother's nail sander to take calluses and keep the fingernails even with the end of their fingers and use a lot of lotion to keep the skin soft and smooth.

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0178.  How the Dodgers are changing the ways pitchers are used
Sports Illustrated
April 18, 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers once again want you to forget everything you think you knew about starting pitching. The franchise that has given us Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser and Clayton Kershaw is willingly de-emphasizing what used to be the bedrock of winning baseball: reliable, innings-eating starting pitchers.

Rich Hill has a recurring blister problem. Julio Urias is throwing three or four innings per start in Triple A. Scott Kazmir is throwing mid-80s in extended spring training. Brock Stewart has a bum shoulder. Jair Jurrjens, who hasn’t pitched in the majors in three years, is getting a tryout in the Triple A rotation.

All that, and yet everything is perfectly fine for a 7-7 team that plans to use at least a dozen starting pitchers this year. Welcome to a world in which MLB teams put an average of six pitchers on the disabled list every day, and the 200-inning pitcher has never been more rare.

“There’s no team that has the kind of depth we do,” said one club source. “This team is built to win 95 games on the strength of depth carrying us over six months. We should get to 95 wins. But the year comes down to this: Clayton, Richie and Julio being healthy and ready to go to start playoff games. That’s it. So if it means they throw 170 innings instead of 200, that’s fine. They’ll actually be better for it.”

When you outspend the rest of baseball by 20% (the Dodgers’ payroll is about $242 million), you can afford to look all the way to October. What Los Angeles is doing upends what has worked for more than 100 years. Great gobs of money, the rise of bullpen usage and the growing inventory of pitchers who throw hard have emboldened the Dodgers to simply outnumber teams when it comes to pitching.

Los Angeles still has Kershaw, Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and prospect Trevor Oaks. That’s an inventory of 12 starting pitchers in various states of health and repair—even before the Dodgers go out and acquire more pitching. Nor does that group include veteran righty Justin Masterson, one of many battered and wounded pitchers L.A. has tried to rescue under president Andrew Friedman. Kershaw is the only one fully capable of throwing 200 innings, and after his mid-season back injury last year even he is not the guarantee he used to be.

“Kersh is Kersh,” the source said, “but who’s to say even he’s not better off going into the playoffs with 170 innings rather than 200?”

Last year only 15 pitchers threw 200 innings—by far a record low for any full season. (The previous record low was 23 in 1953, with 14 fewer teams.)

Every other team prays for good health from its five starters. In reality, half the starters in baseball will go on the disabled list. The Dodgers just take planning to a whole new level. They count on using three full rotations to cover 162 games so that their three best pitchers are ready when October starts.

This plan of musical starters is even more astute now that baseball has reduced the 15-day disabled list to a 10-day disabled list. Think of the 10-day DL as a quick timeout for a fatigued pitcher. Sixteen days into the season, there were 97 pitchers on the DL—a half dozen per day—and we have yet to see the full influence of the 10-day DL. Check out this year-by-year casualty list, showing how many pitchers were put on the disabled list 16 days into the season:

----------------------------------------------------
|YEAR|TOTAL PLAYERS ON DL|PITCHERS ON DL|PERCENTAGE|
----------------------------------------------------
|2013|       144         |      82      |  56.9%   |
|2014|       137         |      87      |  63.5%   |
|2015|       163         |     106      |  65.0%   |
|2016|       144         |      92      |  63.9%   |
|2017|       154         |      97      |  63.0%   |
----------------------------------------------------
In just 16 days this year, there were more pitchers on the DL than pitchers who qualified for the ERA title in any of the past 100 seasons.

McCarthy, a 33-year-old righty, is the prototypical Dodger starter: expensive and good in short doses, but not reliable to hold up over six months. The Dodgers signed him after the 2014 season to a four-year, $48 million contract, even though he was turning 31, had a lifetime record of 52-65, had thrown more than 135 innings only twice and—because of the risky and extreme external rotation of his shoulder in his throwing motion—suffered from frequent breakdowns.

Three years into his contract, he has started only 16 games for Los Angeles. He blew out his elbow in 2015, and when he came back in '16, briefly suffered through a bad case of the yips.

Back in 2015 McCarthy took a shot on Twitter at a journalist by saying he “has the writing equivalent of the yips.” But karma can be a bear. A year later the dreaded yips struck McCarthy on the mound. In three August starts last year McCarthy suddenly could not throw a baseball accurately. He walked 15 batters and hit two others, with his pitches often skittering to the backstop. The Dodgers left him off their postseason roster.

“It was painful,” he said of having sat out the postseason.

When I asked McCarthy why he suddenly lost control of his pitches, he said it was due to the rigors and routine of coming back from Tommy John surgery.

“When you throw all anybody asks about is how many pitches you threw and how your arm feels,” he said. “You get so regimented in just throwing that you lose the feel for pitching.”

McCarthy said “a normal off-season” cured him of the yips—being around family, enjoying diversions from the rigors of rehab, and most importantly, going about the craft of pitching in a normal manner.

In a rare speedy recovery from the yips, McCarthy is throwing the ball well and precisely. He has provided Los Angeles with three sterling starts, going 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA. And if he doesn’t hold up for 32 starts? No big deal.

If you haven’t heard it already, be prepared to hear and read that “the Dodgers are in trouble” because of injuries to starting pitchers, and because the model that sent them to the playoffs the past two seasons “is not sustainable” or is not part of “winning baseball.” Pay no attention to such talk. It may have been true for 100 years, but it’s not true now—not when you have so much money and so many arms.


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     Until Major League Baseball accepts my baseball pitching motion, baseball will continue to suffer pitching injuries.

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0179.  Buchholz undergoes surgery, his season likely over
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 18, 2017

NEW YORK, NY: The $13.5 million risk on Clay Buchholz produced two starts, a 12.27 ERA, and arm surgery Tuesday. It served as a reminder for Phillies president Andy MacPhail of how fragile and expensive veteran pitchers like Buchholz are. A reminder that the Phillies, if they are to jump in the standings, must develop young pitchers.

The Phillies, MacPhail said, are batting .333 in rotation stabilizers. Jeremy Hellickson has performed well for them. But for the second straight season, a potential Phillies pitching flip became a flop. Buchholz and Charlie Morton combined to make six starts at a $22.5 million price tag.

“On the good side, none of those investments are beyond one year,” MacPhail said Tuesday. “It’s not something that’s going to materially impact our team going forward. It’s not something that’s going to alter our strategy. It’s just a living reminder of the risks you take when you get into this world.”

Buchholz underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right arm. It will be months before he throws a baseball again. His season is most likely done.

“It’s too bad that happened,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

The Phillies said Buchholz’s estimated time for return is four to six months.

They traded Josh Tobias, a 24-year-old second baseman in single A, to Boston for Buchholz last December. The trade was a Red Sox salary dump. Both trades, the way the Phillies saw it, were logical because the only potential loss was a financial one.

But Morton and Buchholz arrived with extensive injury histories, and that could be the one lesson learned for the Phillies’ front office. Buchholz has now spent time on the disabled list in seven of his 11 seasons.

MacPhail said he had no knowledge of red flags during the exchange of medical information last December. But when Buchholz put on a Phillies uniform, something was obviously wrong.

“Clearly, we had two or three guys that saw him late in the year and liked what they saw,” MacPhail said. “But in addition to that, it’s not just scouts capturing him on a certain day. You have all the empirical data that is in every major-league park that’s done by TrackMan and other technologies that tell us, really from the day he got to spring training, that he was 2-3 mph short of where he was when he finished up last year.”

The recovery time for a flexor tendon operation is significantly less than Tommy John surgery. But it could still prevent Buchholz from pitching again in 2017.

Buchholz consulted James Andrews, the renowned orthopedist, on Monday for a second opinion. The 32-year-old pitcher suffered the same injury in 2015 and missed almost three months. At that time, Andrews advised Buchholz that non-surgical treatment was the best route.

Less than two years later, the righthander required surgery.

“I know there’s a time we’re going to have to get involved in it, but … I think there’s going to be a lot more opportunities to add free-agent position players,” MacPhail said. “Pitching is just something that should give you pause for concern.”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The article said:

01. "Clay Buchholz tore his flexor tendon."
02. "It will be months before he throws a baseball again."
03. "His season is most likely done."

     Until Major League Baseball accepts my baseball pitching motion, baseball will continue to suffer pitching injuries.

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0180.  Elliott done for season after undergoing Tommy John surgery
Ocolly.com
April 19, 2017

Oklahoma State will be without one of its top arms for the remainder of the season.

Sophomore right-hander Jensen Elliott recently underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, OSU baseball coach Josh Holliday confirmed after the Cowboys' 7-6 victory against Oral Roberts on Tuesday. Recovery time for Tommy John surgery often exceeds a year.

“Jensen, he followed the proper channels to be evaluated, and in the end, the reconstructive elbow surgery was necessary," OSU coach Josh Holliday said. "So he’s had it, and he’s on his way to recovery already. He’s three or four days closer now to being back than he was before.

"It’s an unfortunate reality in today’s baseball world that that could happen.”

Elliott was a Freshman All-American a year ago, posting a 9-3 record and 3.50 ERA in 17 appearances, all of which were starts. He hasn’t pitched since March 12, when he threw 126 pitches in six innings against South Dakota State. He went 3-0 with 3.63 ERA in four starts.

Holliday said he was unsure of whether Elliott would be able to receive a redshirt for this season but added he thought it might not be necessary, given Elliott's status as a prospect professionally.

"In his case, it’s probably not that big of a deal because if he were to pitch here two more years, that would be it anyway," Holliday said. "If you’re brainstorming, hypothetically, he would be a prospect. You never know. Once we knew he needed to have the surgery, you deal with the details and work it out. We’ll always protect our kids and fight for that stuff for him."

Elliott did not travel during the Cowboys' trip to Lawrence, Kansas, this past weekend.

Since Elliott, who's from Coppell Texas, went down, OSU has turned to several other pitchers to fill the hole. Four freshmen have started for the Cowboys. That includes left-hander Parker Scott, who exited his start March 12, part of a doubleheader, in the first inning with stiffness in his left elbow. He has yet to return from the injury.

As for Elliott, Holliday is confident in a positive return.

"He’s gonna heal up and be great," Holliday said. "It’s just a matter of how quickly that happens.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0181.  Tommy John and Frank Jobe, linked forever
Press-Enterprise
April 19, 2017

Tommy John, the pitcher — and it seems like we have to use that designation to differentiate from Tommy John, the surgery — first met Dr. Frank Jobe in the spring of 1972 in Vero Beach, Fla.

It was John’s first spring training with the Dodgers after being traded from the Chicago White Sox. He had no idea then how important Jobe would be in his life, or vice versa, but he got a clue toward the end of his first season in L.A.

“At the end of that year I had to have elbow surgery,” John recalled. “I tore the flexor muscle off the bone in my elbow, so he went in, reattached it, cleaned the elbow up. It had (bone) chips in it, as most pitching elbows do.

“When I came back I really wasn’t throwing like I should have, and everybody was asking, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?’ And Dr. Jobe said, ‘Look. I can tell you right now you are 100 percent healed. You’re fine. The pitching coach can’t tell you. The trainer can’t tell you. Nobody can tell you you’re ready to pitch again at a Tommy John level but Tommy John. So when you convince yourself you’re ready to pitch, that’s when you can do it.

“What Dr. Jobe did in 1972, and what he did when I got hurt in ’74, he talked to me more like a father than like a doctor.”

That fatherly advice helped create trust between doctor and patient. And it cemented a relationship and set the stage for an operation two years later that would transform sports medicine.

The surgery that now bears John’s name involves the grafting of a harvested tendon to replace the ulnar collateral ligament.

It has become so common that the challenge is to find a pitching staff anywhere, on any level, that doesn’t have at least one pitcher who has had Tommy John, the surgery.

Thus, when La Sierra University — from which Jobe earned his bachelor’s degree in 1949 — decided to hold a fundraising gala honoring the late orthopedist, who else could be the keynote speaker?

The event will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Riverside Convention Center. John, now 73, will make the drive from La Quinta, where he now lives. But if he’d had to journey from parts more distant to make this speech, I’m guessing he would.

“It (the speech) won’t be very long,” he quipped. “I gotta leave (MC) Roy Firestone with enough time to sell his products.” Jobe passed away in March 2014, at 88, just eight months after the Baseball Hall of Fame finally got around to honoring him for his contributions to the game with a “special recognition” ceremony.

It’s always been the view in This Space that “special recognition” isn’t enough. If the Hall is for those who have changed or dramatically influenced the game, Frank Jobe deserves a plaque and full membership. Period.

Consider: This March and April alone, six major league pitchers and six prospects have had to have the surgery. The average over the past five seasons is around 30 big leaguers a year who have had to have their elbow ligament replaced, and that doesn’t even begin to cover the numbers of college and high school players who need the surgery.

John, who has studied these things — and whose son, Tommy John III, is a doctor of chiropractic medicine and also a strength and rehab coach — has some strong opinions about why elbow issues have become an epidemic, rather than an outlier.

“One is radar guns,” John said. “Kids are pitching to radar guns rather than pitching to get outs.

“The second … parents think their little Johnny is going to be the next Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner or Mariano Rivera. They see their kids as getting a free college education or getting drafted and making millions of dollars. So they spend thousands of dollars on their kids on these travel teams.

“The third thing? Travel baseball. They play 60 to 80 games in the summer after the high school season. It’s too much for the arm. I never heard Dr. Jobe talk about it, but Jim Andrews (the noted Birmingham, Ala., orthopedist) talks about how it should be six months on, six months off for young kids.

“Major league pitchers don’t throw year round. If the best in the world don’t do it, why should some kid who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time do it to make the XYZ travel team?”

John, for those who weren’t around or don’t remember, didn’t exactly light up radar guns before his surgery. He worked quickly, hit his spots and got ground ball out after ground ball out.

But that moment when he walked off the mound two hitters into the third inning against Montreal on July 17, 1974 at Dodger Stadium … well, he didn’t realize it would ultimately transform baseball, nor did anyone else.

Funny thing was, in laying out the possibilities after the injury, Jobe seemed to be trying to talk John out of surgery.

“He said, ‘You really don’t need this and you’ll be fine. You’ll be able to play catch with your kids, throw batting practice to them. You’ll just never be able to pitch major league baseball again,’ ” John remembered.

“I said, ‘But I want to pitch major league baseball again.’

“So he said, ‘So, we have to do the surgery, but the chances of coming back are one or two in 100. Don’t expect any miracles.”

Miracles?

How about this: In Year 2 of his post-surgery career, John finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting and picked up some MVP votes, too. He pitched 14 seasons and won 164 games after the surgery, compared to 10 1/2 seasons and 124 wins beforehand. His ground ball stats were even better after the surgery.

And … well, his name has lived on, long after he stopped playing.


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     Tommy John said:

01. “At the end of that year I had to have elbow surgery."
02. “I tore the flexor muscle off the bone in my elbow."
03. "Dr. Jobe reattached it, cleaned the elbow up."
04. "It had (bone) chips in it, as most pitching elbows do."
05. “When I came back I really wasn’t throwing like I should have, and everybody was asking, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?’"
06. "Dr. Jobe said, ‘Look."
07. "I can tell you right now you are 100 percent healed."
08. "You’re fine."
09. "The pitching coach can’t tell you."
10. "The trainer can’t tell you."
11. "Nobody can tell you you’re ready to pitch again at a Tommy John level but Tommy John."
12. "So when you convince yourself you’re ready to pitch, that’s when you can do it."

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0182.  My research paper

We updated ourselves with your Q/A's.

We did not realize you have an opportunity to file for a research grant with MLB. That I great news!!!!

I have been leaving comments on a youtube site called Top Velocity, correcting some misperceptions that the "experts" have been saying on their about how to protect the UCL.

Good luck with the research paper!


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Dr. Green said that he would send me the research grant with MLB, but I have not received it yet.

     I sent my research paper to Dr. Green, but I have not received the research grant.

     As soon as I get the research grant, I will send it over-night.

     It is time for baseball to stop destroying the elbow's of their pitchers of all ages.

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0183.  My baseball pitcher lost his snap

When I turn my elbow in and get the back of my upper arm showing towards home plate, I can really drive the ball down my acromial line better.

But, I feel like I'm not slinging the ball or making my arm a whip when I do this.

I feel as if I'm more pushing the ball from slingshot position.

How do I throw turning my elbow in first out of loaded sling shot and act like I'm elbowing someone like a wrestler, but still get that whip and not push.

Whenever I just try to throw the Ball as hard as I can out of loaded slingshot and scrape my cap I loop the baseball from my ear first.

What are your thoughts?


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     You wrote: "When I turn my elbow in and get the back of my upper arm showing towards home plate, I can really drive the ball down my acromial line better."

     That is a great start.

     Now, you need to focus on the 'pronation snap' finish with the recoil that makes your pitching elbow pop up.

     Remember your wrist weight drills and Lid drills.

     First you snap the wrist weights forward, then immediately recoil back in the 'Slingshot' position.

     That is the recoil that we need.

     The higher that your elbow pops up, the more snap you have.

     The wrist weight drills teaches the snap back.

     Relax and let it go.

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0184.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Number and Strikeout Breakdown (4/15-4/21/17)

SATURDAY (4/15)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 275.93
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.98
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.27
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 18.99

  SUNDAY (4/16)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 291.50
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.32
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.50
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 17.58

MON (4/17)--10 games
Average number of pitches per game: 268.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.31
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 4.90
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 24.49

TUE (4/18)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 296.27
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.40
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.53
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 21.43

WED (4/19)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 273.14
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.87
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.29
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 14.86

THU (4/20)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 292.45
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.69
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.82
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 26.56

FRI (4/21)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 301.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.34
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.60
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.22


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     Thank you.

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0185.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 4/15-21/2017

  No out: 498
--------------
None on: 378
Runner at first: 63
Runners at first and second: 14
Runners at first and third: 11
Bases loaded: 6
Runner at second: 18
Runners at second and third: 8
Runner at third: 0

One out: 534
------------
None on: 335
Runner at first: 84
Runners at first and second: 30
Runners at first and third: 13
Bases loaded: 13
Runner at second: 32
Runners at second and third: 9
Runner at third: 18

Two outs: 536
-------------
None on: 283
Runner at first: 91
Runners at first and second: 47
Runners at first and third: 19
Bases loaded: 12
Runner at second: 54
Runners at second and third: 13
Runner at third: 17


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     Thank you.

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0186.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 1374/6452 (21.30%)
------------
None on: 1036/4679 (22.14%)
Runner at first: 183/997 (18.36%)
Runners at first and second: 57/245 (23.27%)
Runners at first and third: 17/69 (24.64%)
Bases loaded: 14/60 (23.33%)
Runner at second: 48/304 (15.79%)
Runners at second and third: 16/62 (25.81%)
Runner at third: 3/36 (8.33%)

One out: 1382/6346 (21.78%)
------------
None on: 818/3442 (23.77%)
Runner at first: 233/1235 (18.87%)
Runners at first and second: 83/460 (18.04%)
Runners at first and third: 40/213 (18.78%)
Bases loaded: 34/188 (18.09%)
Runner at second: 109/477 (22.85%)
Runners at second and third: 24/154 (15.58%)
Runner at third: 41/177 (23.16%)

Two outs: 1362/6003 (22.69%)
-------------
None on: 661/2757 (23.98%)
Runner at first: 259/1200 (21.58%)
Runners at first and second: 113/540 (20.93%)
Runners at first and third: 51/214 (23.83%)
Bases loaded: 37/188 (19.68%)
Runner at second: 146/636 (22.96%)
Runners at second and third: 44/181 (24.31%)
Runner at third: 51/287 (17.77%)


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     Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, April 30, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0187.  My research shows that the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys elbows.

Very good!

How did you come in contact with Dr. Green?


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     I had tried to talk with Dr. Gary Green, who is the chairman for the twelve experts on pitching injuries, for three years.

     So, I wrote a letter.

     Dr. Green responded.

     In Q/A #0156 you can read what Dr. Green said and I responded.

     In Q/A #0171 you can read my research paper.      Three days after our conversation I sent Dr. Green my research paper.

     Unfortunately, I have not received the research grant proposal forms.

     On April 14, 207, Dr. Green wrote that he would have his research coordinator send me the forms.

     Today is April 24, 2017.

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0188.  16 year old Pitcher

So, if that was not a typo then you don't want anyone under 19 yo biologically using 10lb wrist weights and 6lb iron balls.

This is a huge departure from what you have said in the past.

Why the change in thinking and what weights do you now recommend for ages 10-19 biological years old?


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     I never wanted my youth baseball pitchers to increase their wrist weights above 10 lbs. and the heavy balls above 6 lb.

     Two growth plates in the shoulder pre-maturely close.

     Research shows that with greater loads on the pitching Humerus bone causes one-half inch less than the non-pitching Humerus.

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0189.  Pronation snap

My question relates to your pitcher's questions on Pronation snap.

He suggests that he feels like he's cutting off his pitches (my words) when he tries to move his elbow backwards (Pronation snap) during his releases. I've had the same concern.

Personally at this stage I think he'd be better off getting the back off his Humerus pointed toward home plate and working on your Horizontal Rebound. I'd also be very interested what his "stride" looks like.

Anyway your answer prompted my question. You wrote: " That is why I have you snap your pitching elbow backward after your release."

I found this response helpful until I realized that once the ball leaves the pitcher's hand whatever you do has no impact on the pitch.

So, if your pitcher snaps his elbow back after he release his pitches the snap back has no influence on the pitch.

Can you explain your answer in a little more detail? The only thing I could thing of is that it tightens the Pronation circle.

That is why your answer appealed to me.


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     My baseball pitchers do not 'stride,' they step, shorter if necessary.

     He wrote:

01. "But, I feel like I'm not slinging the ball or making my arm a whip when I do this."
02. "I feel as if I'm more pushing the ball from slingshot position."
03. "How do I throw turning my elbow in first out of loaded sling shot and act like I'm elbowing someone like a wrestler, but still get that whip and not push."

     If he has the power, then he need to focus on the 'pronation snap.'

     'Pronation snap' is force-coupling, recoiling or whatever you want to name it, but it has to crack the bullwhip.

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0190.  My research shows that the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys elbows.

I see. I certainly do hope you receive a response.

We are having difficulty getting Eric's bosses attention as well. It is frustrating.

In reference to your pitching motion and training, we now know what you know.

We now support 100% of what we and you know.

We can now effectively demonstrate 100% of what we and you know.

Yet, try as we might, we are getting dismissed and not even given the opportunity to discuss, let alone demonstrate the Marshall Motion or training techniques.

Eric's boss has yet to see how any of the training or the throwing motion is done.

Despite repeated requests from Eric, he has yet to see either of us throw one pitch or demonstrate on wrist weight throw.

He has gotten caught up in the MLB world and has closed his mind to everything else.

They have a Facebook Page called Gestalt Performance and they are always talking about trying to find a cause for UCL injuries and they state that no one has yet to find the cause.

I get on the site and in the comments section and fully explain what the causes are, late forearm turnover, reverse forearm bounce, etc. and the solutions to those problems so as to prevent UCL injuries.

I say that the research was done 40 years ago and the results have been in for quite a long time. No response.

My frustration level with people that dismiss me while refusing to even allow a discussion is about 10 years old now.

Your level of frustration at over 40 years now must be unbearable.

Are they afraid that maybe, just maybe, you may be right?

And if you are right, their entire house of cards built on surgeries, rehab, new gimmicks, etc. would fall apart?

P.S. I wished we lived closer.


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     I have tried to show how to prevent elbow injuries to general managers. I showed Jeff Luhnow how to prevent elbow injuries. Mike Rizzo told me that he wanted to learn my pitching motion, but he reneged.

     For several years, I tried to get into the 12 pitching injuries experts.

     I hounded Dr. Gary Green, the chairman of the 12 experts, to present my research.

     Dr. Green said that he would have someone the send me the materials.

     I will send another email to Dr. Green.

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0191.  On April 27, 2017, I sent the Project Proposal Form-Elbow and Shoulder Injuries, Project Summary and the Estimated Budget-Timeline for Completion.

01.  Project Proposal Form-Elbow & Shoulder Pitching Injuries


Please submit completed forms to John D’Angelo (john.dangelo@mlb.com)

Project Title: Destroying Elbows
Group Members (Leader first): Dr. Mike Marshall
Institution: Michigan State University
MLB Affiliation (If any): Nine different teams

Project Overview & Rational

Suggested Length: 500 words

Without pitchers throw their breaking pitches that do not cause damage, they are not able to challenge the batters and pitch for many years. Present a background of the research topic, including relevant previous research by you or others.

For 150 years, pitchers have thrown breaking pitches that released their baseball over their Index finger. When pitchers release the baseball over their Index finger, the olecranon process bangs into the olecranon fossa. When pitchers bang the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, pitchers suffer loss extension and flexion range of motion, loose pieces of hyaline cartilage, bone spurs where holes in the hyaline cartilage and fractured the olecranon process.

State the hypothesis and/or purpose of the proposed project.

To prevent the olecranon process from banging into the olecranon fossa, pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger. When pitchers release the breaking pitches under the Middle finger, the Pronator Teres muscle pronates (inwardly rotate) the forearm and flexes the elbow joint. When pitchers flex their elbow joint, the olecranon process cannot bang into the olecranon fossa.

Explain specifically how this study will further the understanding/reduction/treatment of elbow and/or pitching injuries for amateur or professional baseball.

When pitchers understand that they are able to throw breaking pitches without the olecranon process banging into the olecranon fossa, pitchers rapidly learn how to release their breaking pitches under their Middle finger.

02.  Project Summary

Suggested Length: 500-1000 words

Please provide an explanation of the study design and process for implementation.

Instead of throwing breaking pitches over the top of the Index finger, pitchers learn how to throw breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

Specify how you will collect data and what subjects will be studies (number of subjects, their level, and any other inclusion/exclusion criteria.

After the 1967 season ended, I returned to Michigan State for their Fall and Winter quarters. While brushing my teeth, I realized that I could not fully extend or flex the ranges of motion.

Immediately, I had X-rays of my pitching elbow fully extended and fully flexed. I found that I have lost 12 degrees of extension and 12 degrees of flexion range of motion.

Since 1965, as a graduate instructor, I taught one of the two Kinesiology Labs for undergraduates. With the two different 16 mm cameras, I was able to use a 400 f/m camera and a 60 f/m camera. With those cameras, I learned that I released my breaking pitches over the Index finger, which caused me to lose my extension.

By keeping the driveline between with second base and home plate, I quickly learned how to release the breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

When pitchers release the breaking pitches under the Middle finger, the Pronator Teres not only pronates the forearm, it also flexes the elbow. With the origin of the Pronator Teres muscle above the elbow joint, it is not possible for the olecranon process to contact the olecranon fossa.

Please make sure to specify if you will require access to de-identified injury tracking data from the MLB electronic medical records system for Major League Players and/or Minor League Players.

The second segment of my eleven segments titled; “Research Begins.” In that segment, pitchers are able to see the 1967 film. The 1967 film showed that I moved the pitching hand three feet behind my body. When I threw breaking pitches, I released the baseball over the Index finger. In 1971, I used three 500 f/m cameras; one behind the mound, and one beside the mound and the centered overhead over the pitching rubber.

This time I did not move the pitching hand in line with second base and home plate. While not perfect, the 1971 film showed me that I needed to use the Latissimus Dorsi muscle to inwardly rotate the upper arm. And, I could clearly see that I pronated the forearm.

In 1975, the chairman of my doctoral degree monitored the damage of my elbow and the damage of Andy Messersmith in great detail. The research required 13 pages of elbow damage. And showed the terrible damage to Mr. Messersmith’ s elbow joint.

Explain how your data will be analyzed and by whom. If you wish, state your plans for publishing your findings, presenting your findings, and any other mechanisms for disseminating results and affecting change.

In 2005, Rick W. Wright, MD et al researched the loss of extension range of motion in the elbow joint. During that spring training, Dr. Wright had physicians measured 33 professional pitchers comparing the non-dominant and the dominant side. The dominant side lost an average of 7.9 of extension and 7.8 of flexion range of motion.

Dr. Wright’s physicians used the goniometer. The goniometer measures the extension and flexion ranges of motion.

With my arms up with the palms facing upward, I asked my professional pitchers to fully flex and fully extends. Therefore, I believe that 99% of major and minor league pitchers release their breaking pitches over the Index finger.

03.  Estimated Budget/Timeline for Completion

If applicable, please provide an explanation of the costs associated with project, including an estimate of annual and total projects costs, as well as the expected duration of the project.


Dr. Rick W. Wright shows the way. If we want to test every Major and Minor Baseball pitchers, we are able to use goniometers to determine the extension and flexion ranges of motion. Like when I first measured the extension and flexion ranges of motion, if I learned how to prevent any more losses.

