Major League Baseball today unveiled the first step in an initiative aimed at reducing pitcher injuries. It’s called “Pitch Smart” and it’s designed to educate youth players, parents and coaches about how to better avoid arm injuries. This is important because, as Dr. James Andrews noted last spring when a rash of Tommy John surgeries hit Major League Baseball, the cake on arm injuries is often baked back when the pitcher is young, not when he is already a professional.
The website sets forth best practices, guidelines and identifies risk factors for young baseball players. Stuff like this:
As Jeff Passan of Yahoo notes, this is but a first step, and later steps will involve reaching out to and working with youth leagues to help set standards. Which is easier said than done given the number of leagues and governing bodies and the incentives in place that don’t always put a players’ health at the top of the list.
It’s good to see baseball wading into an area where they could, if they so chose, simply say “we can’t control that” and turn a blind eye.
NORTH PORT, Fla. — The Atlanta Braves will open the season with two rookie left-handers in their rotation while giving right-hander Kyle Wright more time to prepare for his first start.
Wright was told Sunday he would start the season on the 15-day injured list. He was the only 20-game winner in the majors last season but had a slow start this spring after getting a cortisone shot in January to address a shoulder issue.
Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd, who each have impressed the team this spring while competing for what was believed to have been one spot in the rotation, were told Sunday they will open the season with the team. The Braves optioned Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to Triple-A Gwinnett on March 14 to clear the path for Shuster and Dodd.
Shuster, 24, was Atlanta’s first-round draft pick in 2020. He is expected to start in the Braves’ third game at Washington on April 2.
Dodd is expected to take the No. 5 spot in the rotation and start on April 4 at St. Louis.
Both rookies have impressed the Braves with good control this spring.
Shuster has posted a 1.45 ERA in five spring training games. He has 18 strikeouts and only four walks in 18 2/3 innings.
Dodd, 24, has a 2.00 ERA in 18 innings this spring, with 20 strikeouts and four walks. He was a third-round draft pick in 2021.
Wright was 21-5 with a 3.19 ERA in his breakout 2022 season.