Pitcher Workload and Innings Limit

Posted: August 27, 2012 in General Health

As September roles around and playoff races start heating up, it seems that inning totals become a hot topic. This year it has been magnified by the Strasburg saga and the parameters the Nationals placed on him at the beginning of the year. I find it more interesting to watch relievers-turned-starters at this time of the year as they have far surpassed their previous season’s workload and maybe their professional workload if they were relievers for a majority of their minor league career. Either way, with arm injuries seeming to be a matter of when, not if, organizations are doing everything possible to ensure their pitchers have the best chance of staying healthy. But are they actually increasing their chance for injury by being too restrictive? 

Dr. Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute is THE leader in baseball research, specifically pitching biomechanics. He weighed in on this issue in an interview with Baseball Prospectus. The second part of the article is an interview with an MLB executive so you get a baseball view on the issue along with the scientific aspect. Let me know your thoughts on pitch count and workload for a pitcher. 

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