But, if the 12 Experts in Pitching Injuries are ready, then after a short time in spring training, skilled physicians should be able to determine the extension and flexion ranges of motion of all major and minor league pitchers.

Exhibits:

01. Research Begins: easy to find in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video. I use the 1967 and 1971 16 mm cameras. If we cannot find a thumb drive, then open your laptop and use my website: drmikemarshall.com. Or, use the link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/8uHZ46nYfVQ (Research Begins)

02. I have a copy of Dr. Rick W. Wright’s Research on the loss of extension range of motion in the pitching elbow that I will include.

03. In 1975, my doctoral degree chair detailed what I and Andy Messersmith. I am able to send you the thirteen page details of the dominant elbow joint.

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0192.  Project Proposal Form-Elbow and Shoulder Pitching Injuries

Well that was fast! Of course most of it was completed over 40 years ago.

Impressive. We shall see what the jury of 12 have to say.

Good luck


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     With this project, I am trying to show baseball pitchers only how to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     If baseball pitchers use a driveline from second base to home plate and not pull their pitching arms across the their body, then they will not destroy the elbow joint, but tighten the rotation.

     After a while, I will try to get the baseball pitchers to use the Latissimus Dorsi and the Marshall pitching motion.

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0193.  New state rules create sea change in high school pitching
CBS Minnesota
April 21, 2017

A new, complicated formula has recently been adopted by the Minnesota State High School League.

It is called a pitch count, and the idea is to limit the number of innings high school pitchers can throw.

The hope is for better arms for a longer duration, and a filter-down effect that will take wing with the younger wings.

At Minneapolis’ Washburn High School, they are making changes to their pitching staff due to the new rule.

“The biggest thing that we’ve learned is that you’ve got to have more guys throwing,” said Washburn baseball coach Jim Clancy. “We were fortunate enough to go down to Florida for a week during spring break, and while we were down there we had eight guys throwing, and we knew that we had two guys that we knew would be our one and two.”

The theory is don’t destroy a good arm by trying to win too soon. And while the MSHSL is making a stand the hope is it will trickle down and become the norm at lower levels.

“Before I got this job I was doing little league with my 10-year-old son … I’ve seen a lot of things when I was doing the little league stuff that [made me scratch] my head and going, ‘What are we doing here?'” said Minnesota Twins pitching coach Eddie Guardado. “It’s all about the win, all about the coach getting the win.”

This is a macro look at preventive medicine.

‘It’s good they’re monitoring those things. I think they can save a lot of injuries,” said Twins star Joe Mauer.

The good news in all of this is that kids playing baseball that have not thought about it can now think about being a pitcher, because you need more arms, unlike some travel teams.

“It’s going to force people to develop pitchers,” Clancy said.

The other part of the directive is that parents are taken out of the equation.

“You’re having kids having Tommy John [surgery] at 10 years old. What does that tell you? What does that tell you? Too many pitches, or too many pitches going into the summer, playing travel ball after travel ball, going to different teams … ‘Can he play with us this weekend?’ Mommy and dad go, ‘Sure!’ That makes mommy and dad feel good, but I think it’s wrong,” Guardado said.

It’s easy to get locked into a hot hand, and the euphoria of the moment can keep a kid on the mound for too long.

“You don’t want to keep running your best pitcher out there every day,” Mauer said. “I’ve seen that growing up, and you don’t want to kill a kid for sure.”

Where it becomes most challenging is in the smaller schools, where having the depth can be an issue.

“I think it’s probably good in the long run. The difficult part is going to be … for the small schools, the Class As who generally have, you know, they have a short stop and a pitcher and they kind of rotate back and forth, and they’re going to be limited,” Clancy said.

But the movement has a chance to keep kids healthy and remind the rest they are developing baseball players — not having to win games.

“Nowadays with these young kids, we’re overusing them. Why? Why right now? Oh, to get the trophy? Oh, because my kid is good? So you can brag? I think that’s wrong,” Guardado said.


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     The article said:

01. "A new, complicated formula has recently been adopted by the Minnesota State High School League."
02. "It is called a pitch count, and the idea is to limit the number of innings high school pitchers can throw.

     Without youth baseball pitchers releasing the breaking pitches under the Middle finger, they will destroy their elbow joint.

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0194.  Richards shifted to 60-day DL; Bedrosian to 10-day DL
Orange County Register
April 22, 2017

The medical news was bad for the Angels again Saturday. They transferred right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day disabled list because of a biceps injury and placed reliever Cam Bedrosian on the 10-day DL because of a groin strain suffered Friday.

Richards, the erstwhile ace of the Angels’ staff, departed in the fifth inning of his only start April 5 and hasn’t picked up a baseball since. He was said to be “making progress” from his biceps injury as recently as Friday, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

However, “his most recent assessment and exam showed mild improvement in biceps strength and also irritation of the cutaneous nerve, which is contributing to his strength deficit,” the Angels said Saturday in a statement while announcing Richards’ move to the 60-day DL.

Bedrosian became their de facto closer after Huston Street was placed on the 60-day DL because of a lat strain, even as Scioscia declined to actually name a closer. Bedrosian’s injury isn’t thought to be serious, but the Angels don’t want it to linger, Scioscia said.

“It was sore last night and it’s sore today,” Scioscia said of Bedrosian, who pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning Friday. “When you have the availability of a 10-day DL, it makes sense because we want to make sure this gets behind him. Hopefully, this DL time will do that.”

The Angels have played 19 games this season and have eight pitchers on the disabled list. Richards became the fourth pitcher on the 60-day DL, joining Street, Vicente Campos (elbow nerve irritation), Andrew Heaney (Tommy John surgery) and Nick Tropeano (Tommy John surgery).

Richards also injured the ulnar collateral nerve in his elbow last year, but decided against the invasive Tommy John procedure and the year-long layoff that frequently comes with it. Instead, he treated the injury with stem-cell therapy and was in the Angels’ rotation by opening day.

He threw 4-2/3 scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics, giving up three hits with four strikeouts and one walk before departing in the fifth inning of a 5-0 victory because of a biceps strain. He was then placed on the 10-day disabled list April 6 (retroactive to April 5).

Richards made only six starts last season before he was injured after he had a breakout season in which he won 15 games and threw a career-high 207-1/3 innings in 32 starts in 2015. The 28-year-old Riverside native is 40-32 in 149 career games, all with the Angels.


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     The article said:

01. "The medical news was bad for the Angels again Saturday."
02. "They transferred right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day disabled list because of a biceps injury and placed reliever Cam Bedrosian on the 10-day DL because of a groin strain suffered Friday."

     To prevent a Biceps Brachii injury, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     To prevent a groin (Adductor Brevis) strain, baseball pitchers need to turn their Rear foot to face home plate and take shorter steps.

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0195.  Guerrieri leaves Bulls with elbow injury
Times-News
April 22, 2017

One of the highly regarded pitching prospects with the Durham Bulls is likely to miss a significant amount of time after an injury during the second week of the International League season.

Tyler Guerrieri, a first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, left the April 13 game with an elbow injury.

A few days later, Bulls manager Jared Sandberg said Guerrieri returned to Florida for long-term rehabilitation.

“You don’t want to take chances with somebody who already has had Tommy John (surgery),” Sandberg said.

Guerrieri underwent that procedure in 2013.

Guerrieri, a 24-year-old right-hander, won his Class AAA debut and then threw 3 2/3 shutout innings in his next outing before that was cut short.

“He looked magnificent,” Sandberg said.


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     To prevent elbow joint injuries, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

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0196.  Miller has forearm tightness, will get MRI
Arizona Republic
April 23, 2017

The Diamondbacks clubhouse was quiet Sunday afternoon, in stark contrast to the night before when Arizona was celebrating another offensive explosion and another victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It wasn’t the 6-2 loss that turned the mood somber, though. It was the sudden uncertainty about the health of starter Shelby Miller, who left the game in the fifth inning with right forearm stiffness.

Miller said he didn’t think it was anything serious. Manager Torey Lovullo said he was optimistic. But both men knew the potential implications: Forearm stiffness for major league pitchers often can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery.

“I don’t think it’s that big of an issue,” said Miller, who will have an MRI on Monday. “More so one of those things that flare up when you’re out there. Physically I don’t think there’s any damage done at all. I feel like I’ll probably feel better tomorrow.”

Miller admitted, however, that he has never experienced forearm tightness before. And Lovullo’s muted tone was a clear indication the Diamondbacks are worried about the prognosis.

“These are tough things for me to address,” Lovullo said.

Miller was impressive through four innings, limiting the Dodgers to three hits. He doused a Los Angeles threat in the top of the third when he struck out Adrian Gonzalez on three straight fastballs, the last topping out at 96.5 mph.

But when Miller came out for the fifth inning, he was a different pitcher. He walked pitcher Brandon McCarthy on five pitches and then gave up another walk to lead-off hitter Joc Pederson. Pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound during the Pederson at-bat but Miller was left in the game. Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager then hit an RBI double and after Miller threw one pitch to Justin Turner, Lovullo and head trainer Ken Crenshaw walked to the mound.

Lovullo said he got a “signal” from catcher Chris Iannetta that something potentially was wrong with Miller.

“You hate to take somebody off the mound like that but I just didn’t like a couple of things that I heard,” Lovullo said. “It just jumped up on him in the fifth inning. He felt the forearm tightening at that point in time and that was enough for me.”

Miller said that the injury contributed to his command problems in the inning.

“I didn’t feel like I could throw the pitches where I wanted them,” he said. “I didn’t have a good feel for it. … That’s why I yanked some fastballs.”

Although Miller doesn’t think the tightness is anything serious, he agreed with Lovullo’s decision to go to reliever Randall Delgado, saying, “It was the safest best to get me out of there at that point in the game.”

Even assuming the best-case scenario, it’s unlikely Miller will make his next scheduled start Friday against Colorado. The Diamondbacks could tab Archie Bradley to start in his place. Bradley has been brilliant as a reliever this season, with a 0.79 ERA over five appearances and 12 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Late Sunday afternoon, however, Lovullo wasn’t ready to talk about any of that. His focus – and concern – was on Miller. “It’s really unfortunate,” Lovullo said. “Shelby has been throwing the ball extremely well. You just hate to have a situation like this pop up.”


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     The article said:

01. "It wasn’t the 6-2 loss that turned the mood somber, though."
02. "It was the sudden uncertainty about the health of starter Shelby Miller."
03. "Mr. Miller has right forearm stiffness."
04. "Mr. Miller said he didn’t think it was anything serious."
05. "Forearm stiffness for major league pitchers often can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery."

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0197.  Kentucky recruit to have Tommy John surgery
Cats Illustrated
April 24, 2017

Kentucky signee and MLB Draft prospect Ben Jordan will have Tommy John surgery. Jordan, a 6-foot-9 righthanded pitcher from Olive Hill, Ky., is one of the prize recruits in Kentucky’s 2017 recruiting class. Jordan was an Under Armour All-American and considered as one of the top righthanded arms in the country. His fastball was touching 96 miles per hour prior to his surgery.

The timing of the surgery is likely to affect his draft status. With just a little over a month away from the MLB Draft, Jordan’s draft stock is likely to take a hit. It’s an unfortunate result for Jordan, but it could help Kentucky’s chances of Jordan enrolling for school.

According to MLB.com, the average recovery time for the surgery is 12-16 months, meaning it’s unlikely that Jordan will pitch next season if he was to enroll at Kentucky.

One source said Jordan is a great athlete despite his 6-foot-9 frame. His fastball typically sits between 90-94 miles per hour and his curveball and slider could develop into plus pitches down the road.

In an interview with Catsillustrated.com last summer, Jordan said scouts liked what they’d seen from him.

"They said I have a really high ceiling,” Jordan said. “They think I'd be a possible first rounder. It's just about how I'm going to show this fall. A lot of people think talent-wise I can compete with everybody. I've just go to go out there and do it to succeed and do my best. And I've got to stay healthy."


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0198.  Coaches see benefit in pitch-count limit
South Carolina Index-Journal
April 24, 2017

During a recent game against Ninety Six, Abbeville baseball coach Mark Smith made his way toward the pitcher’s mound.

Starter Bryce Jackson was done for the night.

To the common eye, it was a weird move. The game was in the bottom of the seventh, the Panthers were leading 8-3 and Jackson was putting together a stellar outing, giving up just five hits in 6 1/3 innings, while also registering six strikeouts.

Jackson didn’t fret, though, as Smith signaled for Dylan Powell to shut the door.

“We had to take Bryce out because of his pitch count,” Smith said after the game.

And there’s the answer.

Prior to this season, there wasn’t a rule on the amount of pitches a high school player could throw in an individual outing. In short, their arms weren’t protected.

But after the National Federation of State High School Associations announced last summer that each state was now required to implement a pitch limit, that had to change.

So, South Carolina High School Baseball Coaches came up with a 110-pitch count limit that was later approved by the South Carolina High School League Executive committee.

And as the high school season comes to a close, many coaches around the Lakelands believe the limit looks out for the players’ best interests.

“What it does is keeps some of these teams from riding an arm more than they need to,” Emerald coach Stanley Moss said. “That’s probably the thing that has helped more than anything is saving an arm and not having a kid be overused, where in the past that was a possibility.”

“With a hard thrower like Bryce, it’s good to have a pitch limit,” Smith said. “But if you were to ask me right there in the seventh when I had to pull him I’d probably would’ve been against it.”

In Jackson’s case, he started the bottom of the seventh at 108 pitches. The rule says if a player begins an inning below 110 pitches, he or she could finish that batter but must be pulled immediately after that at-bat is complete.

The rule also requires rest days for pitchers who have thrown the following number of pitches: 31-45, one day; 46-60, two days; 61-75, three days; 76-90, four days and 91-110, five days.

“For me it’s all about development. I’m trying to get our guys as healthy as possible and trying to maximize what they’re capable of doing,” Lander coach Jason Burke said. “I think at the high school level, you’re trying to do the exact same thing.”

Looking out for their future plays a role in the rule, too. Through the years, Major League Baseball has seen a spike in the number of pitchers receiving tommy john surgery.

According to former ESPN Grantland baseball writer Jonah Keri, to begin the 2014 season, 20 pitchers at the major league or minor league level already received the procedure at the start of April.

A lot of the blame has shifted to the youth level, where young pitchers are being asked to throw more than their young arms can handle, especially with the rise of travel baseball.

“We already took care of our pitchers by never overthrowing them,” Ninety Six coach Chad Ellis said. “And then they would usually have six days of rest before they pitched again. But it’s got to start at a younger age”

The rule has put some coaches in a jam, as they are now in a constant search for pitchers to help beef up their staff. But the long-term reward is a pitcher leaving a program healthy.

“The bottom line is to protect the guys arm,” Smith said. “And I think that’s what’s makes (the pitch count) successful.”


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     Without youth baseball pitchers releasing the breaking pitches under the Middle finger, they will destroy their elbow joint.

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0199.  Schmidt could still be high draft pick despite injury
The State
April 25, 2017

Losing ace Clarke Schmidt for the season with a right elbow injury hurts the South Carolina pitching rotation, but there is a chance it will not hurt Schmidt much as far as the MLB draft is concerned.

Draft experts expect Schmidt to slip slightly from his previous first-round projection, but there is still a chance he will be selected in the first couple of rounds in June, according to Aaron Fitt of D1Baseball and Michael Lananna of Baseball America.

Schmidt will undergo Tommy John surgery at a date to be determined.

“It doesn’t help it, obviously, but it’s not necessarily going to torpedo it either,” Fitt said. “It used to be if you had that surgery it would really hurt you. Now you see guys coming back, and in a lot of cases, stronger than ever. It’s almost a common place procedure now.”

Fitt sees similarities between Schmidt’s situation and that of former UNLV pitcher Erick Fedde. Fedde was taken No. 18 overall by the Nationals in the 2014 draft, just a couple of days after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

“Tommy John is not a death knell to your draft stock,” Fitt said. “(Schmidt) was a second half of first rounder, in the 15 to 30 range somewhere. He could still go in that range somewhere. I think it’s probably where he fits. Maybe he slips a little bit to a top 50 or 60 pick.”

Baseball America had Schmidt projected to go No. 15 overall in its latest mock draft last week, and while he is unlikely to be selected that high now, it is not out of the realm of possibility, according to Lananna.

“There’s no doubt that before the injury Schmidt’s stock was on the rise. He was having an exceptional year, and it almost seemed as though he was getting better as the spring progressed,” Lananna said.

“He was getting first-round kind of buzz. After the torn UCL, it’s a little harder to say. There’s recent precedent for teams still drafting pitchers in early rounds despite torn UCLs, just because Tommy John has become almost routine. It has a very high success rate.”

Schmidt ended his season 4-2 with a 1.34 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings.

The ERA and strikeout numbers are the best on USC’s staff, and he is second in the SEC in ERA.

“Given what Schmidt showed this spring, his track record, his power stuff and his makeup – he’s a high character kind of guy, and that means something – I think he still has a chance to go on Day One or Day Two,” Lananna said. “There’s not as much risk with Tommy John as there used to be.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0200.  Mariners place Hernandez on 10-day DL
Seattle Times
April 26, 2017

Less than 24 hours after they were drubbed by the Tigers, 19-9, losing Felix Hernandez to injuries, the Mariners had to try and regroup with roster reinforcements to replace what was lost and what wasn’t working.

“We’ve got some healthy bodies,” manager Scott Servais said. “Hopefully they spark us, that would be great.”

Hernandez goes on the disabled list for the second straight season, but this is his first disabled list stint for something arm related since 2007.

Manager Scott Servais had no timetable for his return. Hernandez received treatment in Detroit on Wednesday afternoon and is flying back to Seattle later in the day. Since he was placed on the disabled list, there isn’t a need rush them back to Seattle immediately. They will undergo tests to determine the extent of his injury.

“That will give us an idea of where is Felix is at with his shoulder,” Servais said. “They will have a better idea of when he can get back to full activity.”

Hernandez didn’t want to discuss his injury, saying “they said everything already.”

Asked in passing if was he was scared, he replied, “yeah.”

Servais said that Hernandez didn’t have any signs of the shoulder issue coming into the start on Wednesday.

“Often times, with pitchers in their routines and work in between starts, they won’t feel great, maybe a little soggy or whatever term you want to use,” Servais said. “He didn’t feel real great warming up last night. That happens a lot and guys will still go out there and give you  five, six, seven innings and a great outing. He went out for the second inning and just didn’t feel great, just dead. No sharp pain, nothing like that. Just the ball wasn’t coming out and wasn’t feeling good. He certainly didn’t look good from where I was sitting.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0201.  O'Rourke to have season-ending elbow surgery
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
April 26, 2017

Arlington, TX: Twins lefthanded reliever Ryan O’Rourke has discovered that a magnetic resonance imaging exam does not always detect injuries.

O’Rourke’s season is over after he was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow — thanks to the MRI. Once he settles on an orthopedist, he will have season-ending surgery. He asked if there was any way he could avoid surgery, and was told there was not.

“If I could put a two-month timeline on it, I would say that,” O’Rourke said. “There’s reality, and it is a lot longer than that.”

O’Rourke ruled out any chance of a modified procedure that would enable him to return to action sooner. He’s looking at pitching again in early 2018.

O’Rourke was diagnosed with a strained flexor pronator mass near his elbow during spring training. An MRI revealed no structural damage, so O’Rourke started a throwing program. Discomfort persisted, and O’Rourke sought a second opinion. He flew to Texas with the team so he could be examined by Dr. Keith Meister.

He got answers, just not the ones he wanted.

“The first MRI, everything they showed me, I agreed with,” O’Rourke said. “And we put dye in my arm and it didn’t leak anywhere.”

Injecting dye into the area can help detect tears.

“They couldn’t see a leak, I couldn’t see a leak. So it was read correctly,” O’Rourke said. “The second one we did, the dye didn’t leak again. But what we delved into deeper, it made complete sense. I think my arm has been through a lot in 28 years of throwing. A lot of scar tissue has built up there. The dye is not going to leak through the scar tissue, but things could still be torn in there, which obviously was the case.”

O’Rourke was 0-1 with a 3.96 ERA in 26 games with the Twins last season. He was battling for a bullpen role in camp when he was injured.

“We were all holding on to a little hope that he could get a couple options to how he should proceed rather than undergo the Tommy John procedure,’’ Twins manager Paul Molitor said.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0202.  Ray Frosti recommended I contact you

Thank you, Dr. Marshall.

I apologize if I misrepresented what I read about you, because I know on your website you have answered questions from just about anybody who asks you anything about pitching and have done so for years, so the general perception that's out there about you does not jive with what you are clearly really all about.

So, let me start with a few questions if you don't mind:

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1. Tell me about 1974.

You set a record for relief appearances (106) and innings pitched for a reliever (208).

You won the Cy Young award and led the Dodgers to the world series, where you lost to a legendary A's team, but you personally performed tremendously.

Today's relief pitchers don't come close to that workload, and your record has stood for 42 years.

How did you do it (mentally and physically)?

Also, do you have any regrets about 1974?

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     The way that I tolerated mentally and physically was that I designed a pitching motion that eliminated all physical stress. The more that I pitched, the easier to pitch. When I did not pitch the night before, I threw batting practice to the non-starters. The more that I threw, the more skilled I was. Not pitching was the problem.

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2. Obviously, you wanted the ball every day in 1974 and tied a record for most consecutive game appearances (13) in addition to the overall amazing workload.

Did you ever have any shoulder or elbow issues or any other physical issues to overcome that season?

If not, do you credit your unique motion you learned through your study of kinesiology?

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     The pitching motion I designed removed made pitching easy.

     Kinesiology showed me the way.

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3. Why do you think your style of throwing has not caught on?

Are pitching coaches/managers just not savvy enough to understand your methods, or is there something deeper to this?

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     'Traditional' pitching coaches refused to learn my pitching motion.

     They did not know the difference the Latissimus Dorsi muscle and the Pectoralis Major muscle.

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4. What was your relationship like with Walter Alston?

Was he ever reluctant to use you in 1974?

Did he care about your well-being, or was he just going to ride the horse as long as he could, your health be damned?

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     When I arrived in Spring Training, Walter told me that he had taken a Kinesiology class. He told me to tell him when he needed a day off.

     I told Walter that I will never take a day off. It keeps me sharp.

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5. A lot has been written about your "curmudgeonly" demeanor and that you always spoke your mind, which allegedly alienated you with some teammates.

How do you respond to that?

Do you have relationships with any former teammates today?

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     From my birth, I had hearing problems. A hearing test in fourth grade ended with an operation. The operation destroyed my hearing worse with loud ringing in my ears. I have tolerated the loud ringing to this day.

     On every team I played, they voted me the team representative.

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6. You had a 14 year career.

Who were your favorite teammates and why?

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     Pitching major league baseball was for play. Earning my doctoral degree was important. I spent my time on the road studying. Hearing minimized my conversations.

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7. Who was the best hitter you faced in your career?

Who was the best all-around player you ever saw?

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     I pitched for fun, not thinking about players.

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8. You played against some of the greatest players ever (Clemente, Mays, Aaron).

Was there any batter you feared, or did you have confidence you could get out anybody if you pitched them the right way?

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     I recorded every batter's At Bats and wrote the six pitch sequences I would use.

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9. You weren't an overpowering closer like a Goose Gossage, or like Aroldis Chapman today, but you were a fantastic pitcher nonetheless.

Did you study the opposing batters tendencies, or did you just pitch your own sequence and essentially outsmart whoever stepped in to face you?

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     Pitching should be skill, not power. Pitch sequences change with the batters.

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10. What was your mentality while you were taking the ball so often?

Did you do anything to pump yourself up, did you have a mantra?

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     After every At Bat, I wrote the pitch sequence for the next At Bat.

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11.  When you were with the Twins and 36 years old in your 12th season, you made 90 appearances and pitched 136 innings with only 1 start and led the league with 32 saves.

How did handle that workload so late in your career?

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     The more that I pitched, the better the results. Being the player representative ended my career.

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12. You pitched 18 more years after you retired from pro baseball (until you were approximately 56 years old).

Did you experience any arm issues at all during that time, or were you healthy the entire time?

If so, do you credit your in depth understanding of human physiology?

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     If I had not tried to catch a falling free standing closet, I would have pitched for years. Unfortunately, I tore my Supraspinatus.

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13. What do you think of professional pitchers today in general and the epidemic of Tommy John surgeries?

Do you think if MLB pitchers adopted your philosophy that ulnar injuries would be virtually eliminated?

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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     The Ulnar Collateral Ligament cannot move the Ulna bone tightly to the Humerus bone, the Pronator Teres muscle can.

     Surgery is a waste.

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14. You had a hand in 285 wins in your 14 year career as a starter and reliever combined, obviously a tremendous career and your Cy Young season and overall endurance were incredible.

Do you think you'll ever get the hall of fame recognition you deserve, say from the veterans committee vote?

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     I have better things to do, like teach pitchers to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, not the over the Index finger.

     For over one hundred and fifty years, pitching coaches have destroyed the pitchers elbow joint.

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15. You faced Pete Rose.

Do you think he belongs in the HOF based on what he did on the field, or should he be banned for life?

What would you do if you were the commissioner with his situation?

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     I don't think about it.

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16. Who do you respect most in the current game as a player?

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     I don't think about it.

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17. What do you think of the efforts MLB is making to speed up the game?

Do you believe in the no-pitch intentional walk (disclosure: I personally am a purest, I hate it)?

Do you believe in instant replay?

Are there any additional changes you would make to the game?

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     I don't think about it.

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18. Do you agree with Goose Gossage that the worship for Mariano Rivera is overblown because he essentially had one inning saves which doesn't compare to the things you had to do in your era?

Do you consider Rivera the greatest closer of all time?

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     I don't think about it.

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19. Do you think the players who excelled during the steroid era, particularly Bonds, A-Rod, McGwire, Palmeiro, Clemens and Sosa, should be banned from HOF consideration, or were they just victims of circumstance since so many players were juicing at that time in order to maximize their talent?

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     How can players use steroids and feel good about themselves.

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20. What would you like people today to know about you?

Are the critical perceptions of you unfair, do care about your Professional legacy in the game, or have your contributions to the game through your teaching camps, coaching, etc. been enough for you?

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     I want baseball to eliminate destroying the elbow joint. I can show them how in five minutes.

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Ray and I had some interesting discussions about different, unorthodox coaching methods you have outside of pitching.

For instance, he mentioned you had a rule with teams you coached that no batter in your lineup was allowed to swing at a pitch until they had at least 2 strikes in the count the entire first time through your order?

Is that true?

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     Baseball is a team game. For the first two batters in the first two innings to take two strikes gives the team makes sure that batters have seen those pitches.

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If so, what was your thinking there, because to my way of thinking, what if the pitcher doesn't have his best stuff in the first inning and you blew an opportunity to do some major damage with the bats, and by waiting until you have 2 strikes you're putting yourself in a hole?

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     I prefer my batters take two strikes and not chase a pitch in the dirt or over their head.

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Were there any other unique strategies you can share that you are most proud of?

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     Hit one hop line drives in the opposite infield wins games, not long fly balls.

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Thank you in advance, Dr. Marshall.

If you don't have the time to answer all of these questions, I certainly understand, so feel free to answer the ones you are most comfortable with.

Like I said, my goal is to let today's generation of baseball fans know how incredible some of your accomplishments were, but also to get your perspective on what may be an unfair characterization of you, and hopefully set the record straight on what the Pro game meant/means to you, especially in the era you played in.

I also personally think your accomplishments warrant re-consideration for the HOF, and certainly as they stack up against this era of specialization in pitching today (starter, middle reliever, innings eater, set up man, closer.... innings limits, pitch count limits, appearance limits, etc., versus a guy who literally wanted the ball every single day, and often got it!).

Also, if there's anything else you would like to add, or anything you'd like to get off your chest, I'm all ears.

You should know also, It's been my great honor to have this opportunity to ask you these questions.

Thank you very much.

Yours Sincerely,

Rick Bueti


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0203.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (4/22-28)

SATURDAY (4/22)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 291.93
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.16
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.60
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.22

  SUNDAY (4/23)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 284.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.05
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.53
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 24.10

MON (4/24)--9 games
Average number of pitches per game: 292.89
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.01
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.11
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 20.00

TUE (4/25)--12 games
Average number of pitches per game: 304.58
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.61
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.17
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 28.38

WED (4/26)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 311.86
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.39
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.79
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 29.47

THU (4/27)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 280.27
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.49
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.82
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 17.19

FRI (4/28)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 294.33
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.54
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.47
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 15.46


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     Thank you.

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0204.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 4/22-28/2017

  No out: 458
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None on: 346
Runner at first: 55
Runners at first and second: 20
Runners at first and third: 5
Bases loaded: 7
Runner at second: 16
Runners at second and third: 2
Runner at third: 7

One out: 473
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None on: 279
Runner at first: 88
Runners at first and second: 26
Runners at first and third: 10
Bases loaded: 13
Runner at second: 31
Runners at second and third: 16
Runner at third: 10

Two outs: 516
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None on: 246
Runner at first: 94
Runners at first and second: 52
Runners at first and third: 20
Bases loaded: 20
Runner at second: 47
Runners at second and third: 19
Runner at third: 18


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     Thank you.

