With all of the Tommy John surgeries lately, Dr. James Andrews has been interviewed a lot. His view is that abuse of pitchers between Little League and high school has a lot to do with all of these young major leaguers going under the knife. Their UCLs just haven’t developed all the way yet and they can’t take the strain that older pitchers may be better equipped to manage.
And that’s before you figure in that they often have workloads that older pitchers never deal with. Like this:
For Rochester (Wash.) baseball coach Jerry Striegel, why fix something that ain’t broke?
Striegel went with starting pitcher Dylan Fosnacht for 14 innings in a marathon, 17-inning game against LaCenter that Rochester won 1-0 on Tuesday. Fosnacht reported on Twitter that he threw 194 pitches in the contest, striking out 17 batters.
High school coaches have zero incentive to preserve the bodies of the kids under their command. And the kids themselves aren’t often in the position to object or even recognize that what they’re being asked to do is rather crazy. Listen to Dylan Fosnacht’s comments after the game:
Of course you are. Because your coach and maybe other coaches and maybe your parents and certainly sports culture at large has drilled it into your head that “doing whatever it takes” is the best thing to do. For a high school game.
That lede is the best, though. “Why fix something that ain’t broke?” To the coach I’d ask “why break something that ain’t broke?”
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.