Is the pitch clock contributing to pitchers' injuries? / MAILBAG - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Midday Mailbag

Is the pitch clock contributing to pitchers’ injuries? / MAILBAG

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Most weekdays, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. If you’d like to submit a question, send it to: [email protected]. Questions may be edited for clarity, length and style.

Question: There seems to be more pitching arm injuries the last two years compared to previous years. Do you think that the pitch clock has anything to do with it? From: Bill Schrettner

Answer: Bill, this is a popular question and a popular topic. It’s also been asked by Rick Little of Hanover, Pennsylvania, and Timothy Fowler

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The players association has raised this concern, and everyone in the industry — players and management — are concerned about the increase in pitching injuries. The Orioles have lost three starters — John Means, Kyle Bradish and Tyler Wells — to season-ending elbow surgery.

I don’t think there’s a single factor. I’m concerned about the obsession with velocity, starting with young players, but last weekend Means, who doesn’t throw especially hard, mentioned that the style of hitting has changed and more pitches are thrown in at-bats.

The pitch clock has made for a better game and fans enjoy shorter and more interesting games.

I’m afraid this is a crisis that’s not going away. I wish I had an easy answer for you, but I don’t.

Question: Why can’t teams trade draft picks?  Seems like Major League Baseball is behind the times. Any rumblings about this being changed in the future? From: Michael Beckner

Answer: Michael, teams cannot trade draft picks because MLB has long thought it would hurt competitive balance if they did. I think teams should be able to trade draft picks. It would add more intrigue to the trade deadline.

Teams can trade competitive-balance picks, but those can only be dealt once. For example, the Orioles traded a competitive-balance pick to Milwaukee as part of the Corbin Burnes deal, but the Brewers may not trade it away.

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