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0205.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 1832/8872 (20.65%)
------------
None on: 1382/6395 (21.61%)
Runner at first: 238/1367 (17.41%)
Runners at first and second: 77/338 (22.78%)
Runners at first and third: 22/107 (20.56%)
Bases loaded: 21/92 (22.83%)
Runner at second: 64/431 (14.85%)
Runners at second and third: 18/89 (20.22%)
Runner at third: 10/53 (18.87%)

One out: 1855/8678 (21.38%)
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None on: 1097/4702 (23.33%)
Runner at first: 321/1705 (18.83%)
Runners at first and second: 109/614 (17.75%)
Runners at first and third: 50/276 (18.12%)
Bases loaded: 47/259 (18.15%)
Runner at second: 140/659 (21.24%)
Runners at second and third: 40/219 (18.26%)
Runner at third: 51/244 (20.90%)

Two outs: 1878/8268 (22.71%)
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None on: 907/3760 (24.12%)
Runner at first: 353/1665 (21.20%)
Runners at first and second: 165/742 (22.24%)
Runners at first and third: 71/307 (23.13%)
Bases loaded: 57/280 (20.36%)
Runner at second: 193/869 (22.21%)
Runners at second and third: 63/254 (24.80%)
Runner at third: 69/391 (17.65%)


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     Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, May 07, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0206.  Ray Frosti recommended I contact you

Thank you so much for answering my questions.

I will send you a copy of the article should it be published.

Thanks also for your baseball innovations.

I continue to see injury after injury with pitchers (Noah Syndergard just today) which would be curtailed using your philosophy.

My brother thinks it's all a big scam.

After all, what would all the doctors who perform Tommy John surgery do if there were no more patients?  

All the best to you and thank you again.


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     That 'traditional' pitching coaches teach an injury that destroys the elbow joint is worth suing them.

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0207.  Ray Frosti recommended I contact you

I've written an initial draft for my article and can email it to you if you're interested.

However, I do have one more follow up question if you don't mind.

You mentioned that being a player representative ended your career.

Would you mind elaborating on that?

I'm assuming you were cast aside because you were a union rep, but I don't want to make any assumptions.

Please humor me if you wouldn't mind.

Thank you again so much.


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     We were having a difficult time getting the owners to meet our needs. In a meeting with the team's representatives, I offered that the players strike in the last week of spring training and strike again on Memorial Day.

     After Memorial Day, I heard that in a month, the owners were going get rid of me, which they did. I had a contract for 1979, 1980 and 1981. Calvin Griffin had to get help for other teams to cover my salary for 1980 and 1981. I had a 1982 salary that was not guaranteed. Marvin Miller reneged on his pledge to make player representative unable to fire.

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0208.  Jeff Passan read the Marshall Project

Whoa!

Did you get funded, Doc?!


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     In 1967, I knew that when I threw sliders I banged the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, I lost 12 degrees of extension and 12 degrees of flexion ranges of motion.

     In my Baseball Pitchers Instruction Video, I put in 'Research Begins' to explain what caused the damage to my elbow joint.

     For 'Research Begins,' click on https://www.youtube.com/embed/8uHZ46nYfVQ Research Begins

     When pitchers release their breaking pitches over the Index finger, they destroyed their elbow joint.

     My Elbow X-Rays of Two Major League Pitchers detailed the damage to pitchers.

     In 2005, Dr. Rick Wright research paper showed the damage to the elbow joint.

     I think my research made it clear that the over the Index finger breaking pitches must be banned.

     For the impossible to understand, we could measure the lost extension and flexion elbow joint ranges of motion during spring training, but I believe the lost the ranges of motion, loose bodies, bone spurs and fractured olecranon process is enough to show why we have to ban the technique.

     All pitching coaches need to do is use a straight driveline between second base and home plate and release the breaking pitches under the Middle finger and pitchers will never destroy their elbow joint.

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0209.  sons elbow

I reached out to you because I've Been Told by many others in the baseball world that you are a professional with the best advice possible and regards to my son's arm Health.

He's recently complained of elbow discomfort on the inside.

Today he was given X-rays of both elbows and I was curious in your free time if you would be able to look at them and tell me what you thought.

The elbow that's in question is his left elbow which is on the right side of the picture.


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     The X-ray showed an opening in the lateral epicondyle.

     This injury is possible for tennis players.

     The lateral epicondyle epiphysis appears at twelve biological years and matures at fourteen biological years.

     With that large opening in the lateral growth plate, my recommend is for this young man wait until the lateral epicondyle completely matures.

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0210.  Ray Frosti recommended I contact you

I'm sorry, I'm confused.

You pitched (very well) for the Mets when you were signed in August following the 1981 strike.

When did the owners decide to ban you?

Was it following the 1981 season and was it due to your support for the 1981 strike?

When did you advocate for the strike since you were unsigned at the beginning of the 1981 season I believe?

Sorry, I just want to be clear on the timing, but I have no doubt the ban happened after 1981 as you were still pitching at a very high level and it's unfathomable that another team didn't sign you afterwards.


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     Two weeks after 1980 Memorial Day, Major League Baseball banned me.

     After the strike was ending, a couple of Major League pitchers injured themselves, so Joe Torre asked me if I was ready to pitch.

     After 14 months of not touching a baseball, I told Joe that I would be to go with two weeks.

     As you noted, I pitched well.

     Unfortunately, the Mets fired Joe and with Joe gone, the Mets fire me.

     I got an invite to the Yankees spring training, but I have daughters starting college and in high school and my ex-wife taking what she could and returned to East Lansing, MI.

     So, I decided to take care of my kids.

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0211.  My Baseball Pitcher is reading my Project Proposal Form et al

Read some good stuff in those papers.

One thing that stood out to me was that taking the ball too far laterally behind you will result in releasing breaking pitches over the index finger.

My curve ball is getting harder now.

I've stopped worrying so much about what my arm and hand does and pick a spot to throw it at as hard as I can.

I keep doing the lid drills as much as I can and let those take care of the muscle memory.

1. With the lid drills is there a limit to how many reps I should be doing each day in season with the pronation snap lid drill throws?

(This is the drill up close to a net just working on the pronation snap recoil with no pendulum swing)

2. Also is a good cue for aiming my acromial line lower raising my pendulum swing higher?

Meaning starting my driveline higher at a downward angle.

Missing a few sinkers up too often.


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01. You should throw a minimum of 12. However, if you do not feel the 'pronation snap,' then throw until you feel do sharp.

02. You should keep your at driveline height which is the height of the vertical elbow. If you go higher or lower, then you will move your pitching hand down or up, it should stay horizontal at driveline height.

    Everything else you mentioned was great.

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0212.  Top Velocity Brent Pourceau is uneducated

Yes Sir!!!

With facts for sure.

Thank you for educating us!

No longer is pitching strong and preventing injuries a mystery for us.

For all of my life since I first started pitching when I was 11 years old I have heard the same old cliches.

"He is a natural".

"Some guys got it, and some don't".

"He doesn't get sore because I guess he has a rubber arm".

"I can't explain it.

I guess the guy is a freak".

"Throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion".

The same old worn out excuses from 50 years ago are still circulating around baseball.

But now we know what causes injuries and how to prevent them while throwing at our maximum genetic capabilities.

It's great!!!!!!


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     If pitchers release their breaking pitches under their Middle finger, then they will keep their elbow joint intact.

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0213.  Gary Green M.D. told me when the next MLB research meeting in July
Subject: Re: The elbow joint is safe forever.

Thanks for submitting and they will be reviewed at the next research meeting in July.

We usually are able to give authors a decision within a month or so of our meeting in late July.

I have forwarded your proposals to John D'Angelo our research coordinator.


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Hi Gary Green M.D.

     Just tell me when and where and my wife and I will be there.

     Sincerely,

Mike Marshall Ph.D.

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0214.  Elbow injuries in adolescent throwers
Hanford Sentinel
April 19, 2017
by Lance Hairabedian

It is spring and baseball fans, parents, and children are excited by the start of Major League Baseball and Little League seasons. Even parents and grandparents get excited for the start of Tee Ball. America’s pastime is here and everyone wants to start throwing the baseball or softball around.

Injuries and injury prevention are a part of every sport, but do we really know or understand the history of specific throwing injuries particularly at the elbow joint? For this column, we will examine two significant elbow injuries in youth league baseball players and MLB. Youth league elbow can be a devastating but recoverable condition in adolescent and pre-adolescent baseball players. Ulnar collateral ligament strains can end a MLB player’s season and quite possibly a career. Both can be devastating to the athlete, but they can also be avoided if recognized early.

Youth leaguer elbow is defined by inflammation of the growth plate (apophysis) on the inner side of the elbow (medial epicondyle). Medically referred to as Medial epicondyle apophysitis. Since the natural overhead throwing motion places stress on the medial elbow (inside of the elbow) proper throwing mechanics are encouraged as well as limiting the number of pitches by a young thrower. Even if the athlete has good mechanics, this area is still vulnerable to injury in the adolescent thrower because of the stress to the growth plate. According to Dr. John A. Schlechter, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and Sports Medicine specialist, the elbow growth plate typically closes in girls between 14 to 17 years of age and 16 to 18 years of age in boys. Girls aren’t immune to this injury, but boys have been more vulnerable over the years.

There are several things that parents and coaches can do to protect against youth leaguer’s elbow. One of the best things you can do is count the number of pitches he/she takes in a game. In 2007, Little League baseball adopted rules and guidelines for the number of pitches that should be allowed in a game and how many rest days before they pitch again.  Pitch counts are important; however, a coach or parent can also teach proper throwing mechanics and look out for medial (inside) elbow pain, or swelling. Not all elbow pain means that they have an injury, it might just be they are tired and need to rest. However, persistent medial elbow pain should be an indication to see your physician and possibly and get X -ray.

According to Glenn S. Fleisig and James R. Andrews (2012), pitching while fatigued and pitching for concurrent teams are also associated with increased risk. Pitchers who also play catcher have an increased injury risk, perhaps due to the quantity of throws playing catcher adds to the athlete’s arm. Interestingly, these same researchers found that throwing a curve ball at a young age may not contribute to any higher incidence of elbow injuries. Pitchers who threw curveballs before 13 years old were no more likely to be injured than pitchers who began after 13 years of age. The emphasis was on proper throwing mechanics and pitch count.

Advice for parents should emphasize throwing mechanics, pitch count, awareness of other positions throwing count, nutrition, hydration, and skeletal maturity. Pre-adolescent and early adolescent male’s skeletal growth is often faster than their musculature can adapt. Therefore, it is important to watch for growth spurts, and develop strength throughout their growing years. By observing these precautions and regular consulting with your Coach, Doctor, Athletic Trainer, or Physical Therapist, you can reduce the potential risk factors for injuries such as ”Little League elbow.”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     When pitchers release their breaking pitches over the top of the Index finger, they will destroy the elbow joint.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0215.  Miller announces he'll have Tommy John surgery
Arizona Republic
April 30, 2017

Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller said he’ll undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, a decision he said he reached after determining the conservative route was fraught with too much uncertainty.

Miller said he’ll have the surgery “probably as soon as possible,” and likely will be sidelined for at least 12 months.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Miller said. “I want to be a part of this team so bad this year. Obviously, I won’t be. That’s tough to deal with. But I’m looking right now to get healthy, do it right and I have the right people around me to help me with all of it.”

Miller experienced tightness in his forearm during his start last Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and tests revealed a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament as well as a flexor tendon strain.

The ligament wasn’t torn completely, leaving open the possibility for Miller to try to rest and rehab the injury in hopes of avoiding surgery. He said he “took everything into consideration” and decided that surgery is “the most logical thing to do,” given his age, his career trajectory and his timeframe for a return.

“If I tried to take the conservative route and it didn’t end up working out, I could possibly miss two years,” Miller said. “If I do it right now with no questions asked, feeling pretty good coming back, I’ll be throwing bullpens around spring training time. I’ll be right there with the team, which is ultimately what makes the most sense to me.”

Miller said he spoke with a handful of big league pitchers, including Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, Garrett Richards and teammate Patrick Corbin, all of whom have dealt with elbow problems. All but Richards ultimately underwent surgery.

He also consulted with numerous doctors. One told him he had a 50-50 chance of successfully rehabbing the injury. Another said it was more like 25 percent. Miller said the “odds weren’t very appealing to me,” particularly with the downside being that he misses not only the rest of this season but all of next year, as well.

Tommy John surgery, in which the ulnar collateral ligament is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the patient’s body, carries a return rate of roughly 80 percent. Though the surgery previously had a return date of about 12 months, teams have been increasingly conservative in their rehab programs, often aiming for 13-15 months. Either way, a return sometime in the second half of 2018 seems within reason for Miller.

“I think I’m going to dominate the rehab process as much as I can,” he said. “There’s certain players that can get back in certain amount of times. I know the protocol is a little longer these days. I’m going to do it right. … I’m going to do everything I can to get back as soon as possible.”

Miller said the surgery likely will be performed by Los Angeles-based orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache, from whom Miller received a second opinion on Tuesday.

Miller is in his second of four arbitration-eligible years, and he said his place in baseball’s earnings structure was a consideration, particularly given what missing all of 2018 might have meant.

“That would have been worst-case scenario where I would have tried to rehab it and if it didn’t work out, I’d eat into two years,” he said. “Then I’d be going into one year before free agency with a lot of questions being asked.”

Miller’s injury comes just as he had started to put his ugly 2016 season behind him and had been looking more like the pitcher the Diamondbacks thought they were acquiring when they paid handsomely to land him in a trade with the Atlanta Braves two offseasons ago. Miller had a 4.09 ERA through four starts, displaying far more electric stuff than he had last season.

“It sucks because I was feeling good and throwing the ball well,” Miller said. “But I’m trying to get back as soon as possible.”


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0216.  Mets' Syndergaard latest pitcher injured in a 'system that's flawed
USA Today
May 01, 2017

The New York Mets want us to believe it’s simply a coincidence.

They tell us it’s just a matter of rotten luck, with a dizzying array of pitching injuries, year after year.

We’re supposed to feel sorry for them, unfair for one organization to endure all of this heartache.

Just wondering, but when does the time come for the Mets to accept responsibility?

The Mets once again slammed with the news on Monday of a major injury to their pitching staff, this time with ace Noah Syndergaard going on the disabled list, sustaining a torn lat muscle in his right side

He’ll be sidelined for weeks, if not months. No one quite knows for sure. All we know is that it’s another blow to the Mets’ rotation, their third starter to go down in the first month of the season, threatening to ruin any hopes of a potential World Series title by Memorial Day.

“It was the perfect storm for the Mets," Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz told USA TODAY Sports. “They got all of these guys who emptied their tank. They have some of the most dynamic arms I’ve ever seen in the game, and the problem is I won’t see them as long as I want to."

“I’m not blaming the players, but they’re being rewarded in a system that’s flawed. These pitchers come up and they’re not developed. They have no base under them. They know only one speed, and it’s to go all out. And if they can’t throw as hard as they can, they don’t know how to deal with it.

This isn’t specifically a condemnation of the Mets’ organization, but an industry-wide malady, Smoltz says, that has turned into an epidemic that’s sweeping the Major Leagues.

“The sad thing is that the people who matter the most," Smoltz says, “don’t care enough to change it. They think there’s enough arms out there that they can keep picking up guys, like there’s a factory of arms behind them. So they keep rushing guys who aren’t developed.

“At some point, you’re going to run out of pitching."

The Mets are facing that harsh reality right now, scrambling to fill out their rotation. They may have the most electrifying pitching talent in the game — with the likes of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, “When you talk about talent, they’re way better than we were," says Smoltz, whose teams won 14 consecutive division titles, with fellow Hall of Fame starters Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. “Their stuff blows us away. It was sickening how much they can dominate.

Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler — but if they can’t stay healthy, you’re forced to turn to the likes of Rafael Montero, who is yielding a 9.45 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas.

“But they can’t pitch 10 years like that. No way. And now every single one of them have had to spend time on the DL." Someone has to stand up and tell Syndergaard it’s not cool to bulk up and gain 17 pounds of muscle, show up in spring training, and tell everyone that you’re going to try to throw 100 mph every pitch.

When Syndergaard can’t make his scheduled start last Thursday, complaining of biceps tendinitis, you can’t allow him to refuse an MRI, even permitting him to take the mound three days later, throwing the ball 100 mph.

When he lasts just 1 1/3 innings, clutching his arm walking off the field, and the news comes down from doctors that it’s a torn lat, you can’t stand there and act as if nothing could have prevented it.

It’s inexcusable.

GM Sandy Alderson said Monday he was told by doctors that Syndergaard’s injury was unrelated to his biceps soreness, but come on, how realistic is that? They refuse to give a timetable for his return, but it’ll be irresponsible if he returns at any time before June.

The most frightening part of all is that when Syndergaard returns to the rotation, it might be only a matter of time before he breaks down again, relying on his 100-mph fastball, instead of becoming a true pitcher.

“You have to be careful about extrapolating generalities from a particular situation," Alderson told reporters Monday before the Mets’ game against the Atlanta Braves. “Noah is a big guy, he’s a big strong guy. Did that contribute to this situation? It’s conceivable.

“But I think it’s hard to speculate at this point about generally what’s happening with pitchers, and whether at some point less is more."

Really? Isn’t it obvious by now? Go ahead, take a look at some of the greatest, most dependable pitchers in the world. When you’re watching Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Madison Bumgarner and Felix Hernandez on the mound, do you ever see them throwing as hard as they possibly can every single pitch?

“When you hear about a guy getting bigger, stronger and throwing harder," Smoltz says, “you can’t help but think why?’’ Says Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly, 6-foot-1, 174 pounds, who also throws 99 mph: “Syndergaard looks like an NFL tight end. I look like a high-school math teacher."

Syndergaard happens to be 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, whose fastball last year averaged 98 mph, the fastest in baseball.

“I don’t think God made the arm to throw that hard, especially a guy like Syndergaard," Baltimore Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez says. “Everybody throws so hard now, and that puts even more stress on your arm. For me, I pray to God that I stay healthy.’’

And for pitchers to stay healthy, well, it’s about time teams look in the mirror and examine their own training methods. Maybe ask why Smoltz can throw nearly 3,700 innings in the regular season and postseason in his brilliant career, including 2,220 innings before ever undergoing surgery.

“I think somebody has got to be brave enough in an organization," Smoltz says, “to say, ‘The heck with this, we’re going to change this. We going to start investigating the way it as 10 to 15 years ago, and have the guts to get away from this analytical B.S.’

“You keep hearing a six-man rotation is next. That will only increase the injuries. They will only feel stronger, with no feel or touch. So now you have this whole machine feeding itself, seeing how hard we can throw.

“It’s insane.

“Something has to change."

It may be too late to save the Mets, but if nothing else, perhaps they can be the poster boys for baseball’s future. Speed can kill, even the most talented of pitching staffs.


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     The forearm bounce puts stress on the Teres Minor or the Serratus Anterior.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0217.  Houston Chronicle
May 02, 2017

Righthander Brady Rodgers, who represented starting pitching depth in Class AAA for the Astros, was lost for the season and probably at least half of next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery Tuesday morning in New York.

Rodgers, a 26-year-old Richmond native and former third-round draft pick, faces a long road ahead.

Reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament - better known as Tommy John surgery - typically comes with a 12-to-18 month recovery timetable. Renowned orthopedist David Altchek, who Rodgers visited Monday for a second opinion, performed the operation.

The injury leaves the Astros without a healthy starter in Class AAA who is already on their 40-man roster, though they do have three 40-man spots to play with if they want to add a pitcher. Long reliever Brad Peacock is most likely next in line to start if the Astros, already down Collin McHugh (elbow impingement), encounter another injury in their rotation.

"I think we feel like we've got a couple options already here that could start if needed, so there's not a strong sense of urgency to do something right away," general manager Jeff Luhnow said.


Mattingly was glad to have Wittgren back to add a fresh arm to the bullpen that can pitch multiple innings.

Wittgren’s unfortunate demotion to Triple-A on April 14 was a result of the Marlins finding themselves without enough available pitchers a day after their 16-inning game against the Mets. Wittgren, who pitched three perfect innings in that game, was the only pitcher the Marlins were able to option to the minors in order to call up a fresh arm.

Since he was sent down, Wittgren has pitched five scoreless innings in five appearances in the minors without a walk, struck out six and allowed only three hits.

“That last outing against the Mets really built up the confidence so just went down there and tried to build on that,” Wittgren said.

Astros  prospect Rodgers to undergo Tommy John surgery

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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0218.  Rangers lose Hamels for eight weeks with oblique strain
Dallas Morning News
May 03, 2017

HOUSTON - So much for the nasty 1-2 punch the Rangers starting rotation could deliver to opponents.

Cole Hamels is likely out until the All-Star break.

The sharp pain Hamels felt in his right side Tuesday night while warming up for a scheduled start at Houston was diagnosed Wednesday as a right oblique strain after an MRI exam. Hamels met with Rangers medical director Dr. Keith Meister, who confirmed the diagnosis. The team said Hamels will miss "approximately eight weeks."

"We've dealt with this before," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We've dealt with a lot worse than this before. We've been in this spot previously. It's not a blind attitude, that I think it's gonna get better, but I know we are going to work to make it better. It's a challenge, but one that we will push through."

It will be the longest stretch of time Hamels has missed due to an injury in his career.

  The Rangers recalled right-hander Anthony Bass from Triple-A Round Rock to replace Hamels on the roster. Bass had been sent out on April 28 and was only eligible to return for a player on the DL since he was optioned less than 10 days ago.

Hamels, 33, missed a month in 2007 with an elbow strain and ended up making only 28 starts. It was the last time he failed to make 30 starts or pitch at least 190 innings in a season.

It robs the Rangers of what was expected to be their top asset going into the season: A dynamic 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation with Yu Darvish and Hamels.

It is not terribly dissimilar from 2015 when the Rangers lost Darvish for the season in spring training and lost Derek Holland for the first four months during his first start. They came back to win the AL West.

"There are certain waves [of emotion] that are going to move across the clubhouse," manager Jeff Banister said.  "You need those type of players out there performing for you because they are elite performers. However, there are times when those kinds of things can galvanize a club and put them back into the spot where they need to be where they perform best: as a group. These type of things allow a team to draw closer because of the necessity of it all.  They have been through this before. It's not new to them."

It also leaves the Rangers' pitching staff scrambling. A.J. Griffin, who will be activated on Thursday, will replace Hamels in the rotation. But the immediate move was to recall Bass to give them a long relief option for Wednesday after Alex Claudio replaced Hamels on a few moments notice Tuesday and threw a career-high 65 pitches. On Thursday, the Rangers will have to make another move in order to create room for Griffin. That very likely could be Bass, but it would also leave the Rangers short-handed in long relief in the short-term.

With Hamels out, the Rangers rotation is now Darvish, Martin Perez, Andrew Cashner, Nick Martinez and Griffin.

The Rangers are awaiting the return of Tyson Ross. Ross' recovery from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome has been slowed by back spasms, but he has thrown off a mound twice in the last four days.  It is not likely Ross would be an option for the rotation before the end of May - and that might be an aggressive schedule.


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     To separate the hips rotation from the shoulder rotation places great stress on the Oblique Internus Abdominis.

     To prevent injuring the Oblique Internus Abdominis, pitchers need to rotate the hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot.

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0219.  Volquez goes on DL, only expected to miss one start
Miami Herald
May 03, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL: The thumb blister that ended Edinson Volquez’s oddly historic outing Tuesday night has landed him on the disabled list.

The Marlins placed the veteran starting pitcher on the 10-day DL Wednesday and recalled reliever Nick Wittgren from Triple A New Orleans.

Volquez, who has gone 0-4 with a 4.71 ERA through six starts (28 2/3 innings) in his first season with the Marlins, will miss his next scheduled start Sunday in New York.

The Marlins are hopeful he can return by his next scheduled turn in the rotation which would be May 13 at home against the Braves.

“It’s not the first time I’ve had this,” Volquez said. “They decided to give me more time to recover.”

It’s the first time Volquez has been placed on the disabled list since 2009 when he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said having the option of a 10-day DL stint this season as opposed to the 15-day option made the decision easier.

“The blister was pretty substantial and our biggest concern is trying to make sure next time he goes out there it’s not an inning and this thing blows up,” Mattingly said. “We want to give it a chance to make sure this thing is gone.”

Mattingly has not named a starter for Sunday’s game, but mentioned it could be either Jose Urena making a spot start or someone from the minors the team would call up.

Justin Nicolino, who was in the mix to land one of the spots in the starting rotation in spring training, is a possibility since he also pitched Tuesday in New Orleans.

Nicolino (7-10, 4.73 in 25 career starts) has gone 1-2 with a 3.58 ERA in six Triple-A starts this year.

Urena has made five appearances this season (14 1/3 innings) with a 2.51 ERA in a long relief role, but is 4-13 with a 5.33 ERA in 21 career starts.

“It’ll depend on what happens the next couple of days,” Mattingly said.


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     To prevent blisters, pitchers need to sand the Index and Middle fingertips to the same as the end of these finger, apply lotion and sand down any calluses.

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0220.  Elbow injuries in major league throwers
Hanford Sentinel
May 03, 2017

Part I of elbow injuries in throwers discussed Little League Elbow. A potentially serious injury in adolescent throwers.

Part II will focus on the Major League Baseball pitcher and the seeming rise in “Tommy John” surgeries. There are several hypotheses of the increase in this injury and the need for a surgical reconstruction. We will give an overview of the injury pathology and surgical repair.

Tommy John was an All-Star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s who injured his elbow. It was determined that he had torn his ulnar collateral ligament. (UCL) The reconstruction of the UCL was first performed by Dr. Frank Jobe of the famed Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Southern California. It took months of rehabilitation, but John made a full recovery and successfully continued his Hall of Fame career.

The same mechanism of injury that causes Little League elbow, is essentially the same that causes UCL tears. Either poor throwing mechanics or overuse stress on the elbow can cause microtrauma to UCL. This microtrauma leads to pain and instability of the elbow joint.

Symptoms include:

Pain on the inside of the elbow
A sense of looseness or instability in the elbow
Irritation of the "funny bone" (ulnar nerve): This is felt as tingling or numbness in the small finger and ring finger.
Decreased ability to throw a baseball or other object

Interestingly, it is rare that this injury disrupts non-throwing activity. Most athletes can continue to lift weights, run, and sometimes bat.

Non-surgical options include: rest, ice non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) i.e. ibuprofen, Naproxyn sodium, and Celebrex. Physical therapy treatment might consist of exercise, manual therapy, and therapeutic modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, laser light therapy. Recently, treatment with platelet rich plasma or (PRP) has been a preferred choice by many athletes. J.S. Dines, P.N. Williams, N. Elattrache (2016) concluded that PRP was beneficial in treating 4 out of the 6 Major League players with moderately torn UCLs. To find out more about treating UCL tears, refer to their study. http://www.mdedge.com/amjorthopedics key search words PRP and UCL.

Non-surgical options are favorable in mild to moderate UCL tears, because there is a much shorter down time. It is estimated that the average return to pitching in a Major-League baseball pitcher following Tommy John surgery is around 70-80 percent and rehabilitation takes from 12- 16 months to return to full participation. Depending on when (pre-season through post-season) the injury is diagnosed and based on the severity of the tear, might determine the choice treatment.

The last several years have seen a rise in Tommy John surgeries in Major League Baseball pitchers. Tommy John surgeries in Major League Baseball by Year: 2016 (20), 2015 (30), 2014 (30), 2013 (25), 2012 (46). There are already 5 more in 2017 and the baseball season is in its first quarter. This increase of surgical procedures has been explained in several ways. One theory is that there are more surgeons capable of performing the procedure with greater confidence of a positive outcome.

This can be enticing for a pitcher that is facing a decision of retiring vs. surgery with rehab. Other reasons can trace back to youth baseball and the pitch count. Many young pitchers throw year-round now. Noted sports orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews says that even pitchers in their early twenties have already thrown too much placing undo stress on the UCL.

Even with lowering their pitch count in the off season of younger and older athletes, it is simply too much force on the elbow. The athlete needs rest.

We can summarize prevention of elbow injuries in adolescent and professional by pitch count, throwing mechanics, and physical conditioning. Regardless, of the success of the pitcher, their protection is up to their coaches or parents to limit their throwing and follow the youth baseball guidelines. Throwing mechanics are important because poor timing can put additional stress on the elbow. Physical conditioning including flexibility and core strength in important because it sets up the athlete throw with more consistency. Therefore, many MLB pitchers come into the league with elbow injuries that just haven’t manifested themselves. It is important for young throwers and the professional to pay attention to elbow pain and seek out medical attention early. Further debate and discussion should continue among baseball coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists and sports medicine physicians to both protect the future of baseball and, of course, the young thrower's arm.

Lance Hairabedian EdM, PTA is a physical therapist assistant at Alliance Health in Fresno


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

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0221.  House says that Syndergaard injury was something 'waiting to happen'
Business Insider
May 03, 2017

The New York Mets may be without Noah Syndergaard for three months.

The Mets are getting a second opinion on Syndergaard's torn lat muscle after one doctor estimated that it would take three months to heal.

Syndergaard's injury comes after he pitched just four outs on Sunday before having to be pulled with shoulder pain. That came after he was scratched from a Thursday start with bicep pain and then later refused an MRI on his arm.

To famous pitching coach and NFL quarterback guru Tom House, this injury was "waiting to happen." Syndergaard reportedly added 17 pounds of muscle while giving his arm a break over the offseason. House said in February that Syndergaard's offseason of lifting weights and not throwing was bad news.

"Unfortunately, this is an injury waiting to happen by the second week of June. Unless you're picking up a ball while you're getting stronger, you're just adding muscle that doesn't know how to throw. It's unskilled muscle ... There's a 60 to 63 percent likelihood [of getting injured]. I'm sure he feels great today, I'm sure he's throwing well. But what he's done is the worst-case scenario."

House, who was a pitching coach with the Texas Rangers and is credited with extending Nolan Ryan's career, according to Klapisch, believes throwing every day keeps a pitcher's arm flexible. While Syndergaard, like many modern pitchers, believed rest for the arm was in order, House believes the opposite.

"The best-case scenario is that he added 17 pounds of skilled muscle that's trained to throw. But he didn't. That’s why I'm concerned about this."

House also said it after Syndergaard's injury and expressed regret. "I hate being right about these kinds of things."

Syndergaard, who combines insane power — he was still hitting 100 miles per hour on the day of his injury — with several skilled pitches, like his nearly unhittable slider is not unfamiliar with these concerns. Told of House's concerns, Syndergaard told Klapsich, "I get what [House] is saying. He might be right if I was bunched up and tight. But my arm is loose, my flexibility is good. I'm not worried." He added that Nolan Ryan lifted weights, too.

Concerns over Syndergaard's power were also raised last season. One GM told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, "Physical freaks come along once a generation. He's either that or this is not sustainable. The odds tell you that it's not sustainable."

The Mets have been going through a brutal patch of injuries, and now, they may be without perhaps their top pitcher until July. Syndergaard is just 24, but going forward, the Mets are going to have to take special care to monitor his arm and his throwing to help him reach his considerably high ceiling.


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     The forearm bounce puts stress on the Teres Minor or the Serratus Anterior.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0222.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Number & Strikeout Breakdown (4/29-5/5/17)

SATURDAY (4/29)--13 games
Average number of pitches per game: 297.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.64
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.77
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 24.00

  SUNDAY (4/30)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 314.73
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.92
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 7.33
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 26.36

MON (5/1)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 292.18
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.15
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.36
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 37.29

TUE (5/2)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 309.80
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.60
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.07
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 24.18

WED (5/3)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 305.93
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.34
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.93
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 31.33

THU (5/4)--11 games
Average number of pitches per game: 324.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.30
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 7.00
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.08

FRI (5/5)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 308.87
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.91
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.93
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 23.08


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     Thank you.

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0223.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 4/29-5/5/2017

No out: 528
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None on: 364
Runner at first: 92
Runners at first and second: 28
Runners at first and third: 3
Bases loaded: 7
Runner at second: 23
Runners at second and third: 7
Runner at third: 4

One out: 530
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None on: 299
Runner at first: 107
Runners at first and second: 38
Runners at first and third: 10
Bases loaded: 13
Runner at second: 40
Runners at second and third: 14
Runner at third: 9

Two outs: 531
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None on: 240
Runner at first: 107
Runners at first and second: 44
Runners at first and third: 20
Bases loaded: 25
Runner at second: 54
Runners at second and third: 19
Runner at third: 22


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     Thank you.

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0224.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 2360/11413 (20.68%)
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None on: 1746/8175 (21.36%)
Runner at first: 330/1790 (18.44%)
Runners at first and second: 105/449 (23.39%)
Runners at first and third: 25/147 (17.01%)
Bases loaded: 28/116 (24.14%)
Runner at second: 87/540 (16.11%)
Runners at second and third: 25/121 (20.66%)
Runner at third: 14/75 (18.67%)

One out: 2385/11136 (21.42%)
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None on: 1396/5991 (23.30%)
Runner at first: 428/2225 (19.24%)
Runners at first and second: 147/807 (18.22%)
Runners at first and third: 60/345 (17.39%)
Bases loaded: 60/335 (17.91%)
Runner at second: 180/845 (21.30%)
Runners at second and third: 54/286 (18.88%)
Runner at third: 60/302 (19.87%)

Two outs: 2409/10659 (22.60%)
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None on: 1147/4756 (24.12%)
Runner at first: 460/2166 (21.24%)
Runners at first and second: 209/984 (21.24%)
Runners at first and third: 91/420 (21.67%)
Bases loaded: 82/375 (21.87%)
Runner at second: 247/1122 (22.01%)
Runners at second and third: 82/345 (23.77%)
Runner at third: 91/491 (18.53%)


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     Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, May 14, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

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0225.  My Baseball Pitcher wants a Scruker and a Sinker

I've been throwing the sinker mostly to lefties and want to start adding the screwball in more as a strike out pitch.

I have a good feel for it but need a more sharper break.

1. For the screwball, do I drive through the seam with the middle of my middle finger horizontally, and then get over it pronating through release and getting over it popping my shoulder up and pronating with my upper arm... is this correct?

2. And do I want to be right on the elbow with this pitch or inside the vertical close to my ear?

Also with the sinker I want the circle of friction showing towards home plate the whole way there? Meaning the circle spiraling all the way tightly.

And do I throw this pitch right on the elbow or close to my ear?


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01. Yes, that is correct.

02. Yes, get as close to vertical as possible, even better later down the acromial line.

     The sinker that you throw is a Fastball sinker.

     This means the you are trying the throw a fastball that spirals.

     The sinker does not require a Middle and Ringer finger, but some spread between the two.

     With the Scruker, you are trying to squeeze the baseball between the inside of your Middle and the outside on your Ring finger through the top seam of the four seams.

     With a Scruker or true Screwball, you don not roll over the baseball with the palm of your hand.

     Drive the inside of your Middle finger through the top seam of the four seams rotations.

     As much as possible, the Scruker requires that your hand is ninety degrees from the vertical forearm.

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0226.  My Baseball Pitcher wants to refine the Scruker.

So try to keep my forearm vertical as late as I can down the acromial line, being patient with it and my shoulders turned.

I also have been rotating better and it's helping with velocity.

I think a good pronation snap will top it off.

Still working to get a good snap recoil with it.

When I perform the pronation snap for fastball sinkers, to really let them go.

1. Do I just think about inwardly rotating (pronating) my upper arm or both my upper arm, forearm, and wrist?

Along with the recoil and force-couple and lean back through release.


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01. With reverse breaking pitches, you have to use the upper arm and the wrist and hand.

     With the Scruker or True Screwball, you cannot pronate the forearm.

     Instead, you have to inwardly rotate your upper arm and pronation snap your wrist and hand.

     Focus on the inwardly rotating and the elbow popping up, don't worry about force-coupling and leaning back.

     Just stick your hand in the center of the strike zone.

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0227.  Pitchers aiming to increase speed risk injury
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 07, 2017

That Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets’ “Thor,” could be out a few months with a partial tear in his latissimus dorsi muscle should be a cautionary tale for all pitchers who try to bust the 100 mph mark in pitch speed. Syndergaard, who often has been clocked at 102, has made no secret of wanting to be the hardest thrower of his time, and the righthander has weight-trained to help himself become stronger.

But no less an authority than former Mets star righthander Dwight “Doc” Gooden, who probably threw just as hard when they used real radar guns, told New York reporters last week that he doesn’t agree with pitchers bulking up to throw harder.

“I read a quote that said he wants to get bigger and throw harder,” said Gooden.

“He has above-average stuff. You don’t need to throw any harder. We see a lot of injuries, especially Tommy John (surgery) now. I don’t think the pitcher is training for the position. I think they’re training to get bigger, throw a little bit harder, but to me, pitching is about mechanics, changing speeds, reading bat speeds.”

Gooden said he also didn’t agree with Syndergaard’s decision to refuse getting an MRI last week, when he was scratched from a Thursday start only to try to pitch on Sunday in Washington and then coming out of the game in the second inning.

“Hopefully, you learn from your own mistakes,” said Gooden. “I think sometimes, the front office has to step in, because as an athlete ... we want to be the hero. We’re willing to do something our body might not allow us to do. Sometimes, we have to have somebody come in and force us.”

Closer to home, Cardinals relief ace Trevor Rosenthal, who has thrown several pitches over 100 mph this year, also had lat trouble (twice) this spring. It didn’t seem as serious as that of Syndergaard’s but Rosenthal did feel something when he was in the weight room this spring.

He claims he doesn’t look at the scoreboard readings when he touches 100 or beyond. But he has enough other stuff in his arsenal that he doesn’t have to try to force more velocity. And if the Cardinals want him to be able to pitch on back-to-back days — and they do — he and they will have to find a way to do it without taxing himself.

Gooden, again referencing Syndergaard, said, “I think with the salaries, everybody’s got their own personal trainers. These guys might not be baseball-related trainers, or strength coaches. They don’t have that background on training pitchers. Velocity is not everything. It’s a big part, but it’s not everything.”

The Mets had a seven-man rotation of fireballers when the spring began. Now, they are down to Jacob deGrom as the only one who is not currently disabled or struggling as he comes off surgery, although deGrom did have a procedure in September to relocate the ulnar nerve in his elbow. Syndergaard, Steven Mats and Seth Lugo are on the DL. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler were on it last year and missed most, if not all, of the season. They haven’t approached their previous norms.

Robert Gsellman had a 6.75 ERA while Harvey was at 4.14 and Wheeler at 4.78 and the Mets’ rotation ranked 24th in the majors in ERA before the weekend.

Harvey, who already had Tommy John surgery, is rebounding now from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, which ended former Cardinals star Chris Carpenter’s career and which lefthander Jaime Garcia, now with Atlanta, also had. Garcia did recover.

New York manager Terry Collins said, “(Harvey) is coming back from surgery that not a lot of guys have ever come back from to be 100 percent again. Especially when you have lost feeling in your fingers, you’ve got to regain the release point and the feel of the seams.”

The Mets, meanwhile, are struggling to tread water in the National League East, where Washington has run off. The Mets’ offense is showing signs of life. The rotation hasn’t.

“I’m not worried yet,” pitching coach Dan Warthen told New York reporters on Wednesday. “Frustrated and mad at times, but not worried.”

Collins said, “You always hope in your heart, in your mind, that it’s going to be explosive right out of the gate. It always doesn’t happen.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to have a little patience, and it’s hard,” Collins said. “They don’t even know how to spell that in New York, and I get that. I understand that. But we’ve got to do it the right way.”

Increase in DL Stints

Since the 10-day disabled list was instituted in the latest Basic Agreement between players and owners, there has been an average of about one more disablement per team through April than there was last year. Major League Baseball statistics for last month show that the 30 teams used the 10-day DL 177 times, compared to 149 for the 15-day DL last year.

Including all disablements, covering 60-day DL and seven-day DL for concussions, the numbers were 207 this year compared to 173 last year.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had the most different stints on the DL with 12, followed by San Diego, Tampa Bay and Texas, all at 11. Last were the Chicago Cubs, who had just one DL stint.

The theory behind the 10-day DL was to give clubs more flexibility in replacing players they aren’t sure are injured enough to keep them out for at least two weeks, such as perhaps Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who has a hamstring strain.

With the disablement numbers way up, the conspiracy theory is that some teams could employ it where they almost have a 26-man roster, or where a starting pitcher might miss only one turn. But Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said, “I think the scrutiny of putting people on the DL is very real. I don’t think people are abusing it.

“It’s just an easier decision.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0228.  South Carolina loses another pitcher
247Sports.com
May 08, 2017

South Carolina pitcher Sawyer Bridgeshas suffered a torn rotator cuff and will miss the remainder of the season. Bridges’ timeframe for recovery is still to be determined.

Bridges pitched in eight games this season with one start. He’ll finish his freshman season with an 11.45 earned run average allowing 18 hits in 11 innings of work. He walked nine and struck out 14.

Bridges last pitched in the series-opening loss to Kentucky. He allowed five runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Bridges was ranked as the No. 3 player in the state by Diamond Prospects coming out of Summerville High School where he won a state championship his senior year while compiling an 8-1 record on the mound.

South Carolina has now lost two pitchers for the season as Bridges joins ace Clarke Schmidt who underwent surgery last Wednesday to repair a torn UCL. Sophomore Kyle Anderson is also redshirting this season after having Tommy John surgery.


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     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0229.  Throwing injuries in young baseball players: Is there something we're not considering?
Lincoln Journal-Star
May 08, 2017

Baseball marks the end of winter and the start of spring, and we as a nation delight in watching not only the pros but also our kids play this great game.

Unfortunately, we sports medicine doctors are seeing an increase in injuries to the throwing arm in youngsters, and many of these require surgery. Most worrisome is that the risk for developing a throwing injury was shown to increase by 36 times in adolescent pitchers who continued playing with a fatigued arm.

As a sports medicine physician and a former collegiate baseball player, I am concerned about this rise in injuries. They not only take a youngster out of commission for a game or season, but they also can have lasting effects. My team of researchers at the University of Florida is looking for ways to prevent arm injuries.

Too many pitches during games a possible factor

The majority of injuries in overhead throwers occur in the throwing arm. When including pitcher and position players, anywhere from 51 to 69 percent of all reported injuries occurred in the throwing arm.

Increased awareness about the injuries could be a factor in the projected slowdown of surgeries. Greater awareness could lead to increased reporting of the injuries from the pre-internet era until now.

In addition, attention to the reporting of Major League Baseball injuries creates consciousness by young players, coaches and parents of the growing concern of these overuse throwing injuries.

There is more to the increase than just more reporting, however. A more serious reason in higher usage of the throwing arm. For example, during the Koshien Baseball Tournament in Japan, a study of Japanese high school-aged pitchers showed pitch counts greater than 150 pitches in multiple pitchers, with a high of 187 pitches – for one pitcher – in 2016.

And in Kansas a high school pitcher attracted national media attention in 2016 by pitching 157 pitches in one game.

Surgeries to reconstruct a frequent injury to a ligament in the elbow of the throwing arm – also known as Tommy John surgery – have been increasing in baseball players at all levels of play for the past 20 years. One study showed about a 9.5 percent increase per year from 2007 to 2011.

Unfortunately, data suggest that this trend toward more Tommy John surgeries, which reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament(UCL) in the elbow, is not likely to decrease until at least 2025.

And maybe too many pitches before games?

It is important for parents, players and coaches to be aware of simple methods to prevent these overuse injuries. Some approaches include not playing on multiple teams at the same time and throwing restrictions, such as taking a day of rest based on the number of pitches thrown. Also, players should keep their rotator cuff strong and never pitch if an arm is in pain.

However, these actions have not reduced the number of overuse throwing injuries given the growing number of injuries.

Thus, there has been an increased emphasis on pitch restrictions, particularly at the youth and high school levels. Originally, Little League Baseball and the USA Baseball Medical Advisory Committee (USAB-MAC) developed pitch count restriction recommendations based upon age.

MuteIt is important for parents, players and coaches to be aware of simple methods to prevent these overuse injuries. Some approaches include not playing on multiple teams at the same time and throwing restrictions, such as taking a day of rest based on the number of pitches thrown. Also, players should keep their rotator cuff strong and never pitch if an arm is in pain.However, these actions have not reduced the number of overuse throwing injuries given the growing number of injuries.

Thus, there has been an increased emphasis on pitch restrictions, particularly at the youth and high school levels. Originally, Little League Baseball and the USA Baseball Medical Advisory Committee (USAB-MAC) developed pitch count restriction recommendations based upon age.More recently, Major League Baseball developed PitchSmart, a website that provides information to players, coaches and parents to prevent overuse injuries in youth and adolescent pitchers. As of 2016, the National Federation of State High School Associations began requiring a pitching restriction policy in each state based on the number of pitches thrown in a game, not based upon innings (which was previously used).

More recently, Major League Baseball developed PitchSmart, a website that provides information to players, coaches and parents to prevent overuse injuries in youth and adolescent pitchers. As of 2016, the National Federation of State High School Associations began requiring a pitching restriction policy in each state based on the number of pitches thrown in a game, not based upon innings (which was previously used).

One interesting aspect of the pitch restriction recommendations is that there is no consideration for number of pitches thrown in the bullpen or during before-inning warm-ups. Players may therefore be considered in the “safe” zone of pitches thrown when compared to state guidelines – when in reality, the pitching volume and unaccounted workload including the bullpen and before-inning warm-up pitches would be significantly higher than recommended.

With that in mind, our team at the University of Florida began considering the actual number of pitches a pitcher throws in each high school game. Our theory is that there is an unaccounted workload factor right in front of us.

While our study’s data are ongoing, initially we have found it is very typical to have a pitcher throw 70-80 pitches in a game but actually “pitch” more than 120-130 pitches if we include the bullpen and between-inning warm-ups. We should note we are not looking at injuries at this time, as this is an observational study only.

It should also be stated that while there is significant variation in bullpen warm-up volume, it is our opinion that it would not be appropriate to “regulate” how a pitcher warms up as every pitcher has his or her own style to feel comfortable prior to entering live game competition.

However, our study thus far shows that there is significant variability in the number of bullpen pitches thrown, varying from less than 20 pitches to more than 50 pitches.

One unanswered question is that if there are now pitch limitations but there is a certain percentage of pitches unaccounted for, do we need to train our pitchers differently? Given that an increase of early season throwing injuries is potentially due to not training appropriately in the off-season, our study reinforces the importance of a preseason pitching program to ready the arm and body for the coming season.

The ultimate goal of our study is to is prevent throwing injuries before they happen in our adolescent pitchers. Our hope is that years from now, the number of overuse throwing injuries will decrease, allowing our youth and adolescent overhead throwing athletes every opportunity to enjoy America’s pastime on the field of play, not in the doctor’s office.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0230.  Melancon placed on disabled list
San Jose Mercury News
May 09, 2017

NEW YORK, NY: With the worst record in the major leagues, the Giants have had little need for a closer. And now they are losing theirs to the disabled list.

They placed right-hander Mark Melancon on the 10-day DL Tuesday with what they described as a mild pronator strain near the right elbow.

It might sound worse than it is. The pronator and flexor are muscles on the side of the forearm. Melancon is dealing with tendonitis, more or less. And he expects to be ready when eligible to be activated May 16.

“I’ve never been on the DL and it’s been a goal of mine, a career goal, to (avoid) that,” Melancon said. “But I’m at a crossroads with the way we’re playing now. If I’m not at full strength, I could end up hurting ourselves more.”

Melancon, 32, said he began feeling elbow discomfort in the spring and tried to pace himself through it, but the inflammation was getting progressively worse even as the Giants struggled to provide save chances for him.

He said he couldn’t remember whether the elbow began to flare up before or after he appeared for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March but didn’t blame his participation, saying, “I mean, I think I threw five pitches in the WBC.”

Melancon had an MRI over the weekend in Cincinnati that showed inflammation and wanted to continue trying to pitch through it, but the elbow heated up again when he tried to get loose in the bullpen at Citi Field on Monday.

The Giants can backdate his DL stint to May 3, so he would end up missing only a week. He said the way the DL rules are set up now, he would be selfish not to take advantage of them.

“I’d be leaving this bullpen a half-man short,” Melancon said. “I feel this team is going to turn it around. Once we do that, I want to make sure all cylinders are clicking.”

Although the prognosis is optimistic, Melancon’s ailing elbow is another troubling and symbolic gut punch for a team that has baseball’s worst record at 11-23. Melancon was the Giants’ signature acquisition this past winter, as they sought to address a bullpen that blew a franchise-record 32 save chances last season. Considered one of the most bankable relievers in the game, Melancon’s four-year, $62 million deal set a record for a reliever before Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen topped it.

Melancon, 32, had Tommy John surgery to reconstruct his right elbow ligament in 2010 while in the Yankees minor league system. Until now, he had not been on the disabled list in his major league career.

Melancon, a three-time All-Star, hasn’t looked right for most of the season. He is 6 for 8 in save chances and faced more traffic than usual, allowing 13 hits in 10 2/3 innings.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0231.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (5/6-12/2017)

SATURDAY (5/6)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 293.53
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.55
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.33
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 25.00

  SUNDAY (5/7)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 318.36
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.09
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 7.14
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 27.00

MON (5/8)--9 games
Average number of pitches per game: 309.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.31
Average number of innings per starter: Exactly 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.33
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.92

TUE (5/9)--16 games
Average number of pitches per game: 303.50
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.82
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.75
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 24.07

WED (5/10)--14 games Average number of pitches per game: 274.93 Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.03 Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3 Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.71 Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 15.00 THU (5/11)--10 games
Average number of pitches per game: 283.20
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.09
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.10
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 21.57

FRI (5/12)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 295.29
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.78
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.57
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 19.57


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     Thank you.

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0232.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 5/6-5/12/2017

  No out: 444
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None on: 322
Runner at first: 63
Runners at first and second: 20
Runners at first and third: 4
Bases loaded: 8
Runner at second: 20
Runners at second and third: 3
Runner at third: 4

One out: 487
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None on: 286
Runner at first: 79
Runners at first and second: 37
Runners at first and third: 17
Bases loaded: 9
Runner at second: 34
Runners at second and third: 9
Runner at third: 16

Two outs: 524
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None on: 244
Runner at first: 103
Runners at first and second: 54
Runners at first and third: 16
Bases loaded: 13
Runner at second: 46
Runners at second and third: 21
Runner at third: 27


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     Thank you.

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0233.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 2804/13771 (20.36%)
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None on: 2068/9858 (20.98%)
Runner at first: 393/2178 (18.04%)
Runners at first and second: 125/558 (22.40%)
Runners at first and third: 29/170 (17.06%)
Bases loaded: 36/139 (25.90%)
Runner at second: 107/641 (16.69%)
Runners at second and third: 28/139 (20.14%)
Runner at third: 18/88 (20.45%)

One out: 2872/13452 (21.35%)
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None on: 1682/7241 (23.23%)
Runner at first: 507/2687 (18.87%)
Runners at first and second: 184/992 (18.55%)
Runners at first and third: 77/414 (18.60%)
Bases loaded: 69/387 (17.83%)
Runner at second: 214/1014 (21.10%)
Runners at second and third: 63/347 (18.16%)
Runner at third: 76/370 (20.54%)

Two outs: 2933/12842 (22.84%)
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None on: 1391/5731 (24.27%)
Runner at first: 563/2591 (21.73%)
Runners at first and second: 263/1198 (21.95%)
Runners at first and third: 107/507 (21.10%)
Bases loaded: 95/445 (21.35%)
Runner at second: 293/1340 (21.87%)
Runners at second and third: 103/423 (24.35%)
Runner at third: 118/607 (19.44%)


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     Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, May 21, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0234.  Jim Kaat on the Screwball

Jim Kaat had a blog that looks dormant now.

He mentions that he threw the screwball before a broken wrist injury in 1972.

The pitch was taught to him by Marv Grissom.

1. Did you ever have any interaction with Mr. Grissom?

I'm sure the screwball that Kaat threw was at the infantile stage as you told Vin Scully once about other pitchers who threw it.

Thank you

--------------------------------------------------

http://jimkaat.mlblogs.com/?s=screwball

The now common MRI. It seems like if a pitcher sneezes nowadays and mentions “elbow discomfort,” an MRI is scheduled and if there is a micro tear or strain of any kind, the pitcher is shut down and soon the now-famous Tommy John surgery is next.

I have kidded Tommy, knowing him well enough to do it, that some people think he is a doctor! It’s really the Frank Jobe procedure and we shouldn’t let Dr. Jobe’s name lose its significance now that he has passed on. Now it’s James Andrews and David Altchek who do most of these procedures, grafting the ulnar collateral ligament with a tendon from the wrist or hamstring.

I had the privilege of participating in a roundtable discussion on MLB Network recently with both doctors, discussing the alarming number of amateur pitchers who are having the surgery. I deferred to the medical professionals on how best to prevent it. They identified the overuse of Little League pitchers and youngsters trying to throw too hard before their bones and muscles are full developed as the causes.

Fast-forward to the professional level, and I don’t think any Major League pitcher who has pitched a significant number of innings would have a perfectly “clean” arm on an MRI of their elbow. My point here is — and again I would respect Drs. Andrews’ and Altchek’s opinions — can a pitcher pitch with some micro tears and not do more damage if he or she throws with proper technique?

Here I would defer to the opinion of former Major League pitcher Tom House, whose ideas were misunderstood and questionable to me for years. I have come to respect his knowledge of the biomechanics of the pitching arm. How the elbow, shoulder and lower body have to work as a team to reduce the chance of injury. I say “chance” because there are no guarantees it won’t happen.

I speak out on this subject because of my own experience with the same injury. I recently saw a video on YouTube of a game I pitched in September of 1967. My last start of the year. We win, we go to the World Series. I was having the best month of pitching in my career. (I won’t bore you with my stats, but if I won the game it would have been my eighth win that month, and I was averaging nine innings every start.)

Suddenly in the third inning, while throwing a pitch to the pitcher, Jose Santiago, I felt like I bumped my elbow on a hard surface and hit my “crazy bone” as we called it. After throwing several more pitches, I had to come out of the game. The diagnosis was the injury that now seems to require TJ surgery, but that procedure was not available at the time. I never had surgery and let it heal naturally over the winter. I wasn’t as effective for a few years, but I was able to do what I enjoyed: pitching.

Looking back on my workload in 1966 and 1967 has given me some insight into the possible cause. I had pitched over 300 innings in 1966 and was in the high 200s in 1967. The smoking gun probably was September of 1967, when I was starting my eighth game that month and into the mid-60s in innings that month. I was — and still am — a big proponent of the four-man rotation with three days’ rest between starts. The arm recovers fine, control is more consistent, and delivery probably will be more repeatable because you get to the mound more often.

I write this hoping we can learn a way to use pitchers to their maximum efficiency and value to their team and yet be prudent in not overworking them. A thought I have is the types of pitches and the emphasis on power might be more harmful to pitchers today than in my era. We were basic fastball, curve, change-up pitchers. The slider came along, but it really was what we call a cutter today — not all the action with the elbow, and more emphasis on finger pressure and the wrist. Not as many splitters or hybrid sliders. Today’s slider for most big league pitchers is the most hittable pitch around if not thrown with the perfect combination of power and break.

The recent article on the screwball by Bruce Schoenfeld in the New York Times has prompted me to get on my soapbox and say, “Bring back the screwball and the slow curve!” Josh Beckett is making good use of a slower curveball in his recent string of well-pitched games. (Unfortunately a hip injury has sidelined him.) David Wells was a very durable pitcher and most of his career was a fastball/curveball pitcher.

Marv Grissom, my pitching coach in the early 70s, helped me develop a screwball. I abandoned my version of what people today would call a slider — we called it a short curve — and went with fastball, slow curve (12-to-6 or 11-to-5 break) and a screwball in 1972. I got off to the best start of my career and was headed for potentially my best season when a broken wrist on July 1 ended my season. My screwball never was as good after that. Why? It is thrown with more wrist action and less elbow torque.

I really believe if pitchers would begin to practice pitching from 45 to 50 feet and work on spinning the ball with their wrist and pay attention to grip pressure, a relaxed thumb, and stick today’s version of the slider where the sun doesn’t shine, we might have fewer injuries, more complete games and more durable pitchers. Splitters and sliders might be making hitting more difficult, but there is a price to pay for overusing them.

This article is written because of my disappointment in not seeing Matt Harvey, Masahiro Tanaka and many other injured pitchers be able to enjoy longer careers and allow us the pleasure of seeing them match up against each other and pitch the whole game.


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     I never met Mr. Grissom.

     The article said:

01. "Suddenly in the third inning, while throwing a pitch to the pitcher, Jose Santiago, I felt like I bumped my elbow on a hard surface and hit my “crazy bone” as we called it."
02. "After throwing several more pitches, I had to come out of the game."
03. "The diagnosis was the injury that now seems to require TJ surgery, but that procedure was not available at the time." 04. "I never had surgery and let it heal naturally over the winter."
05. "I wasn’t as effective for a few years, but I was able to do what I enjoyed: pitching."

     Mr. Kaat released his breaking pitches over the top of his Index finger.

     As a result, Mr. Kaat slammed his olecranon process into his olecranon fossa.

     The article said:

01. "This article is written because of my disappointment in not seeing Matt Harvey, Masahiro Tanaka and many other injured pitchers be able to enjoy longer careers and allow us the pleasure of seeing them match up against each other and pitch the whole game."

     Matt Harvey, Masahiro Tanaka and many others also bang their olecranon process into their olecranon fossa.

     To prevent banging the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa, pitchers have to learn to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     To throw breaking pitches under the Middle fingers, pitchers have to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     With the driveline in line with second base and home plate, pitchers are able to pronate their forearm.

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0235.  Chen out indefinitely as elbow concerns grow
Miami Herald
May 13, 2017

The Marlins aren’t sure when, or even if, lefty starter Wei-Yin Chen will return to their rotation this season.

But after a bullpen session was cut short on Saturday because of continued discomfort, it is all but certain Chen won’t be back anytime soon as he continues to deal with arm and elbow issues.

“Chen didn’t go as good as we’d like [Saturday],” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He was feeling something.”

Chen, who is on the disabled list with what the Marlins have termed as “left arm fatigue,” told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel two weeks ago that he had been pitching with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.

He missed two months last season with a left elbow sprain.

After making his fifth start on May 1, Chen complained of discomfort and was placed on the DL. But an MRI revealed no significant damage, and Chen resumed throwing. The Marlins thought initially he would miss just one start.

Chen threw a normal bullpen session on Wednesday and told reporters on Friday that his arm felt better.

But, with the possibility of a Tuesday start looming, Chen threw another bullpen session on Saturday that did not go well.

The session came to a halt after Chen threw just 15-20 pitches.

“We expected it to go good after his [Wednesday] bullpen,” Mattingly said. “It’s still his arm, same as before. It just doesn’t feel right.”

Chen was scheduled to see a doctor on Saturday.

“At this point, you feel like you really can’t count on him in the near future when it happens like this,” Mattingly said. “Obviously, this is turning into more than what we thought it was going to be.”

Chen is in the second year of a five-year, $80 million deal he signed before the 2016 season. The pitcher has player options totaling $52 million over the coming three seasons.

With Chen out of the rotation mix, the Marlins will need another starter to join the group.


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     To prevent elbow issues, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0236.  Mariners lose another pitcher to injury
Associated Press
May 13, 2017

TORONTO — The Seattle Mariners lost another starting pitcher to an injury.

So it was more of the same for each team.

Bautista hit a three-run shot and Kendrys Morales also went deep, helping Toronto beat Seattle 7-2 on Saturday for its sixth win in seven games.

The Mariners promoted right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Tacoma to start against the Blue Jays, and he left after 3 2/3 innings with a sore shoulder.

Seattle already has four starting pitchers on the disabled list. Right-handers Felix Hernandez (shoulder) and Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder) and left-handers James Paxton (forearm) and Drew Smyly (elbow) are not expected back before June.

“It’s been a wild year so far,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said with a rueful smile. “We’re six or seven weeks into this thing and we had our ninth starter out there today. It’s hard to imagine you could ever plan for anything like this.”

Weber was not available to speak to reporters. He had left the stadium to see a doctor.

“Any time a pitcher grabs his shoulder like that, it’s pretty significant,” Servais said. “We’ll have a better idea tonight or tomorrow of where he’s at.”

Toronto also has dealt with injuries. The Blue Jays have three starting pitchers and three regulars on the disabled list, a group that accounts for $84 million in salary.

“It kind of came as a blessing that Seattle came in here banged up a little bit with their pitching staff,” Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar said. “We’re trying to capitalize on them not having their entire rotation.”


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     To prevent shoulder issues, baseball pitchers need to turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home and rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0237.  Injury was inevitable for Syndergaard
New York Magazine
May 16, 2017

One of the more absurd, madcap musical chairs of recent Mets vintage — and, boy howdy, have there been plenty — was April’s foofaraw involving an injury to pitcher Noah Syndergaard.

Last year, the Asgardian ace threw his fastball harder on average than any starter in baseball, a blazing, terrifying, that-doesn’t-really-seem-fair thunderbolt that consistently ran to an almost-impossible-to-believe 97.6 mph, the highest in baseball history. This spring, he showed up to training camp boasting that he’d added 17 pounds of muscle that would allow him to throw still harder. And he was as good out of the gate as any Met has been in decades (three starts, 19 IP, 2 ER, 20 K, 0 BB).

Then he began complaining of a “dead arm” but refused to submit to an MRI, declaring that he knew his godlike body best and that he was fine. The Mets believed him — partly because they wanted to and partly because, as Mets general manager Sandy Alderson put it, “I can’t tie him down and throw him in the tube” — and let him make his next start. You probably know what happened next: Syndergaard left the game early, in pain, and afterward learned he’d miss at least two months.

According to research by baseball writer Joe Sheehan, here are the 12 hardest-throwing starting pitchers in recorded Major League Baseball history (since 2002, when velocity was first reliably quantified and documented): Noah Syndergaard (97.6 mph), Yordano Ventura (96.5), Nathan Eovaldi (95.8), Gerrit Cole (95.6), Carlos Martinez (95.6), Garrett Richards (95.5), James Paxton (95.5), Stephen Strasburg (95.4), Matt Harvey (95.4), José Fernandez (95.2), Felipe Paulino (95.2), and Wily Peralta (95.1).

In a macabre coincidence, two of them, Ventura and Fernandez, died in tragic accidents within the past eight months. Felipe Paulino aside, all the others are still active pitchers. Which is to say: Pitchers are throwing harder at this moment than at any other time in baseball history. You will also note that 11 of the 12 — the only exception (so far) being St. Louis’s Carlos Martinez — have had some sort of serious elbow problem. They tally seven Tommy John surgeries; four, including Syndergaard, have already gone on the disabled list this season.

Sheehan cleverly argues that high velocity in baseball — specifically the 95-mph-average threshold for starting pitchers — is basically like the Demon in The Right Stuff the sound barrier that “no man could ever pass.” And the stats back him up. If you want to be a successful Major League Baseball pitcher, particularly in today’s game, you have to throw as hard as you possibly can. But if you do that, you will shred your elbow.

That injury risk is, now, simply the price of admission. (It also, it’s worth noting, makes the Mets’ long-term strategy of devoting their resources to young, hard-throwing starting pitchers seem particularly insane. You can’t build a future on power arms; you can barely build a present.) Average pitch velocity in the game has risen nearly two miles per hour in the past decade alone, and it has led to what has become known as the “three true outcomes” style of baseball, in which strikeouts, walks, and home runs — the three plays that do not involve fielders — are taking up a larger percentage of at-bats than ever. And strikeouts, in particular, are higher than at any other time in baseball history. Strikeouts result from velocity. Velocity results in injury. Baseball is incentivizing an activity that is tearing its young pitchers’ arms apart. Believe it or not, this is almost by design.

About 15 years ago, NFL general managers started to realize that running backs, long one of the celebrity skill positions in the sport, were both injury-prone and replaceable; rather than building an offense around a franchise back, they ran their players into the ground and then discarded them. We haven’t yet seen a cultural shift in the status of starting pitchers in baseball, but one might be just around the corner. Because here’s another factoid to keep in mind about those 12 pitchers who throw harder than anyone else in the documented history of the sport: Most of them haven’t made it to a payday in free agency.

Oh, sure, they made a few years’ salary, often at the Major League Baseball minimum, now $535,000 — obviously not too shabby. But in the context of baseball economics it is mere pennies. The best-paid player in baseball, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, earns $35.6 million a year, and some believe Bryce Harper, when he becomes a free agent in 2018, could sign a multi-year contract worth $400 million.

In the world of baseball, as in most sports, young talent is always more valuable to the team than old. This is not just because young players’ skills and athleticism haven’t atrophied yet; it’s because they’re cheap. A player doesn’t reach true free agency until he has spent six years in the majors, and earns only the league minimum until his third season, when he reaches “arbitration,” a process of generating small, graduated raises that is infamously management-friendly.

A team — and this is key — also has total control over a player for the first six seasons of his career; if you draft a guy or sign him from another country, you own the rights to his services for his first six full seasons. After that, he can, for the first time, at last test the free market for his skills. Which means that any team — but especially those that can’t afford to compete for big-ticket free agents — has an incentive to get whatever value out of its young players it can in those first six years. No matter the long-term consequences.

The result is a system where ball clubs are encouraged — are essentially commanded — to squeeze every last bit of life out of their young pitchers, until their arms are ruined … conveniently, right around the time they’re due to hit the open market. Recently, Martinez — remember, he was the only pitcher whose arm hasn’t been hurt yet — signed a long-term contract in which the team bought out his arbitration period and some of the years he would’ve been eligible to sign elsewhere as a free agent. But it, too, was a below-market deal, for only $11.5 million a year — less than half of what outfielder Josh Hamilton made in both 2016 and 2017, despite having not played a single game either season.

Ask Syndergaard about this. After last season, the Mets essentially planned the future of their entire franchise around him. But they offered him only a $605,500 one-year contract heading into the 2017 season; according to most calculations, he had been worth about $45 million the previous year. Syndergaard was so frustrated by the offer — the minimum required — that he refused to sign, but that was just a symbolic gesture. He had no choice but to play for the Mets: The Mets have the rights to Syndergaard through the 2021 season. Who knows what will happen between now and then? Maybe Syndergaard will have had Tommy John surgery? Maybe his arm will wait to truly explode in 2020? Syndergaard, had he been allowed to hit the open market before the season, could have conceivably been paid $25 million a year. But he wasn’t allowed. And now his entire career is on the brink, five years before he can cash in.

But that’s the life of a pitcher. Be cheap, throw hard, and unload every bullet before you start getting expensive. Teams have finally decided that since they can’t figure out how to keep pitchers healthy — and they can’t, as chronicled memorably in writer Jeff Passan’s 2016 book, The Arm — they would rather not bother themselves with it. They’ll just run them ragged, pay them little, ruin those elbows, and happily move along.

Noah Syndergaard blew out his arm; Matt Harvey blew out his; when pushed to reach these velocities, everybody ultimately does. Who’s to blame? Maybe you just blame the suckers who are rube enough to take such a shit job as “pitcher” in the first place. Pitching used to be the best way to make money in sports; it might now be the worst, and it is entirely by design. Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be pitchers.


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     To prevent elbow issues, baseball pitchers need to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0238.  The 10-day DL and the starting pitcher apocalypse
ESPN.com
May 16, 2017

On Oct. 1, 2016, Clayton Kershaw didn't make history. He left his final start of the 2016 season with a WHIP of 0.725, lower than Pedro Martinez's record of 0.737. But Kershaw threw only 149 innings, so he didn't make history.

Major League Baseball tells us what it takes to make history: 162 innings, the threshold laid out in rule 10.22(b) to delineate a "full" season, as opposed to a partial one. I've argued that this threshold is badly outdated, now that starters pitch less often, throw fewer innings per start and spend more time on the disabled list. The percentage of full-time major league starters who reach 162 is plummeting, not because the percentage of failures is rising but because teams have different expectations and make different strategic decisions.

In the past week, the Los Angeles Dodgers made two decisions -- one involving a pitcher who made his scheduled start, one involving a pitcher who didn't -- that demonstrate the further erosion of 162 as a meaningful mark. Recent rule changes and managing trends are redefining what it means to be a starter.

The pitcher who didn't start was Kenta Maeda His spot in the Dodgers' rotation came up Monday, but he was on the new 10-day disabled list with, uhhhh, well, it says here "tightness in his left hamstring" experienced "a few weeks ago." Maeda was coming off one of the best starts of his career, in which he pitched into the ninth inning to earn a win. It wasn't the most convincing excuse a team has ever come up with.

Maeda's undoubtedly brief stint on the disabled list might best be viewed as strategic use of roster space, allowing the Dodgers "to navigate through the seasonwhile shuffling six or seven starting pitchers," including Maeda, who appeared to tire in the second half last year, and the oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu. It might also be viewed as, essentially, the velociraptors testing the fences.

That's because the league's 10-day DL opens up possibilities for roster creativity -- or, if you prefer, manipulation or even exploitation -- that were less convenient with the 15-day DL. Now a club could look ahead at the schedule, see an off-day and "disable" the fifth starter, skipping his spot in the rotation and using that roster space to call up an extra reliever from Triple-A. By the time the fifth starter is needed again, the 10 days would be up, and the extra reliever could be sent back down.

The Dodgers appear to be using the low, low cost of a DL stint in a different way: To carry 26 qualified major leaguers when roster rules seem to limit teams to 25. (Maeda's disabling coincided with the activation of Ryu, who had just spent exactly 10 days on the DL with a hip bruise.) This lets them hedge against risk by keeping more good players under their control. It lets them schedule regular rest for their starters into the season, reducing injury risks and keeping the starters fresher for the Dodgers' all-but-inevitable postseason appearance. It might also make it possible for Los Angeles to use a six-man rotation for parts of the summer.

So far, teams have only tiptoed around these possibilities. DL stints are up slightly this season -- there were 215 10-day DL transactions from March 31-May 14, and there were 185 15-day DL transactions during the same period last season -- but that would be expected (injuries have been increasing for years) and welcomed (that was the point, after all, of the 10-day DL). There's little doubt, though, that front offices will come to squeeze out these benefits if they can. Exposing and exploiting the vulnerabilities of game play are as much a part of the analytics era as analytics.

See, for example, what happened after 2012, when Major League Baseball instituted new restrictions on signing international prospects. The restrictions were intended to limit how much clubs could pay top-tier international teenagers, with most teams getting around $3 million to spend before invoking penalties. A number of clubs gleefully turned the system of limits and penalties into a logic puzzle to solve, in many cases obliterating their caps. In the 2014-15 signing period, the New York Yankees overspent their bonus pool by a factor of nine, collecting 10 of the top 28 international free agents and essentially killing the premise of the system. This year's rules were changed significantly to prevent such gaming.

There's less reason to expect the league to step in to protect the integrity of the DL because almost everybody benefits from liberal DL rules. As Ben Lindbergh wrote at The Ringer, using the 10-day DL to call up a minor league reliever puts more money into the players' collective pockets, as the "injured" player will continue to receive his major league salary while the newly recalled pitcher will get a huge raise (for the 10 days he's in the majors, at least). Both players will collect service time, pushing them closer to free agency. Using the 10-day DL as a way of carrying 26 or 27 major leaguers "around" the major league roster will, theoretically, increase league-wide demand for veteran free agents. Meanwhile, using roster flexibility to give pitchers rest, preserve their health and keep them fresh for the postseason seems to be a good thing. Who, after all, would argue against preventative health over expensive emergency room visits?

The possible result is this: Starters aren't all going to be expected to make 32 starts per season anymore. Many will, but for others, 25 or 28 or 31 might constitute a full season. If teams can find ways to schedule rest without taking a major hit midseason -- to "shorten the season," as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts put it last week -- they will.

Which brings us to the second decision the Dodgers made, the one involving a pitcher who did start: Alex Wood. On Sunday, Wood threw a masterpiece, striking out 10 batters and shutting out the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. But he left the game after six innings and just 88 pitches, with the Dodgers leading 4-0.

We all know that starting pitchers don't work as deep into games as they used to, as teams try (unsuccessfully) to preserve their pitchers' health. What's most notable this year is when starters are increasingly getting the hook: not when they're losing but when they're winning.

This year, starters have averaged 5.96 innings per start in games their teams won. That's down from 6.17 innings at the same point in the season last year and down from 6.36 innings per start one decade ago.

There's much less change in how deep starters go when their teams lose: This year's starters are averaging 5.28 innings in their teams' losses, down from only 5.32 last year and 5.40 in 2007. The gap between innings pitched in "good" and "bad" starts has shrunk by 30 percent.

Teams are more aware of the struggles that almost all pitchers face the third time they go through the opposing lineup, whether because of fatigue or familiarity. They have deep bullpens overflowing with hard-throwing relievers and situational specialists. They are investing in relief aces who will pitch in the seventh and eighth innings, not just the ninth. This all adds up to swifter hooks even when the starting pitcher is, as Wood was, pitching a masterpiece.

No longer does a five- or six-inning outing signify a pitcher who didn't do his job; his job has been redefined. Wood was named NL Pitcher of the Week. He made two starts. He threw 11 innings. At that pace, even 29 starts would not get a pitcher to "qualifying" status in a season.

Last year, Chase Anderson made 30 starts but didn't qualify for the ERA title. He was a league-average pitcher, with a better adjusted ERA than that of Michael Pineda, Gio Gonzalez or Dallas Keuchel. By the "qualifiers" standard, he didn't exist. Kershaw led the majors in WAR -- a counting stat! -- and had by far the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio in history, but by the qualifiers standard, he didn't exist.

Detroit Tigers rookie  Michael Fulmer lost the ERA title -- lost the chance to be the first rookie in 40 years to win the ERA title -- because he came up three innings shy of 162. He started 26 times. Only 75 major leaguers -- exactly half of the league's rotation spots -- started more often than Fulmer did. By modern standards, it was a full season, but by MLB Rule 10.22(b)'s standards, it wasn't.

It's only a matter of time before MLB Rule 10.22(b) changes. The question is whether we'll retroactively credit Kershaw and Fulmer with making history.


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     With the Marshall pitching motion, the best baseball pitchers are able to start twice a week. With three times through the line-up, these three baseball pitchers would start fifty starts for one hundred and fifty trips through the line-ups.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0239.  Cardinals skip Wacha now with hope of September payoff
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 16, 2017

Before Michael Wacha will get the chance to show he can handle the full-season workload he desires, the Cardinals want to start with how he finishes.

In a move the club believes will protect the righthander from the late-season fade and shoulder troubles that have eroded two of his previous seasons, Wacha had his start skipped entirely in this turn of the rotation. That decision was presented to Wacha, not pursued by Wacha. His next start is scheduled for Friday against San Francisco, 12 days after he threw his fifth quality start of the young season.

“We’re going to do everything we can to give Michael every chance to be the kind of pitcher at the end of the season that he is right now,’ manager Mike Matheny said. “This is one of those opportunities right now. He wants the ball. He feels good. He looks good. It’s just a matter of how we keep him there.”

Through six starts, Wacha has averaged more than six innings in each appearance, and his earned run average has reached 3.19 after he allowed six runs in his past 12 innings. The righthander has shown a spike in his fastball velocity, up to a 94.4 mph average after 93.2 mph last season, and a more familiar effectiveness with his changeup.

In his career, Wacha (2-1 this season) has an ERA in the second half that is almost a run higher than his first-half success. His ERA jumped to greater than 4.00 after his All-Star Game selection in 2015, and in the past three seasons he’s had a 5.11 second-half ERA. That was most acute last season when the second-half ERA soared to 7.44 and for the second time in three seasons he was placed on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his right scapula.

The off days this week before a June crunch that has 47 games in 48 days offered the Cardinals a chance to give Wacha the planned break. His only throws so far have been in a bullpen session.

“You might not be afforded that opportunity again before the All-Star break,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “If you are always kicking the can down the road, you can end up being like, ‘Uh-oh, it’s too late.’ So, anything you can bank now is smart.”

Wacha made it clear that “anything like this wasn’t my idea.”

This past winter, Wacha and his agent sought out Brandon McCarthy for advice on his workouts. Wacha and McCarthy are the most high-profile pitchers to deal with the stress reaction or stress fracture in their shoulder, and McCarthy overcame the chronic issue to throw 200 innings in 2014. Wacha took control of his offseason work and reported to spring training intent on winning a spot in the rotation – and holding it for what he defined as a starter’s standard contribution, 32 starts. He modified his between-start work also to focus on maintaining strength in the shoulder and avoid the recurring injury.

The Cardinals believe his final eight or 10 starts this season could be stronger if they only asked him to make 28 to 30. “It’s probably only how I’ll be feeling for the second half of the season; that type of deal,” Wacha said. “I want to be there for September, October, and into the playoffs. That’s the goal.”


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     To prevent shoulder issues, baseball pitchers need to turn the back of their upper arm to face toward home and rotate their hips and shoulders forward together over their Front foot.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0240.  College pitcher

This is a college pitcher trying to transition to your pitching motion.

1. Can you comment please with any advise?

I'm particularly interested in if you think he can turn more down his Acromial Line.

I'm wondering if I should have him try having his pitching foot land on the first base side of his glove foot in an effort to throw further down his Acromial Line as your guy often does.

As you well know, the training is exposing all the weaknesses in his Kinetic chain, particularly his shoulder.


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     To master the Marshall pitching motion, baseball pitchers have to 'horizontally sail' the Lid repeatedly.

     We use three body actions:

01. The first body action has the Rear foot still in front like a throwing darts.

02. The second body action has the Front foot still and the baseball pitchers rotating their hips and shoulder over their front foot.

03. The third body action has baseball pitchers in Set Position taking a short step.

     With my Maxline pitches, my baseball pitchers step on a forty-five angle and drive their Rear knee across the pivoting Front knee on the glove side of the pitching rubber. I call the movement, the Drop Step.

     With my Torque pitches, my baseball pitches step in line with the Rear foot and pivot over their Front foot on the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber. I call the movement, the Cross Step.

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0241.  Teaching the Marshall Pitching Motion

Why not try an innovative Prep or community college to teach your method?

I have seen too many pitcher's waiting to injure their arms in including Steve Strasburg.

When I hear the pop in the glove of a catcher warming up one of these phenomes, I often stay here is an injury in the making.

I hope you continue your journey.


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     I put together a two and one-half video that teaches the Marshall Pitching Motion.

     I call it, the Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     First, the interested baseball pitchers need to watch all eleven segments.

     Next, the interested baseball pitchers watch the 08. Football Training Program over and over especially mastering the Lid from a four-gallon bucket.

     When these interested baseball pitchers master the Lid throws several hundreds of times.

     Then, these interested baseball pitchers e-mail me with their questions.

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0242.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (5/13-19/2017)

SATURDAY (5/13)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 298.71
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.14
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.07
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 21.18

  SUNDAY (5/14)--17 games
Average number of pitches per game: 309.41
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.83
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 7.06
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 24.17

MON (5/15)--8 games
Average number of pitches per game: 303.75
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.23
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.63
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 26.42

TUE (5/16)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 310.07
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.73
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.53
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 30.61

WED (5/17)--14 games
Average number of pitches per game: 300.50
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.37
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.86
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 17.71

THU (5/18)--12 games
Average number of pitches per game: 292.58
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.96
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.67
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.06

FRI (5/19)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 307.73
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.85
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.73
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 18.81


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     Thank You.

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0243.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 5/13-5/19/2017

  No out: 512
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None on: 378
Runner at first: 83
Runners at first and second: 10
Runners at first and third: 6
Bases loaded: 5
Runner at second: 22
Runners at second and third: 6
Runner at third: 2

One out: 514
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None on: 289
Runner at first: 91
Runners at first and second: 49
Runners at first and third: 9
Bases loaded: 9
Runner at second: 38
Runners at second and third: 16
Runner at third: 13

Two outs: 548
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None on: 238
Runner at first: 114
Runners at first and second: 47
Runners at first and third: 21
Bases loaded: 19
Runner at second: 67
Runners at second and third: 17
Runner at third: 25


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     Thank You.

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0244.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 3316/16381 (20.24%)
------------
None on: 2446/11695 (20.91%)
Runner at first: 476/2596 (18.34%)
Runners at first and second: 135/671 (20.12%)
Runners at first and third: 35/202 (17.33%)
Bases loaded: 41/166 (24.70%)
Runner at second: 129/776 (16.62%)
Runners at second and third: 34/169 (20.12%)
Runner at third: 20/106 (18.87%)

One out: 3386/15935 (21.25%)
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None on: 1971/8571 (23.00%)
Runner at first: 598/3179 (18.81%)
Runners at first and second: 233/1180 (19.75%)
Runners at first and third: 86/487 (17.66%)
Bases loaded: 78/447 (17.45%)
Runner at second: 252/1220 (20.66%)
Runners at second and third: 79/415 (19.04%)
Runner at third: 89/436 (20.41%)

Two outs: 3481/15285 (22.77%)
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None on: 1629/6797 (23.97%)
Runner at first: 677/3072 (22.04%)
Runners at first and second: 310/1436 (21.59%)
Runners at first and third: 128/609 (21.02%)
Bases loaded: 114/520 (21.92%)
Runner at second: 360/1630 (22.09%)
Runners at second and third: 120/493 (24.34%)
Runner at third: 143/728 (19.64%)


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     Thank You.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, May 28, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0245.  Momentum in Pendulum Swing

You'll get a laugh to learn that I sent a 30-second video of a very simple service motion to Glenn Fleisig.

The story is momentum, pure and simple.

That momentum is possible only if the dominant elbow stays ahead of the acromial line, to borrow your terminology.

What is true of the way we walk must be true of the way we throw and swing.


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     Good information for all baseball pitchers.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0246.  Seth Maness on opting for experimental primary repair surgery
The Ringer
May 19, 2017

In early 2016, Royals hurler Seth Maness began to struggle. His pitches lost velocity, and his ERA ballooned to 6.39 before he went on the disabled list with elbow inflammation in mid-May. He returned in June and salvaged part of his season, but by August his elbow flared up again, and Maness was told he would need Tommy John surgery. His 2016 season was over and his 2017 one was in doubt. But Maness decided to undergo an experimental primary repair surgery, which has a much shorter recovery time, and he has returned to the field this season.

Here’s how he got the diagnosis:

“I went on the DL the second time and saw the team doctor, and he told me I needed Tommy John surgery,” Maness began. “And [he] talked me through that and so I went and got a second opinion, and that’s when I saw Dr. George Paletta in St. Louis, who is now their team physician, and he told me, yes, I needed something done, but he [told me] I could qualify for the primary repair surgery. They can only do that surgery if the ligament is still intact.”

It wasn’t clear that Maness’s ligament was intact, though. The surgeon wouldn’t know until he got Maness in the operating room.

“It was a game-time decision when I went into surgery. I didn’t know if I was going to be getting Tommy John or primary repair, but I told them I would much rather have the primary repair. Because [Paletta] told me the recovery time was close to half of that of the regular Tommy John [surgery], and I was all for it because, really, the rehab wasn’t something I was looking forward to. That much time off the field puts a lot of things into question for me, and so I told them I’d rather be on the field as soon as possible. [Then] I came to from surgery, and he told me he was able to perform the primary repair, and here we are.”

Maness was released by his team, the Cardinals, in December. While he was undergoing rehab, he needed to find a new club to play ball with. But his surgery was coded in MLB’s injury system as a Tommy John because primary repair is so rare, so teams thought he’d be out for 2017.

“I don’t think teams [knew I would be back]. It was coded as Tommy John, so most people chalked me off for this year. And I was having my agent reach out and we held a little scout day for some to come and watch in the middle of January. … [We hoped] somebody would roll the dice and take a shot, and fortunately it worked out with the Royals.”

He's not back to his peak form just yet-he's pitched just three innings so far this seasnon since debuting on May 13-but he's progressing.

“I’m still building up [strength]. There’s a little more there I haven’t tapped into yet. But each week I feel a little better; [it’s] just a gradual process. But it’s feeling pretty good, a lot better than it was last year. I feel like the velocity is back to what it was, a lot better than it was last year when I was hurt. So that’s a positive and hopefully it keeps getting stronger.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0247.  Tolleson undergoes Tommy John surgery, out for the year
SB Nation
May 19. 2017

Shawn Tolleson underwent Tommy John Surgery on Wednesday, so he’ll be out for the rest of the 2017 season and probably won’t be ready until September of next year.

The Tampa Bay Rays signed Tolleson in January with the expectation that he could be decent late inning arm to bring into high leverage situations. However, he would only pitch in five games for the Rays during spring training and ultimately was placed on the 60-day DL to begin the season.

Tolleson began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers after being taken in the 30th round of the 2010 draft. He rose through the system fairly quickly and pitched in 40 games for the Dodgers in 2012. The Dodgers waived him in 2013, allowing the Texas Rangers to swoop him and claim him.

While with the Rangers, Tolleson put up so-so numbers in 2014 and then had a career year in 2015 in which he actually received some Cy Young award votes (placing 10th). Unfortunately, injuries crept in the following season and he has been plagued with trips to the DL ever since.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0248.  Why the curveball is taking over the game
Sports Illustrated
May 23, 2017
by Tom Verducci

Terrifyingly beautiful, like summer thunderstorms and whitewater rapids, the curveball of Astros pitcher Lance McCullers can be found at the intersection of violence and wonder. It is a demon he unleashes on hitters, especially with two strikes, when he throws it 68% of the time.

He takes the nail of his right index finger and places it into the seam of the baseball where it curves around the MLB logo. He places his middle finger directly over the long seam. He places his thumb on the bottom of the ball, over another seam. Seams are held in triplicate. Seams beget grip. Grip begets force.

“I just try to rip over it and throw it as hard as I can,” McCullers says. “It’s an aggression pitch for me. It’s called an off-speed pitch, but I don’t view it that way.”

The middle finger applies tremendous pressure on its seam, the nail of the index finger applies only a bit of pressure, and the thumb, a lazy hitchhiker along for the ride, applies none. When the process works perfectly, it takes only the split second when the ball has just left McCullers’s hand—as his head snaps to the side, as the ball starts to spin at 2,850 revolutions per minute and as the fastest curveball in the majors among starters flies up to 88 miles per hour—for McCullers to know the poor batter is toast.

“I feel it come off my hand and I know it’s most likely going to result in a punch-out,” he says. “A hitter knows off the hands when the ball hits his sweet spot and it’s going to be a homer. I have that feeling when it comes out of my hand. Like, This is a really quality pitch.”

He smiles fiendishly.

“And then I start fading toward the dugout sometimes,” he says.

Even as the ball leaves his hand, even before it completes its 55-foot thrill ride, the last 10 of which are a stomach-turning, Coney Island drop, even before the doomed batter swings at where the demon used to be—McCullers knows how it will end.

*****

No pitch has ended more aspiring careers than the curve. As former Kentucky congressman Ben Chandler once said on behalf of the great diaspora who know the feeling too well, “I was planning to be a baseball player until I ran into something called a curveball.”

No pitch causes major league hitters to freeze more often. No pitch has inspired more legends, myths, fear, grips, nicknames, and ooohs and aaahs. It is a wonder of physics, geometry and art, a beautiful, looping arc through space made possible by the interplay between gravity and the Magnus force—a result of the flow of air around the spinning sphere—that often leaves us, and the hitter, paralyzed in wonderment.

This season marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of the first curveball (and its first controversy). So it’s fitting that McCullers and the red-hot Houston Astros are at the forefront of a revolution in pitching. Spin is in. Thanks partly to technology and the ubiquity of high velocity, the curveball is enjoying a very happy 150th birthday.

The Astros soared to the best start in franchise history (29–15) by throwing 14.1% curveballs, a regimen exceeded only by the White Sox (16.6) and the Red Sox (14.6) and Indians (14.2%). Houston ranks next to last in percentage of fastballs thrown (47.3). “I joke with the guys that the four-seam fastball is a dying pitch,” McCullers says.

He’s only half-joking. Even though velocity keeps increasing (the average fastball velocity, now at 92.7 mph, is up for a seventh straight year), the number of fastballs keeps declining. Since 2002, when Pitch F/X technology began capturing pitch data, the percentage of fastballs has declined from 64.4% to 55.4%. Houston is one of four clubs to turn conventional pitching wisdom on its ear by throwing fastballs with a minority of its pitches.

The Astros, who led the majors in curveball usage last year, have built a rotation around ace Dallas Keuchel, whose 79-mph slider acts like a short curveball, and curveball specialists McCullers, Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers and the injured Collin McHugh. Their success follows on the heels of a 2016 season in which major league pitchers threw about 9,000 more curveballs than in ’15, and the pennant-winning Indians relied heavily on curves in their postseason run.

“It’s easier these days to find guys with good fastballs, because there are a lot of guys who throw in the mid-90s and high 90s,” says Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow. “But finding a guy who can actually spin a ball, it’s a skill teams are looking for more now because it’s a differentiating factor. If you can find a guy that can throw hard and spin a ball, that usually bodes well.”

Said one NL general manager, “Three teams have become big, big believers in the combination of high fastballs and curveballs: the Astros, Dodgers and Rays. Those teams are heavy into analytics. The game is changing away from the sinker/cutter/slider guys.”

In the early going, overall curveball usage is down slightly from last year (10.2% to 10.0), but the teams and individuals who buy into curveballs are putting a greater emphasis on the pitch. Among veteran pitchers throwing a career-high percentage of curveballs (which includes the knuckle curve) are Drew Pomeranz of Boston (45%), Alex Cobb of Tampa Bay (36%), José Quintana of the White Sox (32%), James Paxton of Seattle (20%), and Rick Porcello of Boston (19%).

They have followed the recent lead of pitchers such as Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill of the Dodgers and McCullers, who have found success by throwing more breaking balls and fewer fastballs. There are also craftsmen with outlier curveballs like Gio Gonzalez of Washington, who throws a four-seam curveball his father showed him alongside their Hialeah house at age 13; and A.J. Griffin of Texas, who throws one of the slowest (68 mph) and biggest-dropping (nine inches) lollipops in the game.

Confidence in curveballs has grown as technology began to measure the pitch’s spin rate, spin axis, velocity, horizontal and vertical break—and how much trouble hitters have hitting it.

“The data is showing, if the curveball is your best pitch, use it more often,” says manager John Farrell of the curveball-mad Red Sox. “It used to be that if you threw less than 60% fastballs, you were not going to start. That’s gone out the window.”

Says McCullers, “I don’t view my curveball as complementary stuff.  Whereas old school was more like, ‘No, establish the fastball, pound the heater and wait until they prove they can hit it.’ Well, what if I have two guys on and I’m trying to establish my heater, and he hits it out of the ballpark? You saw it in the postseason: Now it’s about pitchers challenging guys with their best pitch, and that means a lot of curveballs.”

*****

The legend of the first curveball starts like this: In the summer of 1863 a 14-year-old boy named William Arthur Cummings experienced a eureka moment one day while tossing clamshells along a Brooklyn beach with some buddies. “All of a sudden it came to me that it would be a good joke on the boys if I could make a baseball curve the same way,” Cummings later wrote.

Four years of practice later, Cummings, then pitching for an amateur Brooklyn team as a 5'9", 20-poune righthander, broke out his new pitch in a game against Harvard University on Oct. 7, 1867. Harvard won 18–6, but Cummings rejoiced in the success of his curveball, later writing, “I could scarcely keep from dancing with pure joy.”

By then Cummings had earned the nickname “Candy,” a Civil War–era honorific that denoted the best at his craft. Cummings pitched 10 years before a sore arm sent him off to a career in painting and wallpapering.

Other pitchers of that era, including Fred Goldsmith, also claimed to have thrown curveballs, but Cummings defended his legend as its inventor so often and so well that in 1939, 15 years after dying, he was enshrined in the Hall of Fame with a plaque that reads, “Invented curve as an amateur ace of Brooklyn Stars in 1867.” His enshrinement came five weeks after Goldsmith went to his grave clutching an 1870 newspaper clipping that he insisted proved he was the original curveball artist.

From Candy to Sandy (Koufax) to the Dominican Dandy (Juan Marichal), the curveball gained mythic status, partly because it relied on folklore, not empirical evidence as with fastballs and their easily understood miles per hour. Dead Ball era ace Mordecai (Three Finger) Brown flummoxed hitters with a curveball that spun crazily out of a make-do grip: He had lost part of his right index finger in a threshing-machine accident, mangled his middle finger chasing a rabbit and had no use of his pinky. No less a hitter than Ty Cobb called Brown’s curveball the most devastating pitch he ever saw.

Stan Musial had similarly high praise for the curveball of "Toothpick" Sam Jones, an intimidating 6'4" righthander who pitched from different arm angles and snorted like a horse (because of a sinus condition). “Sam had the best curveball I ever saw,” said Musial, who batted .122 in 49 at bats against Jones.

Other legendary curveballs belonged to Camilo Pascual, who earned Ted Williams’s praise as owning “the most feared curveball in the American League for 18 years”; Koufax, who generated outrageous spin by throwing his curve with four seams rather than the standard one or two; Bert Blyleven, who threw his curve with so much force that one of his catchers, Phil Roof, could hear Blyleven’s middle finger snap against his palm; and Dwight Gooden, who threw such a majestic curveball that Mets announcer Ralph Kiner, riffing on players’ slang term for the pitch, Uncle Charlie, upgraded it to a Lord Charles. A modern master, Adam Wainwright, adopted “UncleCharlie50” as his Twitter handle.

The break of a well-thrown curveball holds illusory power. All pitches pass from a hitter’s central vision—two eyes tracking its path—to his peripheral vision as the ball gets closer to the plate. (Pitches move too fast and too near for central vision to track it all the way to the bat.) The curve moves the most just as it passes from a hitter’s central vision to his peripheral vision, which means the hitter swings at where he thinks the pitch is headed, not where it actually is.

Legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully added to the curveball lexicon on March 9, 2008, when the Dodgers brought a 19-year-old minor league pitcher into a spring training game in Vero Beach, Fla. The pitcher caught Boston first baseman Sean Casey looking at such a rainbow of a pitch for strike three that Scully gushed, “Oh, what a curveball! Holy mackerel. He just broke off Public Enemy No. 1.” It was most viewers’ first introduction to the frightful plunge of the Clayton Kershaw curve, a classic 12-to-6.

Kershaw is the current King of Curves. He throws his hook with a traditional grip, only with his middle finger along the outside of the long seam rather than directly on it. Kershaw has thrown 3,863 curveballs in his career and allowed only nine home runs on it, with a ridiculously low .127 batting average on the pitch.

Oddly, there is almost nothing spectacular about the metrics of Kershaw’s curve. It spins (2,373 rpm) more slowly than the average curve (2,500), and also travels (73.3 mph) more slowly than average (77.8). The wizardry of Kershaw’s curve is in how much it resembles a fastball out of his hand. Kershaw throws each pitch from an identical release point, depriving hitters of an early “tell.”

Kershaw also disables hitters’ second level of decoding: the reading of spin. Four-seam fastballs have true backspin; they rotate so fast over the poles of the baseball that no spin is discernible. The ball appears as a gray circle. Curveballs rotate in the opposite direction—they have topspin—but slow spin or a tilted-spin axis can reveal to the hitter streaks of red across the gray circle, a tip-off from the spinning seams that the pitch is a breaking ball.

Kershaw spins his curveball at a similar rate to his fastball (2,326 rpm). Though they spin in opposite directions, because he throws both with a true overhand delivery, creating pole-to-pole rotation, the pitches first look exactly alike to a hitter: a gray circle. The four-seamer holds its plane while the Kershaw curve can drop nine inches.

“My only thought with my curveball is location,” Kershaw says. “I throw it the same every time. So it’s just a matter of whether I want to throw it for a strike or throw it in the dirt. That’s really about it.

“It’s tough to teach people. Based on the way you were born and the way you throw a baseball is the way your curveball is going to break.”

So inscrutable is the magic of a curveball that it is accepted wisdom in the game that, while pitchers can learn to sink a baseball (with a two-seamer) and cut it (with a cutter or slider), they generally cannot learn how to throw a great curve. It is not a projectable pitch. Organizations have learned that if someone does not show an aptitude to spin the baseball as an amateur, it’s foolish to expect him to acquire the skill.

Says Luhnow, “Yes, I agree, which is why there’s a lot of focus in the amateur world on finding guys who can spin a baseball. It becomes the differentiating factor. It’s not impossible to teach, but it is harder to teach than a slider.”

*****

There is an old saying in baseball: “Don’t throw a curve until you shave.” The long-held belief is that the action of imparting spin on a baseball increases stress on the elbow, especially for young pitchers whose growth plates have not closed.

This is a myth. There is no scientific evidence to show that curveballs for young pitchers are more dangerous than fastballs (as with all pitches, fatigue and poor mechanics are the biggest risk factors). A study by the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham in 2011 found no relationship between throwing curveballs at a young age and any increased risk of arm injuries in young players.

The “shave” rule has not applied to some of the greatest curveball practitioners. Blyleven, following his father’s advice, began throwing his curveball at 13. Kershaw was 11. Pascual began throwing his curveball in Cuba when he was 10. Wainwright learned his when he was nine, from his older brother, Trey. Barry Zito learned his hook when he was seven, and fired curveballs into a mattress with a strike zone painted on it.

Pomeranz, the Boston lefthander, picked up his curve at nine, and his story illustrates how metrics are changing pitching today. Pomeranz’s father, Mike, learned a unique curveball grip from a coach when he was in high school: He held one seam with the knuckle of his index finger and flicked the ball forward. There was no cranking of the elbow or wrist, not even the usual turning of the hand so that the side of the pinky faces the batter and snaps down upon release. Drew would perfect the technique while sitting on a couch, flicking the ball into the air over and over.

Pitching in the conventional fastball-first style, Pomeranz bounced from Cleveland to Colorado to Oakland to San Diego before a 2016 spring training meeting with Padres manager Andy Green and general manager A.J. Preller changed his career. They told him statistics showed that the more he threw his curveball, the better he pitched. They told him to feature the pitch.

“I just kept throwing curveball after curveball, and guys weren’t hitting it,” Pomeranz says. “They kept swinging over it and taking it for a strike. So I just kept throwing it more and more.”

Pomeranz became a 2016 All-Star for San Diego before his trade to the Red Sox. His ERA dropped from 4.07 before the change to 3.62 since. He has given up only five home runs on more than 2,000 curveballs over the past four years.

Pomeranz says, “Growing up or in college, somebody [on the other team] would call you a thumber or yell at you for throwing so many curveballs. But now I’ve gotten to the point where I’m like, ‘I don’t care. If you’re not hitting it, you can call me anything you want.'".

One of the stranger elements to Pomeranz’s curve is its low spin rate—just 2,142 rpm, a function of his knuckleball-like flick upon release. As teams collect more data from new technology, they generally equate higher spin rates with better curveballs.

According to MLB’s Statcast data last year, curves that spun faster than 2,600 rpm generated a lower batting average (.196), weaker contact (86.8-mph exit velocity) and more misses per swing (32.2%) than curves below 2,600 rpm (.225, 87.7 mph and 30.2%). Spin rates for curveballs have become just as much of a scouting tool as radar-gun readings for fastballs. The Astros, for instance, rescued McHugh and his 8.94 ERA from the scrap heap before the 2014 season because his high-spin curveball caught their attention. They took away his sinker and made him a predominantly four-seamer/cutter/curveball pitcher. From 2014 through ’16, McHugh won more AL games, 43, than any pitcher except Cy Young winners David Price, Porcello, Corey Kluber and Félix Hernández.

“That’s a success story,” Luhnow says. “I’ve had the opposite as well, where you think you can change the mix, then once you have the player, he’s not capable or doesn’t want to make the change.

“The one takeaway for me [from the data] is you can have a high spin rate with nice shape, but if you can’t throw it right where you want to throw it, it’s still not going to be a valuable pitch for you. You’re not going to throw it in meaningful counts. But if you have reasonable command, it can be a true weapon.”

Last Aug. 2, McCullers left a start against Toronto with inflammation in his elbow, which was diagnosed as a strained ligament. He did not pitch again the rest of the season. McCullers’s agent, Scott Boras, was concerned that the pitcher’s frequent use of his power curveball was taking a toll on his elbow. So Boras brought McCullers to Neal S. ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles.

ElAttrache examined McCullers. He asked him to demonstrate how he threw his curveball. Boras expected ElAttrache to tell McCullers to throw more fastballs. Instead, the doctor told McCullers to keep on snapping hooks.

“He thought the way my arm moves and the way I throw it and hold it, I actually do the least amount of damage to my ligament,” McCullers says. “I’m not manipulating the ball with my wrist. That’s where a lot of people get into trouble. I’ve got my wrist set, I’ve got my grip and I throw it right over the top like a heater. I’m letting it pronate the way it’s supposed to.”

The first time he took the mound this year McCullers threw 60% curveballs. He has increased his average curveball velocity to 86.2 mph; the average fastball velocity in 2002 was 89 mph.

The dirty little secret in this age of advanced velocity is that major league hitters are seeing fewer fastballs. At the current rate, this year they will see about 50,000 fewer fastballs than they did in 2002. Spin, not velocity, is the new currency of pitching.

To understand this change in traditional pitching principals, just watch McCullers when he reaches a full count on a hitter. The full count is the batter-pitcher matchup pushed to its limit. It used to be the baseball equivalent of a Dodge City showdown at high noon. It was the time for a pitcher’s best heat, and both sides knew it.

This year McCullers has thrown 42 full-count pitches—and 35 of them have been curveballs. Hitters are 2 for 21 against curves that ended those at bats. “This is my best pitch,” he explains, “and this is what I’m attacking you with.”

The baseball world is spinning faster and faster. In the name of Candy Cummings, it’s not just folklore. In the three seasons under Statcast, the average curveball spin rate has increased from 2,316 rpm to 2,473 to 2,500. You should forgive hitters if they don’t wish a happy 150th anniversary to their longest-running nightmare.


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     The article said:

01. "The baseball world is spinning faster and faster. In the name of Candy Cummings, it’s not just folklore."
02. "In the three seasons under Statcast, the average curveball spin rate has increased from 2,316 rpm to 2,473 to 2,500."
03. "You should forgive hitters if they don’t wish a happy 150th anniversary to their longest-running nightmare.

     The 150th anniversary of throwing curveballs is their longest-running nightmare for baseball pitchers, not batters.

     With the exception of Mr. Kershaw, the other curveballs are a result of releasing their breaking pitches over the top of the Index finger.

     When baseball pitchers release their breaking pitches over the top of their Index finger, they bang the olecranon process into the olecranon fossa.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0249.  Bassitt dealing with arm fatigue issues
San Francisco Chronicle
May 24, 2017

Chris Bassitt’s recovery from Tommy John surgery was galloping along so well, there was thought he could be back in the A’s rotation in the next few weeks.

Rehab from an elbow-ligament replacement procedure is almost never that easy, though, and Bassitt said Tuesday that his next start will be pushed back several days because of arm fatigue, and that his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville will be extended by at least 10 days.

“I’m not bouncing back between starts as well as I need to be right now,” Bassitt said. “There are still a lot of hurdles to get through. The difference between the first and the fourth inning for me right now is astronomical — energy level, arm fatigue.

In his fifth rehab outing, Saturday at Sacramento, Bassitt allowed seven hits, two walks and seven earned runs in 42/3 innings. He had allowed four runs total in his previous four appearances.

“My stuff is very inconsistent, to say the least,” he said. “My fastball is great one inning, really bad the next. The way I’m feeling right now, it’s really hard to work on that. I’m not throwing high-effort bullpen sessions because I’m just not able to. Until I get that stamina and get to 100 pitches, that’s when I’ll start to worry about results and where my fastball’s going.”

Bassitt’s rehab assignment began April 29. Pitchers’ minor-league rehab assignments normally are limited to 30 days, but under the new collective bargaining agreement, assignments for pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery can be extended by an additional 30 days in 10-day increments as long as the team and the pitcher agree to it.

“I know what it takes to be at the major-league level, and right now, there’s no way. I’m not close. I’m just not,” Bassitt said. “I’m very grateful that both parties worked that out in the CBA.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0250.  Royals place Karns on 10-day DL
SB Nation
May 24, 2017

The Royals have placed pitcher Nate Karns on the 10-day disabled list and have activated outfielder Alex Gordon from paternity leave. Karns left his last start on Friday against the Twins with forearm stiffness, and would be eligible to return on Wednesday, May 31 when the Royals play the Tigers.

Forearm injuries can sometimes be a precursor to Tommy John surgery, but typically it is a strain on the bottom of the arm, or the flexor muscle, while Karns is experiencing tightness on the top of his arm.

“He’s got stiffness up here and some fluid back here,” Yost said, pointing toward the elbow. “Which is keeping him from extending, which is probably why this is getting tight.”

Karns has a 4.17 ERA in 45 1?3 innings for the Royals this year, but has fared better as a starter with a 3.43 ERA in eight starts, including a 12-strikeout performance on May 13 against Baltimore. He has a history of injuries, missing half of last season with a back injury.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Until Mr. Karns learns how to release hie breaking pitches under the Middle finger, Mr. Karnes will continue to suffer pain.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0251.  Wahl heads to DL for Athletics
San Jose Mercury News
May 24, 2017

OAKLAND – The A’s made a roster move to put a pitcher on the disabled list Wednesday as expected. The pitcher involved was unexpected, Bobby Wahl heading to the 10-day DL with right shoulder stiffness.

The expectation was that right-handed starting pitcher Jesse Hahn would be the man going off the roster after he’d been pulled from Tuesday’s game in the third inning with right triceps tendinitis.

Hahn may still land there, but the A’s are waiting to have their medical crew read the results of the MRI on the elbow that Hahn underwent Wednesday morning before a decision is made with manager Bob Melvin saying no decision would be made before Thursday.

And first baseman Yonder Alonso, whose status was up in the air after he was hit on the hand Tuesday and was forced out of the game, was not in the Wednesday lineup. However, the expectations are that he should be good to go this weekend in New York against the Yankees.

Right-hander Zach Neal was called up to take Wahl’s spot on the roster. He’ll be the long man in the bullpen for now with Wahl gone and Josh Smith overworked and ineffective.

Melvin said Wahl’s issues had been developing for a few days.

“He just had some biceps tendinitis,” Melvin said. “It was on and off for a bit, but it really came to a head last night. He’ll see the doctor here today, but it was enough that we thought the DL was the prudent thing to do.”

Because of a day off Thursday as the club heads to the Bronx, the A’s aren’t rushed for a decision on Hahn, whose spot in the rotation could be pushed back to Tuesday in Cleveland.

“Jesse is still under evaluation,” Melvin said. “The doctor will look at him today.”

Hahn, whose day started with an MRI doesn’t know quite what to make of his status, saying “I don’t know if I’m going on the DL” with the seeming half-expectation it will happen.

“I’ve had Tommy John surgery before,” he said. “It didn’t feel anything like this. But this morning, it’s mostly just normal Day 1 soreness.”

Wahl became the 14th use of the DL by the A’s this season. That’s halfway to the Oakland club record of 27 set last year, and 45 games into the season Oakland is on pace for 46 DL uses for the season.

The A’s have already had five starting pitchers on the disabled list in the first seven weeks of the season. Chris Bassitt is recovering from Tommy John surgery, Kendall Graveman missed 10 day with a right shoulder strain, Sonny Gray missed April with a right shoulder strain, Sean Manaea missed 16 days with a left shoulder strain and Daniel Mengden went on the DL to start the season after needing right foot surgery.

Graveman, Gray and Manaea all have returned to active duty. Mengden has been taken off the disabled list and assigned to Triple-A Nashville.

The A’s needed to cover the last seven innings Tuesday with the bullpen, so Neal’s arrival is opportune. He’s a starter who also has experience in long relief.

“It’s a little bit of a length role for us right now,” Melvin said. “We got into the bullpen a little bit.”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent shoulder issues, baseball pitchers need to turn the back of the upper arm to face toward home plate and rotate the hips and shoulders forward togethers over their Front foot.      To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0252.  Top Velocity Episode #371 conversation with the proprietor

My latest comment to him when he said to me: "I swear you use same Dr. Marshall analysis for every pitcher. Do you really think everyone's problems are linked to reverse Forearm bounce??" was -

"Brent Pourciau, if you are throwing the ball at 100% effort so that you have to ice your elbow and shoulder after pitching, you are injuring your arm every time you pitch.

Ice is only used to help speed the recovery of injuries.

After you pitch, if you have internal "tightness" or swelling, you have injured your elbow or shoulder joint.

Ice is used to reduce swelling of an injury by reducing internal bleeding.

We HAVE to stop teaching throwing motions that injure arms every time you pitch.

Would you agree?

The elbow is designed to flex directly back toward the shoulder and extend directly away from it.

It is not meant to withstand shearing valgus forces.

Would you agree with that statement?

Throwing with valgus stress on your elbow causes injury to some degree every time you pitch.

Late forearm turnover and the resulting reverse forearm bounce is the exact cause of tremendous shearing valgus stress on the elbow.

Therefore reverse forearm bounce from late forearm turnover is truly causing injury to the elbow joint EVERY time a pitcher employs it.

Otherwise they wouldn't need to apply an ice pack after every outing."

Interestingly enough, throughout all of my posts on his videos, I have not once mentioned your name once.

I have purposely done so, because I did not want anyone to have pre-conceived notions.

So I found it interesting that he knows about you.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Mr. Pourciau et al need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then go to 08. Football Training Program and learn how to 'horizontally sail' the Lid off a four-gallon bucket.

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0253.  My baseball pitcher wants to time the force-couple

My dad brought up the force-couple and thinks I try to pull back my arm too early.

1. Should I wait to fully extend my tricep and then start to pull back my upper arm pulling the scapula back?

2. Or should I start to pull back early right when I start to extend my elbow out of slingshot position?

3. When do I start the force-couple?

4. When do I start the lean back?


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     How about cracking a whip analogy?

     You start by laying the entire length out of your pitching arm laying behind you.

     Then, you throw the entire length of the whip toward home plate.

     Then, just when the tip of the whip is almost reached full length, you pull back hard and hear the tip of the whip crack.

     How about a fly fishing analogy where you set the hook in the big fish?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0254.  My baseball pitcher has some more force-couple analogies

How about the arm laying back like a num-chuck and then cracking the whip with it?

Having the full length of the arm laying back will definitely increase my driveline length.

Now I just need to do it with out looping my pitching forearm.

Thanks for those analogies.

They help me understand a lot.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Numb-chucks sounds to me.

     Wait to the last second along the end of the acromial line, then explode the pronation snap.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0255.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (5/20-26/2017)

SATURDAY (5/20)--13 games
Average number of pitches per game: 310.38
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.24
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.23
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 25.93

  SUNDAY (5/21)--16 games
Average number of pitches per game: 287.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.28
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.38
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 25.58

MON (5/22)--9 games
Average number of pitches per game: 281.78
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.15
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.78
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 19.23

TUE (5/23)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 290.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.05
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.87
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 25.00

WED (5/24)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 279.33
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.81
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.73
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 18.60

THU (5/25)--10 games
Average number of pitches per game: 293.20
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.85
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.30
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 17.46

FRI (5/26)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 279.73
Average number of pitches per half inning: 15.89
Average number of innings per starter: Exactly 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.27
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.78


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Thank you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0256.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 5/20-5/26/2017

  No out: 495
--------------
None on: 388
Runner at first: 65
Runners at first and second: 10
Runners at first and third: 5
Bases loaded: 2
Runner at second: 22
Runners at second and third: 1
Runner at third: 2

One out: 479
------------
None on: 286
Runner at first: 74
Runners at first and second: 37
Runners at first and third: 4
Bases loaded: 10
Runner at second: 41
Runners at second and third: 15
Runner at third: 12

Two outs: 533
-------------
None on: 245
Runner at first: 103
Runners at first and second: 52
Runners at first and third: 22
Bases loaded: 15
Runner at second: 50
Runners at second and third: 17
Runner at third: 29


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Thank you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0257.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 3811/18820 (20.25%)
------------
None on: 2834/13447 (21.08%)
Runner at first: 541/2975 (18.18%)
Runners at first and second: 145/755 (19.21%)
Runners at first and third: 40/232 (17.24%)
Bases loaded: 43/197 (21.83%)
Runner at second: 151/895 (16.87%)
Runners at second and third: 35/194 (18.04%)
Runner at third: 22/125 (17.60%)

One out: 3865/18205 (21.23%)
------------
None on: 2257/9837 (22.94%)
Runner at first: 672/3610 (18.61%)
Runners at first and second: 270/1326 (20.36%)
Runners at first and third: 90/541 (16.64%)
Bases loaded: 88/499 (17.64%)
Runner at second: 293/1425 (20.56%)
Runners at second and third: 94/467 (20.13%)
Runner at third: 101/500 (20.20%)

Two outs: 4014/17532 (22.90%)
-------------
None on: 1874/7851 (23.87%)
Runner at first: 780/3513 (22.20%)
Runners at first and second: 362/1632 (22.18%)
Runners at first and third: 150/685 (21.90%)
Bases loaded: 129/577 (22.36%)
Runner at second: 410/1878 (21.83%)
Runners at second and third: 137/563 (24.33%)
Runner at third: 172/833 (20.65%)


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Thank you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, June 04, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0258.  Rick Bueti's interview of Dr. Mike Marshall

I'm attaching a copy of my article.

Unfortunately, The Sports Haven, a fledgling website I've been writing for recently, doesn't see the value in publishing it as they believe it doesn't relate to today's reader.

They suggested I edit the content to compare your 1974 season to someone like Clayton Kershaw.

I told them a comparison between you and Kershaw is apples and oranges, and it's absolutely relevant to today's readers so they can understand how the game has changed.

For example, I told them if a closer today pitches 3 days in a row, he needs at least 2 days off to recover.

I also explained again your endurance in 1974 (and after) and how you even threw BP frequently between appearances!

Unfortunately, they incredibly cannot grasp the significance.

I've also tried other publications, but nobody will respond to me, so I'm in limbo.

At any rate, I'll let you know if I ever find a publisher.

All the best to you and thanks again for answering my questions!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Q&A with the Man who had the greatest single-season relief pitching performance in baseball history (No, it’s not Mariano Rivera)

In late April of this year I had the good fortune to be introduced by Ray Frosti, a mutual friend, to 1974 National League Cy Young Award winner, Dr. Mike Marshall.

Ray encouraged me to email Marshall for this interview, informing me that Marshall can no longer hear well enough via telephone due to ear surgery he had as a child, which I confirmed during this session.

Ray predicted Marshall would get right back to me with frank responses to my questions. Indeed he did.

Marshall’s remarkable achievements during his Cy Young season have not been approached in the 42 years since.

I believe the records he set for relief appearances and innings pitched will never be broken and belong in the same pantheon of achievement as Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, or Ted William’s .406 batting average, both accomplished in 1941.

Consider this.

In 2016, San Diego Padres relief pitcher Brad Hand led the major leagues with 82 relief appearances and pitched 89 1/3 innings, but only finished 16 games.

In 1974, Marshall made 106 appearances, pitched a mind-numbing 208 1/3 innings, and finished an astounding 83 games (a figure he somehow surpassed in 1979 at age 36 with 84 games finished), all of them in relief.

Marshall went 15-12 during the season, had 21 saves, and posted a 2.42 ERA. His workload continued in the postseason as he led the Dodgers to the World Series and although they lost to the three-peating world champion Oakland A’s, Marshall pitched in all 5 games, throwing 9 innings with 10 strikeouts and finished the series with a 1.00 ERA.

This complete body of work is unquestionably the greatest season by a relief pitcher in baseball history, especially when compared with today’s game replete with pre-set pitch counts, innings limitations, rest requirements, and middle-relief, set-up and closing specialists.

In 1974, “rest” was a misnomer for Marshall. He was often a middle reliever, set-up man and closer rolled into one.

Now 74 years old, Marshall has spent much of his professional and post-professional life being unfairly labeled as an ornery curmudgeon. I found Marshall to be refreshingly non-conformist; he’s totally disinterested with his place in history, his hall of fame potential, or in talking about his statistics.

Many of his answers are brief, but bluntly candid.

For instance, he insists he was banned by MLB owners following the 1981 strike; he thinks MLB pitching coaches have been negligently clueless for more than a century; and, Tommy John surgery is a waste.

I also asked him several questions, like who his favorite teammate was; who did he fear the most as a hitter; what does he think about today’s players; does he think his contemporary, Pete Rose, belongs in the Hall of Fame; does he think Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time; what does he think of some of the changes to the game, like the no-pitch intentional walk or instant replay?

He answered the same in all cases: “I don’t think about it.”

Marshall is not your typical retired ball player.

He has a PHD in Physical Education and Exercise Physiology and has been a Professor of Kinesiology for more than a decade.

He’s unquestionably frustrated his unique approaches to pitching mechanics have been ignored by Major League Baseball, despite his advanced knowledge of human physiology and stellar career which he completed at age 38, but then continued as a semi-pro for 18 more years with no arm injuries!

How else can one explain Marshall’s uncanny stability, other than he knows the correct way to throw a baseball which prevents the epidemic of elbow and shoulder injuries we see in pitchers of all ages today?

Marshall cares deeply about teaching young players his unique approach to playing baseball.

He has coached at the college level and he’s taught his techniques via his pitching camps for decades.

Dr. Marshall’s responses to my questions are listed here verbatim.

I appreciate his candor and willingness to answer them openly.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Tell me about 1974. You set a record for relief appearances (106) and innings pitched for a reliever (208 1/3). You won the Cy Young award and led the Dodgers to the World Series, where you lost to a legendary A's team, but you personally performed tremendously.

Today's relief pitchers don't come close to that workload, and your records have stood for 42 years. How did you do it (mentally and physically)? Also, do you have any regrets about 1974?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: The way that I tolerated mentally and physically was that I designed a pitching motion that eliminated all physical stress. The more that I pitched, the easier to pitch. When I did not pitch the night before, I threw batting practice to the non-starters. The more that I threw, the more skilled I was. Not pitching was the problem.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Obviously, you wanted the ball every day in 1974 and tied a record for most consecutive game appearances (13) in addition to the overall amazing workload. Did you ever have any shoulder or elbow issues or any other physical issues to overcome that season? If not, do you credit your unique motion you learned through your study of kinesiology?

The pitching motion I designed removed made pitching easy. Kinesiology showed me the way.

RB: What was your relationship like with Walter Alston? Was he ever reluctant to use you in 1974? Did he care about your well-being, or was he just going to ride the horse as long as he could, your health be damned?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: When I arrived in Spring Training, Walter told me that he had taken a Kinesiology class. He told me to tell him when he needed a day off. I told Walter that I will never take a day off. It keeps me sharp.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: A lot has been written about your "curmudgeonly" demeanor and that you always spoke your mind, which allegedly alienated you with some teammates. How do you respond to that? Do you have relationships with any former teammates today?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: From my birth, I had hearing problems. A hearing test in fourth grade ended with an operation. The operation destroyed my hearing worse with loud ringing in my ears. I have tolerated the loud ringing to this day. On every team I played, they voted me the team representative.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: You had a 14 year career. Who were your favorite teammates and why?

Pitching major league baseball was for play. Earning my doctoral degree was important. I spent my time on the road studying. Hearing minimized my conversations.

RB: Who was the best hitter you faced in your career? Who was the best all-around player you ever saw?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: I pitched for fun, not thinking about players.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: You played against some of the greatest players ever (Clemente, Mays, Aaron). Was there any batter you feared, or did you have confidence you could get out anybody if you pitched them the right way?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: I recorded every batter's at bats and wrote the six pitch sequences I would use.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: You weren't an overpowering closer like a Goose Gossage, or like Aroldis Chapman today, but you were a fantastic pitcher nonetheless. Did you study the opposing batters tendencies, or did you just pitch your own sequence and essentially outsmart whoever stepped in to face you?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: Pitching should be skill, not power. Pitch sequences change with the batters.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: What was your mentality while you were taking the ball so often? Did you do anything to pump yourself up, did you have a mantra?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: After every At Bat, I wrote the pitch sequence for the next at bat.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: When you were with the Twins and 36 years old in your 12th season, you made 90 appearances and pitched 136 innings with only 1 start and led the league with 32 saves. How did you handle that workload so late in your career?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: The more that I pitched, the better the results. Being the player representative ended my career.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Would you mind elaborating on that? I'm assuming you were cast aside because you were a union rep, but I don't want to make any assumptions.

--------------------------------------------------


MM: We were having a difficult time getting the owners to meet our needs. In a meeting with the team's representatives, I offered that the players strike in the last week of spring training and strike again on Memorial Day.

After Memorial Day, I heard that in a month, the owners were going get rid of me, which they did. I had a contract for 1979, 1980 and 1981. Calvin Griffin had to get help for other teams to cover my salary for 1980 and 1981. I had a 1982 salary that was not guaranteed. Marvin Miller reneged on his pledge to make player representative unable to fire.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: I'm sorry, I'm confused. You pitched (very well) for the Mets when you were signed in August following the 1981 strike. When did the owners decide to ban you? Was it following the 1981 season and was it due to your support for the 1981 strike? When did you advocate for the strike since you were unsigned at the beginning of the 1981 season, I believe?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: Two weeks after 1981 Memorial Day, Major League Baseball banned me.

After the strike was ending, a couple of Major League pitchers injured themselves, so Joe Torre asked me if I was ready to pitch. After 14 months of not touching a baseball, I told Joe that I would be to go with two weeks.

As you noted, I pitched well. Unfortunately, the Mets fired Joe and with Joe gone, the Mets fired me.

I got an invite to the Yankees spring training (in 1982), but I had daughters starting college and in high school and my ex-wife taking what she could and returned to East Lansing, MI. So, I decided to take care of my kids.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: You pitched 18 more years after you retired from pro baseball (until you were approximately 56 years old). Did you experience any arm issues at all during that time, or were you healthy the entire time? If so, do you credit your in depth understanding of human physiology?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: If I had not tried to catch a falling free standing closet, I would have pitched for years. Unfortunately, I tore my Supraspinatus.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: What do you think of professional pitchers today in general and the epidemic of Tommy John surgeries? Do you think if MLB pitchers adopted your philosophy that ulnar injuries would be virtually eliminated?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

The Ulnar Collateral Ligament cannot move the Ulna bone tightly to the Humerus bone, the Pronator Teres muscle can. Surgery is a waste.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: I continue to see injury after injury with pitchers (Noah Syndergaard just today) which would be curtailed using your philosophy. My brother thinks it's all a big scam. After all, what would all the doctors who perform Tommy John surgery do if there were no more patients?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: That 'traditional' pitching coaches teach an injury that destroys the elbow joint is worth suing them.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: You had a hand in 285 wins in your 14 year career as a starter and reliever combined, obviously a tremendous career and your Cy Young season and overall endurance were incredible. Do you think you'll ever get the Hall of Fame recognition you deserve, say from the veterans committee vote?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: I have better things to do, like teach pitchers to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger, not the over the Index finger. For over one hundred and fifty years, pitching coaches have destroyed the pitchers elbow joint.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Do you think the players who excelled during the steroid era, particularly Bonds, A-Rod, McGwire, Palmeiro, Clemens and Sosa, should be banned from HOF consideration, or were they just victims of circumstance since so many players were juicing at that time in order to maximize their talent?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: How can players use steroids and feel good about themselves?

--------------------------------------------------

RB: What would you like people today to know about you? Are the critical perceptions of you unfair, do you care about your professional legacy in the game, or have your contributions to the game through your teaching camps, coaching, etc. been enough for you?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: I want baseball to eliminate destroying the elbow joint. I can show them how in five minutes.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Why do you think your style of throwing has not caught on? Are pitching coaches/managers just not savvy enough to understand your methods, or is there something deeper to this?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: 'Traditional' pitching coaches refused to learn my pitching motion. They did not know the difference the Latissimus Dorsi muscle and the Pectoralis Major muscle.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Ray and I had some interesting discussions about different, unorthodox coaching methods you have outside of pitching. For instance, he mentioned you had a rule with teams you coached that no batter in your lineup was allowed to swing at a pitch until they had at least 2 strikes in the count the entire first time through your order? Is that true?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: Baseball is a team game. For the first two batters in the first two innings to take two strikes gives the team makes sure that batters have seen those pitches.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: What was your thinking there, because to my way of thinking, what if the pitcher doesn't have his best stuff in the first inning and you blew an opportunity to do some major damage with the bats, and by waiting until you have 2 strikes you're putting yourself in a hole?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: I prefer my batters take two strikes and not chase a pitch in the dirt or over their head.

--------------------------------------------------

RB: Were there any other unique strategies you can share that you are most proud of?

--------------------------------------------------


MM: Hit one hop line drives in the opposite infield wins games, not long fly balls.

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0259.  Pitching

I am a 16 year-old high school pitcher.

During my time in youth baseball, I was very good at performing your pitching motion.

When I first got to high school the coaches saw my mechanics and wanted to change them to a "traditional" motion.

At the time, I did not understand how greatly these changes affected me.

At one point when I was 11, I could throw in the upper 60s, and after changing my mechanics, I was 14 and still throwing in the upper 60s.

For the past year, I have been trying to re-teach my body how to perform the actions I once did so effortlessly.

I have watched many of your videos and viewed the workout programs.

I am getting better slowly, but one thing I have trouble with is getting my forearm into the maximum acceleration position.

A lot of times my arm is halfway extended when it should be bent and my elbow leading my arm.

Is this a problem you experience in many of your pitchers?

And do you have any tips on how I should fix this?


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     You have to watch my two and one-half hours Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     Then, you need to watch section 08. Football Training Program that teaches pitchers how to 'horizontally sail' the Lid off a four-gallon bucket.

     After you have thrown hundreds of Lid throw, then you use a junior football to learn how to properly rotate the tips of the football.

     Section 02. Research Begins teaches pitchers to release their breaking pitches under the Middle finger.

     Section 03. Injurious Flaws teaches what not to do.

     Section 04. Biomechanical Flaws that you must not do.

     Section 06. Wrist Weight Training Program.

     Section 07. Iron Ball Training Program teaches the proper way to apply force to your pitches.

     Section 09. Baseball Training Program teaches the Marshall pitching motion.

     Section 11. James Jeffrey Sparks shows the joy of pitching without injuries.

     If you are serious, then I will send a disk that you can use.

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0260.  One of my over 40 pitchers sent me a upgrade

I had another good start last night. I keep learning more and more. I am striving to get my pitching side in front of my glove leg and point my acromial line toward home plate before releasing the ball. The closer I get to achieving that, the harder I throw and with more ball spin and movement.

I am doing everything well with arm and body action. I am loading my Latissimus Dorsi muscle really well. Upon my forward drive, I am fully engaging my Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps Brachii, and Pronator Teres in good sequential order so that before, during, and after release, I have powerful a pronation snap, then immediate elbow pop up and my pitching hand "finishes" at almost my pitching hip pocket.

Since I started playing ball again 7 years ago, while working on mastering your motion, I am now throwing the hardest and with the most movement yet in my "second" baseball career.

I believe my entire motion is within 98% of your perfect model. The wonderful result is, the closer I get to 100% the more powerful and effective I become!

P.S. Hope all goes well in June with Dr. Gary Green


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The more that you learn, the better the results.

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0261.  Teen player finds alternative to Tommy John surgery
Associated Press
May 29, 2017

GRAFTON, MA: (AP) The pitching gods have naturally blessed Sammy Rosenfield. He’s just 14 years old but already stands 6 feet 5 inches and has a wingspan that would rival that of Red Sox ace Chris Sale. He was an all-star for his local AAU baseball team before he tore a ligament in his elbow playing basketball.

“I just love pitching,” says Rosenfield a high honors freshman at Grafton High School. “I want to be a major league pitcher.”

Doctors told him he needed Tommy John surgery, which typically has a recovery time of 12-18 months. His parents researched a ligament repair instead of a reconstruction, which could cut his recovery time in half.

They wound up at the famous Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, where Roger Clemens, Michael Jordan, Drew Brees, and John Cena, among other top athletes, have been treated. Tommy John surgeries were performed here on pitchers John Smoltz, David Wells, and Kerry Wood.

But none of the above superstars has had the operation that Rosenfield is considering. Known by its clunky official name - Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair with Internal Brace - it could be called “Tommy John lite.”

“Is this a breakthrough? Yes,” says Glenn Fleisig, the research director of the American Sports Medicine Institute.

“It’s a big deal because up until this, having Tommy John surgery was the only choice. You either have the big surgery or you live with the situation. This introduces a middle compromise approach.”

For Rosenfield, who has pitched only six innings the past two seasons because of arm injuries, playing next season could become a reality.

“When I’m on the mound I feel like that’s where I am supposed to be,” he says.

‘All of a sudden my arm was just dead’

June 13, 2015 was Rosenfield's bar mitzvah day. It was also the day he pitched the New England Storm to an AAU New England championship.

Unbeknownst to his parents, he put his uniform on under his navy suit, read from the Torah, and then abruptly left the party.

His uncle drove him to the ballpark and he changed in the car.

“My coach told me he thought I’d be really nervous, so he said depending how I looked, he’d decide whether to pitch me,” Rosenfield says.

Former Storm manager Keith Lyon remembers the day well. “Time was tight, but I saw how he pulled it together. He was normal Sammy, ready to go, all business, and we won.”

Rosenfield pitched a complete game, got the game ball, and then schlepped his team back to the reception.

It wasn’t long before injuries started to set in. Fast-forward to March 2016. After hearing a pop in his shoulder while throwing a bullpen session, Rosenfield was diagnosed with a fractured growth plate and couldn’t throw overhand at a practice in late March, flipping the ball back to his coach underhand.

“All of a sudden my arm was just dead,” he says.

The orthopedic surgeon prescribed rest and rehab for 12 weeks. Rosenfield returned in early June to play first base.

Then in December, Rosenfield was playing junior varsity basketball when he reached in for a loose ball.

“I got arm-barred,” he says.

One doctor told him he could be back in six weeks.

But an orthopedic surgeon for his new baseball team, the New England Ruffnecks, a college development program, discovered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament during a physical and asked for a second opinion.

The doctor’s opening line was chilling. “The first thing he said to Sammy is, ‘Are you a good hitter?’ ” recalled Sammy's father, Todd Rosenfield.

Sammy was told he needed Tommy John surgery, but he was too young to be a candidate because his growth plates were still developing. He cried all the way home.

They tried a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection. It didn’t help. So they sent his MRI to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Dugas in Alabama. Dugas’s mentor is Dr. James Andrews, a household name among professional athletes.

Dugas performed his first UCL repair in August 2013 on a local high school pitcher who went on to pitch successfully at the college level. Dugas has performed an estimated 150 of the 400 done nationwide.

This relatively new surgery has a 100 percent success rate to date. Tommy John surgery has a success rate of nearly 85 percent, according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

The bigger issue is the alarming number of elbow injuries in baseball. One in four major league pitchers has already had Tommy John surgery, according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The number of Tommy John surgeries increased 343 percent between 2003 and 2014, with the highest rise in the 15- to 19-year age group, according to a study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.

Another problem is that more than half of high school athletes (51 percent) incorrectly “believe that Tommy John surgery should be performed on players without elbow injury to enhance performance,” according to the Phys Sportsmed journal.

Kids today throw harder and are recruited at younger ages for travel teams and showcase events, where scouts swarm. Fleisig, the researcher, helped Pitch Smart, a collaborative educational effort by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, change pitch counts from innings to pitches. He says Rosenfield's situation is slightly different.

"Sammy did not get injured by overuse, but he is going through the same process,” he said.

His coach always followed strict pitch counts and his parents refused to let Sammy pitch in the offseason. His parents aren’t pushing their son to be a major leaguer.

“I just want you to have fun and get into an Amherst or Williams,” says Todd Rosenfield to his son in the waiting room.

Added his mother, Amy, “I think where we’ve pushed him is that we want him to be the best that he can be.”

How good is this kid?

“He’s so young and raw, but he definitely has a lot of upside with how big he is for his age and how loose his actions were,” says Matt Blake, who tutored Sammy before being hired by the Cleveland Indians as a minor league pitching instructor.

Rosenfield's trip to Alabama in early April begins with an ominous start. Baseball-sized hail and tornado warnings have been posted. When Dugas enters the exam room he informs Sammy that the odds are 90-100 percent that he can do the UCL repair instead of the reconstruction. He explains that the operation is not for everyone - the ligament can’t be frayed from overuse -but the final decision will have to be made in the operating room. Sammy doesn’t want the Tommy John surgery; he doesn’t want a tendon graft taken from his leg or from a cadaver.

“Do I have the confidence to do this in you?” Dugas asks himself. “Absolutely. Do I know what it’s going to look like in 10 years? I don’t, nobody does. Based on what we’ve seen this looks good.”

Two major league pitchers have already had the primary repair surgery, performed by Dr. George Paletta, the St. Louis Cardinals’ head orthopedic physician - former Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, now with the Royals, and Mitch Harris, who is currently with the Cardinals’ Triple A team in Memphis.

Sitting in an exam room surrounded by signed photos and uniforms of sports stars, Dugas senses Rosenfield's drive to return ASAP.

“It takes 6-8 weeks to heal and you are not the biological stud that heals faster than every other human being who has ever been born,” Dugas says. “You are not at liberty to make up the Rosenfield Protocol. Do what we tell you. Deal?” “Deal,” says Rosenfield.

Sammy will have a scar on his elbow but no pain after a day or two, says Dugas.

“You can always get a tattoo over it,” the doctor adds, with a smile. Basic throwing exercises can begin nine weeks later, with a return possible in 6-8 months.

But the night before the operation, Rosenfield tosses and turns.

“He kind of shut down. He really had a tough time last night,” says his father.

The operation on April 6 lasts just 29 minutes. Within 10 minutes, Dugas has inspected the ligament and found it to be in good shape. A minute fleck of bone had broken off the elbow and with it a small piece of the ligament. Dugas drills two small holes, taps a surgical hammer a dozen times so that two plastic anchors are set in the bone, and then reattaches the ligament with collagen-dipped tape, a suture material.

“Now I’m going to sew it down so it doesn’t windshield wipe a little bit,” Dugas says, checking Rosenfield's range of motion.

“Call the father,” says Dugas, “so he doesn’t have a heart attack waiting.”

There is little blood and zero drama. The whole process seems as routine as an oil change.

“Piece of cake,” says Dugas, giving fist bumps as he exits the room.

Rosenfield wakes up groggy but happy in the recovery room, sucking on ice chips, then dozing off before they melt. Dugas has already visited him with the good news.

“That’s a great kind of injury because we don’t have to guess the length of things, you just stick it back from where it came. And that’s what makes this operation so good. You’re just putting it back where God made it,” says Dugas.

Rosenfield is relieved.

He remembers nothing of the operation and wants to see the photos. Like every other 14-year-old, he wants his phone back immediately.

He hugs his parents and tells the nurse he’s ready to go home.

“It feels like when I go to the school dance and I’m out with friends afterwards, I’m just dead tired. But at the same time I wanted to get up and see you guys,” he says.

Earlier this spring, he attended his varsity team practices. He was limited to flipping the ball underhand back to the coach hitting fungoes. He said he wasn’t in pain but he clearly looked wounded.

“I want to tell my story because I hope this can help some other kids,” he says.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0262.  Injuries throw Crawdads pitcher for a curve
Hickory Record
May 31, 2017

HICKORY: With a strong 2014 sophomore season at Duke University, right-handed pitcher Michael Matuella was primed to take his place among the best young pitchers in the pro baseball ranks.

Over 58.1 innings that season, he had allowed just 55 baserunners and struck out 69.

At 6-6, 220-pounds, the native of Great Falls, Va., had the tools to become the first overall pick in the 2015 first-year player draft. Published scouting reports had his fastball at 97 mph with a sharp downward plane coming from a figure that stood tall on the mound.

Add to that a changeup, curve and slider – all pitches that Matuella had a good feel for – and the ingredients for a team to develop a frontline, major league starting pitcher were at hand.

But while talented pitchers can control the game with their ability and tools, in baseball there are always things beyond the control of the best arms: injuries.

Matuella has spent the last two years dealing with first a back injury and then had the dreaded “Tommy John” surgery – the reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

A lower back injury suffered in 2014 was diagnosed as spondylolysis, defined as a disintegration or dissolution of a vertebra, most commonly in the lower back.

“It’s something that I manage,” Matuella said. “I’ve been asymptomatic for two years. I don’t feel it. It’s something that once you do the rehab and once you develop a stronger core and develop strength all around that, it’s an injury you just don’t feel.”

While some clubs had questions about a pitcher with a lower back injury, Matuella learned that spondylolysis is much more common in athletes than most realize.

“I think they estimate that probably 20 percent of athletes have that injury,” Matuella explained. “But they don’t know they have it because it’s not causing any issues. So, for me, I’m at that point – and I’ve been at the point for a while now – where it’s not a big deal for me.”

Matuella was cleared to throw in January 2015 and was still on pace as a possible number one overall pick until an outing March 27 at Boston College. He threw his final college pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“I basically felt it on one pitch,” Matuella recalled. “I didn’t feel any popping sensation or pulling sensation. It just felt like a lot of pain in there, so I didn’t think it was UCL until we got the MRI and saw that it was.”

Despite the surgery and a year of rehab that lay ahead, Matuella worried more about a major league team’s perception of him than he did of his own recovery.

Matuella said, “For me, it wasn’t worry like, ‘Am I going to do this?’ or ‘Am I going to be able to come back and pitch again?’ It was more like, teams shouldn’t be thrown by that. I was hoping they would judge me based on what I would do going forward versus the injury.”

The Texas Rangers were one team that looked toward Matuella’s future and the potential promise he offered.

Though the Rangers took him in the third round, they saw him as a first-round pick and paid him as such. His reported $2 million signing bonus was equal to that of a first-rounder. Draft position and bonus money aside, what impressed Matuella more was the research and upcoming plans the team had for him.

“I was happy that they did a lot of research on me and I really appreciated how much research they did on my back issue and, obviously, I was more nervous about ‘Tommy John,’” Matuella said.

“They had put together a plan for me moving forward about they wanted to me to do and where they wanted me to go and a timeline for certain things. I was super impressed and super happy that they were so invested and put so much time and thought into what my program would be.”

The year of rehab passed and Matuella was finally set to make his pro debut with the Rangers short-season affiliate at Spokane (Wash.) for its opening night.

After three innings, Matuella’s season was over after spraining the reconstructed UCL. Though another surgery was not required, the Rangers decided to shut him down from game action until the 2017 season.

Matuella explained his frustration, “That was a lot tough mentally than the first time around, because the first time around I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to get the surgery, not a big deal.’ There’s no expectations of re-injury. Then it was like, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’ and ‘How did that happen again?’”

He started throwing again in October and after staying at the Rangers training camp in Arizona to start the season, Matuella joined the Crawdads on April 27.

At times, the results have been mixed as Matuella focuses mainly on getting into a routine as a pro starting pitcher. Heading into Tuesday’s game, he sported a 7.94 ERA over 11.1 innings with 13 strikeouts.

Matuella understands the main goal for 2017 is to complete the year healthy, but that in itself, is not good enough for him. “Obviously, I need to be healthy and I need to be able to move forward and pitch and have a full season under my belt,”

Matuella said. “But…it’s not like I’m going to be happy if I’m pitching, but doing crappy every outing. There needs to be both in order for me to be happy.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0263.  Velasquez suffers elbow injury as Phillies' May woes mount
CSNPhilly.com
May 31, 2017

MIAMI, FL: So much for Vince Velasquez building on that good outing last week against Colorado …

Velasquez exited Tuesday night's start against Miami in the second inning with a right elbow flexor strain.

That is not good news. Clay Buchholz suffered a similar injury in April and required season-ending surgery. Cliff Lee suffered a flexor strain in 2014. He opted not to have corrective surgery, suffered a setback the next spring and never pitched again.

The severity of Velasquez's injury and whether or not he will require surgery was not immediately known. The pitcher had Tommy John surgery on the same elbow in September 2010.

Velasquez suffered a noticeable drop in velocity on his fastball in the second inning. He fired at 94 mph in the first inning, but slipped several miles per hour in the second inning. He threw just 19 pitches before exiting. Mark Leiter Jr. took over.

Velasquez recorded only one out in the second inning. He allowed a leadoff homer to Marcell Ozuna (on a 90-mph fastball) and a booming double to Justin Bour (on an 88-mph fastball) to open the frame.

In his previous start, Velasquez pitched five innings of one-run ball against Colorado. He relied on a high, riding fastball in that game and was eager to employ the same approach against Miami on Tuesday night.

So much for that plan.

Velasquez, who turns 25 next month, will go on the disabled list 


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0264.  Wood leaves Dodgers to undergo doctor's exam
Los Angeles Times
June 01, 2017

Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood has flown back to Los Angeles to undergo an examination by team doctors on the soreness in his chest. Diagnosed with inflammation in his SC joint, which connects the sternum to the clavicle, Wood’s recovery has stagnated, Manager Dave Roberts said before Thursday’s game against the Cardinals.

Roberts initially hoped Wood would only miss one start. That number could double. The team’s medical staff has told Roberts that the injury should not take much longer than two weeks to heal. But Wood will need to get checked out once more.

“We were hoping for a little more improvement, initially,” Roberts said. “I think it hit a plateau. To get ahead of it, get him back home, to see the docs and see what’s going on.”

With Wood on the 10-day disabled list, Hyun-Jin Ryuis likely to stay in the starting rotation. Ryu turned in six innings of one-run baseball in Wood’s place on Wednesday at Busch Stadium.

Wood (6-0, 1.69 earned-run average) has outpaced expectations in 2017, earning a spot in the rotation after opening the season in the bullpen. The team will remain cautious, given his injury history. Wood underwent Tommy John surgery in college and required elbow surgery last summer. Roberts indicated that Wood had not reported any pain or discomfort in his shoulder.

While Roberts insisted that Wood’s current condition did not alarm him, he saw little reason to rush Wood back.

“We just want to make sure it’s right,” Roberts said. “And if [he misses] an extra start, so be it.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

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0265.  The Kluber Concern: Follow-up to heavy workload challenging
ESPN.com
June 01, 2017

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber returns from his DL stint on Thursday with a 5.06 ERA in four starts this season.

Kluber logged a career-high 249? innings pitched last season, including 34? IP in postseason.

It is not unusual for pitchers with heavy postseason workloads to have issues the next season, whether with health, ineffectiveness, or both. And Kluber fans should be aware that though there are examples of pitchers getting through postseason-filled workloads and succeeding at least in the short-term (CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner among them), it's not easy to do so.

Examples of pitchers with struggles include:

Matt Harvey, 2015 Mets

Harvey threw 216 innings (including postseason) in 2015 in helping the Mets reach the World Series, only to lose to the Royals. That was the most innings pitched by someone in their next season following Tommy John surgery. In 2016, Harvey was ineffective throughout, going 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts. He had thoracic outlet surgery and returned in time for the start of 2017, but has been inconsistent, with a 4.95 ERA in 10 starts.

Matt Cain, 2012 Giants

Cain had two memorable postseason runs with the Giants (2010 and 2012), surviving both without injury. But after the second, his performance declined, perhaps due to the 249? innings he pitched, including the 2012 postseason. His ERA went from 2.79 to 4.00. He hasn’t finished a season with an ERA below 4.00 since and he has had multiple injury issues.

Cole Hamels, 2008 Phillies

Hamels carried the Phillies to a World Series victory, winning National League Championship and World Series MVP honors. He logged 262? innings to do so, and the next season, his ERA jumped from 3.09 to 4.32, though he did make every start. He was not the same pitcher in the 2009 postseason as 2008, allowing 16 earned runs in 19 innings.

Hamels is a good example of a pitcher who was able to return to form, though he was only 25 at the time of the 2009 season. Over the next three seasons, he made 95 starts and pitched to a 2.97 ERA.

Josh Beckett, 2007 Red Sox

Beckett pitched a career-high 230? innings and won ALCS MVP honors in helping the Red Sox win the World Series. At age 28 and with two World Series titles, Beckett was heading into the prime of his career.

But he faltered over the next three seasons pitching to a 4.39 ERA, averaging 27 starts per season. He had back and elbow issues in 2008 and another back issue in 2010.

Beckett had brief bounce backs, including a 2.89 ERA in 2011 prior to the "chicken and beer" issues that doomed that team. In 2013, he had thoracic outlet surgery. In 2014, bothered by a hip injury, he retired after the postseason.

Chris Carpenter, 2006 and 2011 Cardinals

This happened to Carpenter not once but twice. In 2006, he was a top pitcher on a Cardinals team that beat the Tigers in the World Series, throwing 254? innings, his second straight season of at least 250 innings pitched.

The next season, he made one start and missed the rest of the season. He missed most of 2008 as well, pitching in only four games. He returned to ace status in 2008 and by 2011, he was 36, but made 34 regular-season starts and six more in postseason (pitching a 1-0 shutout in Game 5 of the LDS). This time his workload was 273? innings.

In 2012, he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, had surgery, and didn’t pitch until Sept. 21. He pitched twice in the regular season and twice in the postseason, marking the end of his career.

Mark Buehrle, 2005 White Sox

Buehrle led the AL in innings in 2004 and 2005, but pitched an extra 23? innings in 2005, helping the White Sox on their World Series run. In 2006, Buehrle admitted that a back problem bothered him during the course of the season, but insisted that pain never affected him on the mound. He made 32 starts but had a career-worst 4.99 ERA.

Curt Schilling, 2004 Red Sox

Schilling finished second in AL Cy Young voting in 2004 with a 21-8 record and 3.26 ERA in 226? innings. He went 3-1 in 22? more innings in an epic postseason that included the most memorable sock in baseball history. In 2005, Schilling started the season on the disabled list with pain in his right ankle. He was back on the DL from April to July with a bone bruise on that same ankle -- but a little higher on the leg than where he had surgery. He finished the season 8-8 with a 5.69 ERA.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my baseball pitching motion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0266.  ABC News Pitching Injuries

There is nothing new really.

They cover the typical things out of Birmingham, AL. One of their main recommendations were for adolescent pitchers to not throw hard all of the time when playing the game.

How is that advice of any use.

I did have a quick question, if you could refer me where to find the answer in your book or website I know it is on there somewhere, but in general what are your recommendations for adolescent pitchers who do have open growth plates still?


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     At 16 biological age, all of the growth plates has matured.

     I recommend that youth baseball pitchers at 13 biological age, they can pitch two months with one trip through the line-up and a second trips through the line-up in a week.

     By the way, the article is nonsense.

     If youth baseball pitchers throw breaking pitches by releasing the baseball over the Index finger.

     Releasing breaking pitches over the Index finger destroys the pitching elbow at all ages.

     For 150 years, pitchers of all ages have destroyed the pitching elbow with lose of extension range of motion, chipped cartilage, bone spurs and fractured olecranon processes.

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Lifestyle experts warn parents recent uptick youth baseball injuries

As Little League season gets underway, experts are warning parents about a recent uptick in baseball-related injuries that have been appearing in younger and younger athletes.

Former Olympic softball player and current ESPN correspondent Jessica Mendoza spoke to one 13-year-old athlete and to sports medicine experts for "Good Morning America," and found that the number of baseball-related injuries have increased as more young players compete in the sport year-round.

Experts said they are now seeing an increase in some of the more severe overuse injuries in younger patients, including a sharp increase in the number of young athletes requiring a reconstructive elbow surgery commonly known as Tommy John surgery.

"When I started my practice 17 years ago, Tommy John surgery was really a college and pro phenomenon, with a couple of high school athletes," Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, an orthopedic surgeon at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama, told ABC News, adding that now high school athletes make up more than 55 percent of his Tommy John surgery patients.

"The youngest one I've done is 13," Dugas said. "And that was something we just didn't see 20 years ago."

A recent survey found that 15- to 19-year-old athletes made up nearly 60 percent of all Tommy John surgeries in the U.S., according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Dugas told ABC News another trend he has been observing recently is that more young players come in with "Little League elbow," the painful precursor to the condition that leads to Tommy John surgery.

"The real shame in this is some of these kids end up not being able to continue," Dugas said, "And play a sport they love."

8-year-old with heart defect joins youth baseball team

One-on-One With ESPN's First Female Baseball Game Analyst Jessica Mendoza

Little League elbow is caused by repetitive throwing, which can cause increased stress to the growth plate in the inner part of the elbow, resulting in inflammation. In some cases, the growth plate can even get separated from the bone, which may require surgery.

Jack Traffanstedt, 13, has been playing baseball since he was 5 years old. Recently, the pitcher tore part of the growth plate, in his throwing elbow, from the bone.

"He had pulled off a little bit of the growth plate where the Tommy John ligament attaches," Dugas said of Jack's injury.

Jack is one of the lucky ones who did not require surgery, but for Jodi Killen, Jack's mom, it was a wake-up call.

"We didn't expect the diagnosis," Killen told ABC News. "I was thinking tendinitis, inflammation. Take some aspirin, ice it, rest, you know ... I was shocked.

"It was very scary," Killen added. "I love watching him play the game. I love it, but ... my priority ... him being healthy."

Dugas said that although sports parents often get blamed for young athlete's injuries, it is not always their fault.

"The parents get hyper competitive, but the kids do too," he said.

Jack told ABC News that it was difficult for him to take time off from baseball, saying, "I love it," and that he misses being able to throw and play with his teammates.

Dugas said Jack should be able to play again in a few months, but meanwhile he has a message for all parents.

"I would say at all times, it should be fun," Dugas said. "And I think that's the thing that the parents have to get across, is that ... winning is not the only part of having fun. Playing the game is still having fun, and they have to enjoy just the playing of the game, not the winning of the game."

Dr. Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute, one of the country's leading experts on youth baseball injuries, shared his tips with ABC News for parents and coaches to help reduce injuries among young pitchers. Fleisig is also on the Advisory Committee of Pitch Smart, Major League Baseball's initiative to reduce arm injuries among youth pitchers.

Tips for parents to avoid Little League injuries from the American Sports Medicine Institute:

01. Watch and respond to signs of fatigue. If an adolescent pitcher complains of fatigue or looks fatigued, let him rest from pitching and other throwing.
02. No overhead throwing of any kind for at least 2 to 3 months per year (4 months is preferred). No competitive baseball pitching for at least 4 months per year.
03. Do not pitch more than 100 innings in games in any calendar year.
04. Follow limits for pitch counts and rest days.
05. Avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
06. Learn good throwing mechanics as soon as possible. The first steps should be to learn, in order: 1) basic throwing, 2) fastball pitching, 3) change-up pitching.
07. Avoid pitching to impress the radar gun.
08. A pitcher should not also be a catcher for his team. The pitcher-catcher combination results in many throws and increased risk of injury.
09. If a pitcher complains of pain in his elbow or shoulder, discontinue pitching until evaluated by a sports medicine physician.
10. Inspire adolescent pitchers to have fun playing baseball and other sports. Participation and enjoyment of various physical activities will increase the player's athleticism and interest in sports.


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     Good information for all baseball pitchers.

     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my Marshall baseball pitching motion.

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0267.  Brad Sullivan's Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (5/27-6/2/2017)

SATURDAY (5/27)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 285.60
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.41
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 6
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.67
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 16.47

SUNDAY (5/28)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 310.00
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.03
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.13
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 33.70

MON (5/29)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 294.80
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.88
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.80
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 21.57

TUE (5/30)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 306.27
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.08
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 4 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.73
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 32.67

WED (5/31)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 303.47
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.55
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.67
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 28.24

THU (6/1)--8 games
Average number of pitches per game: 290.13
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.46
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.38
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 23.26

FRI (6/2)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 300.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.70
Average number of innings per starter: Exactly 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.87
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 27.27


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     Thank you.

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0268.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 5/27-6/2/2017

No out: 486
--------------
None on: 378
Runner at first: 60
Runners at first and second: 18
Runners at first and third: 3
Bases loaded: 6
Runner at second: 16
Runners at second and third: 3
Runner at third: 2

One out: 456
------------
None on: 256
Runner at first: 76
Runners at first and second: 42
Runners at first and third: 9
Bases loaded: 14
Runner at second: 27
Runners at second and third: 15
Runner at third: 17

Two outs: 499
-------------
None on: 221
Runner at first: 78
Runners at first and second: 53
Runners at first and third: 20
Bases loaded: 20
Runner at second: 62
Runners at second and third: 18
Runner at third: 27


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     Thank you.

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0269.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 2017

No outs: 4297/21024 (20.44%)
------------
None on: 3212/15032 (21.37%)
Runner at first: 601/3314 (18.14%)
Runners at first and second: 163/841 (19.38%)
Runners at first and third: 43/257 (16.73%)
Bases loaded: 49/221 (22.17%)
Runner at second: 167/998 (16.73%)
Runners at second and third: 38/217 (17.51%)
Runner at third: 24/144 (16.67%)

One out: 4321/20356 (21.23%)
------------
None on: 2513/11000 (22.85%)
Runner at first: 748/4033 (18.55%)
Runners at first and second: 312/1489 (20.95%)
Runners at first and third: 99/605 (16.36%)
Bases loaded: 102/567 (17.99%)
Runner at second: 302/1576 (19.16%)
Runners at second and third: 109/526 (20.72%)
Runner at third: 118/560 (21.07%)

Two outs: 4513/19577 (23.05%)
-------------
None on: 2095/8759 (23.92%)
Runner at first: 858/3895 (22.03%)
Runners at first and second: 415/1821 (22.79%)
Runners at first and third: 170/772 (22.02%)
Bases loaded: 149/654 (22.78%)
Runner at second: 472/2109 (22.38%)
Runners at second and third: 155/637 (24.33%)
Runner at third: 199/930 (21.40%)


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     Thank you.

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***********************************************************************************************

     On Sunday, June 11, 2017, I posted the following questions and answers.

***********************************************************************************************

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0272.  John D'Angelo told me that I could not explain how to end of 150 years of elbow injuries

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your email.

The meeting is actually in Toronto because many members of our research committee will be there for a conference.

We don't allow outside parties to come to the meetings.

The committee reviews all proposals beforehand and then there is a discussion of each during the meeting.

Let me know if there are any additional materials you want me to pass along and happy to discuss.

John


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Hi John,

     For 150 years, 'traditional' pitching coaches have taught pitchers to release their curveballs over the top of their Index finger.

     When pitchers release their curveballs over their Index finger, the olecranon process bangs into the olecranon fossa.

     When the olecranon process bangs into the olecranon fossa, pitchers lose extension and flexion elbow ranges of motion, chips of hyaline cartilage that leave openings for bone spurs to grow and/or fracture the olecranon process.

     To stop these elbow injuries, pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward along a straight line between second base and home plate in one, smooth and continuous movement release their curveballs under the Middle finger.

     This simple movement enabled me to pitch 208 innings in 106 games without fatigue or injury.

     Sincerely,

Mike

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0272.  Sports injuries more common to body parts unknown years ago
Stockton Record
June 03, 2017

STOCKTON, CA: Rick Magnante has played, scouted and managed baseball almost his entire life.

By all accounts, the Stockton Ports’ 69-year-old, third-year manager relates well with players in the infancy of their pro career, though he admits he’s from a different era.

In 1969, when Magnante signed as a rookie with the Cleveland Indians, there weren’t guaranteed contracts. That certainly has changed. Players didn’t lift weights much back in his day, either. That has changed as well.

Baseball players are continuing to bulk up in the “post-steriods era.” And that might help explain why disabled lists regularly include players with injuries to body parts Magnante didn’t know existed 20 years ago. Strained, pulled and torn latissimus (lats), hamstrings, hip flexors, groins, abdomens and obliques are more common now than in his day.

“Nobody that I played with in the ’60s and ’70s ever had obliques or lats or any of these things,” Magnante said. “Other than maybe a sore elbow or sore shoulder, as a pitcher, that was about it.”

In 1982, Magnante worked as a scout assigned to the California League. During one visit to Visalia, he ran across a farmhand in the Minnesota Twins’ organization: a short, squat, muscle-bound outfielder named Kirby Puckett.

“He looked like a bowling ball with arms,” Magnante said about Puckett, who went on to have a Hall of Fame career and died in 2006 at age 45. “He was phenomenal for the three games I saw him.”

Magnante remembers another scout mentioning that he wasn’t high on Puckett because he trained with weights.

“They didn’t want that muscular build,” Magnante said. “They wanted that rangy, athletic kind, for lack of a better word, rural kind of naturally developed body that achieves manhood at maturity.”

Again, Magnante is from a different era. Things have changed.

When 23-year-old Ports pitcher Logan Shore went on the disabled list last month for the first time in his career with a strained lat muscle in his right side, Magnante wanted answers. Why so many muscle injuries? To find an answer, Magnante sought the opinion of Dr. Jai Iyengar, the team’s physician.

“His thing was it’s because of weight training and the building up of the upper body,” Magnante said. “You are so muscular and you haven’t balanced that with any kind of flexibility.”

When too much power is developed, the supporting muscles and ligaments sometimes can’t support the torque and force.

In baseball, the abdominal core muscles play an important role in the activities of pitching and hitting. In a study published in 2012 by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, there was a 22 percent increase in abdominal strains between 1991 and 2010. Pitchers averaged 35.4 days on the disabled list compared to 26.7 days for position players.

On June 1, 293 Major League Baseball players were on the 7-, 10- or 60-day disabled list or were out for the season. Of them, about 270 had muscle or ligament inflammation, strains, pulls and tears, stress fractures and other non-concussive injuries.

Iyengar, a surgeon with the Alpine Orthopedic Group in Stockton, not only works with the Ports but also with University of the Pacific’s athletes. He is seeing more patients with strains, pulls and tears to muscles in their core, back and lower body. He said the reasons are “multi-factorial.”

“But one of the things that seems to emerge is there is a lot more emphasis on weight training and upper-body strengthening,” Iyengar said. “Baseball players didn’t do a whole lot of weight training before I would say probably the mid ’90s when it became en vogue during the long ball era.”

Magnante and Iyengar agree that upper-body strength is important. But when an athlete doesn’t achieve balance between upper-body strength and muscle flexibility, the risk for pulls, strains and tears increases. Iyengar said the recovery time for such injuries, especially hamstrings, has increased as well.

“A lot of guys now that do a lot of lifting, they are very built in their arms and chest and upper shoulders,” Iyengar said. “But I think that creates a little bit of stress on the core. If the flexibility of the core muscles and the flexibility of the spine and the obliques, the abdominals and the hip flexors isn’t matched by the overall bulk upstairs, you get a little bit of a mismatch.”

Mismatches can be costly to athletes and their teams.

The New York Mets’ rash of injuries was chronicled in a recent ESPN article. Pitcher Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, two of the Mets’ high-priced players, graced body building magazines touting the exercise and diet regimens that had made them bigger and stronger. But their emphasis on strength conditioning might have put them out of balance.

Syndergaard will be out at least until after the All-Star break with a partially torn lat muscle, and Cespedes has been out since April 28 with a strained left hamstring and right quadriceps soreness.

“I would argue and the research indicates the pendulum is way too far toward strengthening and it needs to swing significantly back toward flexibility,” Iyengar said. “Even though sports science is pretty far advanced, the idea is still somewhat relatively new.”

Baseball isn’t the only sport with athletes dealing with back and core muscle issues.

Tiger Woods, 41, took professional golfers’ physiques from the 19th hole to the covers of fitness magazines. Bulging chest and forearms, defined lats and obliques, Woods was an Adonis able to overpower golf courses to the point where the term “Tiger-proofing” became real.

More PGA Tour players followed suit and increased their power in the gym. That and better golf equipment could help explain why the average driving distance on the tour increased by 15 yards from 2000 to 2015, according to Golfweek. Though the average driving distance has remained steady through much of the past decade, more players are booming it than ever before.

In 2000, 166 players on the tour averaged less than 280 yards per drive. Now, only 25 average fewer than 280 yards.

With professional golfers, nearly 80 percent of the injuries come from overuse, primarily to the wrist, back, shoulders and hips. Woods has had four back surgeries and six total surgeries since 2007, and has suffered injuries to his knees, shoulder, neck and Achilles tendon. Perhaps his body is out of balance. Rory McIlroy, 28, another star golfer who bulked up with weights, has dealt with injuries to his lower back, as well as a fractured rib he likely sustained while swinging golf clubs, primarily the driver.

“The modern golf swing is hard on the body,” Dr. Sandy Kunkel told The Guardian. “To have athletes in their 20s experiencing these types of injuries is very concerning for the long term.”

More athletes are including stretching, yoga or Pilates to their strength and conditioning routines. NBA Hall of Fame guard and current Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd used to scoff at his then-wife, Joumana, a Pilates devotee, before he finally tried it while rehabilitating a broken ankle in the early 2000s.

“I immediately discovered how tight I was,” Kidd told USA Today. “After one session, I was energized. From that point on I was convinced it was a great workout.”

Several athletes and teams have incorporated Pilates and similar flexibility practices into their strength and conditioning programs.

“It’s a huge component,” said Joey Rossi, Pacific’s Director of Athletic Performance. “We have technology that sees the balances and imbalances that occur within athletes. It’s about finding the correct prescription for the correct individual.”

Communication between doctors, athletes, parents, coaches, strength and conditioning and athletic training staffs can go a long way in formulating a balanced training regimen to help prevent injuries commonly seen in a new generation. Pacific’s Director of Athletic Training Chris Pond said he has not seen an increase in muscle injuries among athletes. He said communication is a big reason why.

“We do an excellent job of minimizing risk by training appropriately for the activity involved,” Pond said. “We share a wall with the strength and conditioning staff and the coaches are down the hall, so we have an ability to recognize things early. So, I think the communication has been great.”


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     The training is not the problem.

     With the Marshall pitching motion, my pitchers are able to train every day with 15lb. heavy balls and 30 lb. wrist weights without problems.

     In 1972, I earned 4th in the Cy Young Award, in 1973, I earned 2nd in the Cy Young Award, in1974, I earned 1st in the Cy Young Award, in 1979, I earned 5th in the Cy Young Award and in 1980, I earned 7th in the Cy Young Award.

     The Marshall training will take pitchers beyond what they thought the they could become.

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0273.  Prep righthander Joe Perez to have Tommy John surgery
Baseball America
June 05, 2017

Archbishop McCarthy High (Southwest Ranches, Fla.) righthander Joe Perez will have Tommy John surgery after partially tearing his ulnar collateral ligament, Baseball America learned Monday.

Perez previously dealt with shoulder tendinitis this spring and shut things down on the mound for a few weeks before returning to the mound on May 6, where he touched 99 mph and settled in the low-to-mid 90s for the rest of his outing.

Perez is the No. 99 prospect on the 2017 Baseball America Top 500, offering high upside thanks to premium fastball velocity. His surgery—which will be performed on June 13 by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.—clouds his draft stock, but the Miami commit has also been extremely impressive as a hitter this spring, and some teams could be interested in him as a corner infielder as well as a pitcher.

If Perez decides to enroll at Miami, he will be ready to contribute as a designated hitter as a freshman.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my Marshall baseball pitching motion.

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0274.  With injured starters returning, Mets contemplaye six-man rotation
New York Times
June 06, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX: A frustrated Jacob deGrom sat in the visitors’ dugout at Globe Life Park on Tuesday evening, appearing close to tears as Terry Collins, his manager, draped his arm over his shoulder and provided encouragement after his second ragged start in a row.

It was a telling image of a Mets season littered with unexpectedly poor pitching.

“That’s what frustrating about it: I feel good,” deGrom said after he allowed eight runs, matching a career high, over four innings in the Mets’ 10-8 loss to the Texas Rangers. “Just don’t know where the ball is going right now.”

As the Mets, who lost for the fifth time in six games to drop to 24-32, have watched their season go sideways because of injuries and rough pitching, they have searched for solutions.

Few have worked. So before Tuesday’s loss, they revealed another tactic they are considering: a six-man rotation, an approach they raised as a possibility even before the season began.

The first two months of their season have not gone according to plan, largely because of injuries to starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, as well as the inconsistency of Matt Harvey, Robert Gsellman and deGrom. It has all added up to a 5.01 E.R.A. for the Mets, the worst mark in the major leagues.

So in hopes of improving their pitchers’ performances, and of easing Matz and Lugo back when they return this weekend after two months away with elbow injuries, the Mets may add a pitcher to their starting rotation. Beginning Friday, the Mets will play 18 games in 17 days.

“We haven’t etched in stone anything because we really don’t know until we see Steven and Seth pitch,” Collins said before Tuesday’s game. Collins said he had discussed options with Sandy Alderson, the team’s general manager, and Dan Warthen, the pitching coach.

Matz, who has been out all season with left elbow inflammation, is scheduled to start one game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves. Lugo, who has also been out all season with a partly torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, is set to start on Sunday.

The Mets hope that Matz and Lugo can bolster their battered and uneven rotation. And while a six-man rotation would give both an extra day to recover between starts, it would not just be for their benefit.

“These guys have all pitched better with an extra day,” Collins said. He added, “So far when we’ve brought them back after four days, solely on regular rest, it hasn’t been quite as good.”

Although the sample sizes are small, Zack Wheeler and deGrom have pitched better when they have had more than the standard four days between starts. Harvey and Gsellman, however, have pitched worse with extra rest this season.

DeGrom in particular has benefited from extra rest. On May 26, a full week after his previous start, he allowed one run over eight and a third innings in an 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Five days later, he coughed up seven runs over four innings in a 7-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

An extra day of rest did not help deGrom on Tuesday. Although his velocity was normal, he left pitches over the heart of the plate. Over his past eight innings, he has coughed up 15 runs.

In the past, deGrom was admired for his ability to deliver a solid start even when he was not at his best mechanically or physically. This season has been a battle.

“My front side is a little open, but I’ve been able to get outs doing that,” he said. “I kind of looked the same in Pittsburgh, and I was able to make the adjustment to get outs. I’ve just done a poor job these last two times of making the adjustment.”

DeGrom vowed to figure out what was plaguing his pitching. Two weeks ago, he used the extra time between starts to throw a second bullpen session to iron out his mechanics, and it worked. Should the Mets turn to a six-man rotation, he may have more opportunities to do so again.

“I just went over and tried reassuring him that you’ve got to keep working at it and got to keep getting better,” Collins said of his message to deGrom in the dugout.

Among the Mets’ motivations for a six-man rotation would be keeping an improved Gsellman in the rotation.

After struggling as the fifth starter, Gsellman was moved to the bullpen but then back into the rotation. Since then, he has posted a 2.95 E.R.A. over 18 ? innings.

(Tyler Pill, a low-level prospect who was forced to make two starts because of injuries, will most likely be the odd man out when Matz and Lugo are activated from the disabled list.)

If the Mets decide on a six-man rotation, it will be for this busy period of games this month, Collins said.

“You ideally look at performance,” said John Ricco, the team’s assistant general manager. “If guys are doing it and pitching well within it, then you keep it up. If some guys don’t like the extra rest, you kind of have to adjust on the fly a little bit. That’s why you don’t see us committing to it long term.”

A six-man rotation could also ease Wheeler’s workload. Because he missed the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John and forearm operations, he is on a fluid innings cap based on how he is feeling and pitching.

Wheeler, who leads the Mets’ rotation with a 3.72 E.R.A., has thrown 55 ? innings this season. During spring training, the Mets floated the idea of a limit of about 125 innings. The cap is not being discussed now.

“He’s pitching well, and that’s something that we’ll have to talk about at some point, but I don’t think we’re there yet,” Ricco said.

To accommodate a six-man rotation, the Mets would drop their bullpen to seven relievers, from eight, limiting their options should a starter struggle to pitch deep into the game. So while a six-man rotation may benefit the starters, it would require them to produce better, longer starts.

“If we don’t get any innings out of our starting pitching, we’ll wear out our bullpen,” Collins said. “Maybe the extra day will help these guys be a little sharper and get deeper in the game.”


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     With the Marshall pitching motion, pitchers are able to start twice a week.

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0275.  White Sox are staying patient with injured relievers
CSN Chicago
June 06, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL: The cautious approach continues for injured White Sox pitchers Nate Jones and Zach Putnam.

Neither reliever traveled on the team’s current three-city road trip and both haven’t thrown since the White Sox left town, manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. Jones threw a bullpen session prior to the White Sox departure last Thursday and has since only received treatment, Renteria said. Though he hasn’t thrown since, Renteria said he wouldn’t describe Jones as having had a setback. Jones has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 4 with right elbow neuritis.

“They’re healing and moving forward with the treatments they have,” Renteria said. “Not a setback. I think (Jones) was being treated, as far as we’re concerned, with a lot of our patience, being very careful. We want to make sure these guys come back ready to go. We’re just being more precautionary than anything else.”

Jones had thrown at least four bullpens in the lead up to his latest round of treatment. On the DL since April 25, Putnam also had appeared in the bullpen several times recently. The two haven’t made as much recent progress as right-hander Jake Petricka, who has appeared in a pair of rehab games. Petricka, who went on the DL on April 6 with a late muscle strain, has pitched three innings so far at Triple-A Charlotte.

The White Sox have said all along they intend to be cautious with Jones, who has had Tommy John surgery, and Putnam, who had bone chips removed from his right elbow last year.

“They’re still recovering and just getting treatments,” Renteria said. “They weren’t picking up the ball when we first left. They’re still being treated.”


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my Marshall baseball pitching motion.

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0276.  Marlins top prospect may need Tommy John surgery
Miami Herald
June 07, 2017

CHICAGO, IL: The Marlins’ farm system appears to have taken another serious blow less than a week before the Major League Baseball draft.

A major league baseball source told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that left-handed pitcher Braxton Garrett, the franchise’s top-ranked prospect, has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, which may require Tommy John surgery.

Garrett was shut down shortly after his most recent start for Single A Greensboro on May 25.

Garrett has made four starts at Greensboro this year, going 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA, 16 strikeouts and six walks in 15 1/3 innings pitched.

But his most recent outing ended after only 1 2/3 innings in which he allowed four runs on six hits, including two home runs.

The Marlins selected Garrett, a high school star out of Florence, Alabama, with the seventh overall selection in last year’s draft.

Should Garrett have the surgery, he would become the Marlins’ second first-round pick and top-rated prospect at the time of their injury to undergo Tommy John in a little over a year.

Tyler Kolek, their 2014 first-round pick taken No. 2 overall out of Shepherd, Texas, missed the 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery following a subpar 2015 season in the minors.


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     To prevent elbow injuries, baseball pitchers need to pronate the releases of all types of pitches, especially the breaking pitches.

     To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one, smooth and continuous movement with the Pronator Teres contracting before, during and after the acceleration phase.

     To prevent pitching injuries, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master my Marshall baseball pitching motion.

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0277.  Subject: Ugly Numbers & Strikeout Breakdown (6/3-6/9/17)

SATURDAY (6/3)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 307.60
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.28
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.27
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.34

SUNDAY (6/4)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 302.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 17.20
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.60
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 25.25

MON (6/5)--7 games
Average number of pitches per game: 283.86
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.15
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.00
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 31.43

TUE (6/6)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 296.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.92
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.13
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 22.83

WED (6/7)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 293.40
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.61
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.33
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 21.05

THU (6/1)--12 games
Average number of pitches per game: 290.67
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.45
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly over 5 2/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 6.08
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 15.07

FRI (6/2)--15 games
Average number of pitches per game: 292.13
Average number of pitches per half inning: 16.79
Average number of innings per starter: Slightly under 5 1/3
Average number of relievers per game (both teams): 5.73
Percentage of relievers pitching more than one inning: 27.91


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     Thank you.

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0278.  Brad Sullivan's Strikeouts for 6/3-6/9/2017

No out: 549
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None on: 407
Runner at first: 74
Runners at first and second: 18
Runners at first and third: 3
Bases loaded: 5
Runner at second: 32
Runners at second and third: 7
Runner at third: 3

One out: 590
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None on: 348
Runner at first: 94
Runners at first and second: 30
Runners at first and third: 18
Bases loaded: 8
Runner at second: 66
Runners at second and third: 8
Runner at third: 18

Two outs: 651
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None on: 283
Runner at first: 129
Runners at first and second: 50
Runners at first and third: 26
Bases loaded: 24
Runner at second: 93
Runners at second and third: 15
Runner at third: 31


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