Live Tommy John Research Chat With Bradley Woodrum
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Bradley Woodrum
7:31
Hey everyone!
I'll be answering questions for the next hour or so, so don't hesitate to ask anything.
Zack
7:32
Do you think any orioles pitcher will need tommy john?
Bradley Woodrum
7:33
I think it's important to remember my best guesses -- i.e. the model I presented -- only covers 22% of the variation we see in TJS occurances.
So even if the model said, for certain, Chris Tillman is getting TJS, it would still only be telling less than the quarter truth, so to speak.
Chase
7:34
What are the odds of a successful comeback after TJS? I'm sure there's data.
Bradley Woodrum
7:34
Coming back from TJS has become a near certainty. HOWEVER, pitching well is the problem for many if not most pitchers.
7:35
Consider what happens to these average ERA- numbers after TJS:
7:36
This group of pitchers was above average before their respective injuries, and when they returned, they averaged fewer innings and pitched worse.
But yes, others have done more extensive research in this area.
Trotsky
7:36
Do you think Tommy John at this early stage in Jose Fernandez's career has ultimately cost him millions when he hit FA in a few years?
Bradley Woodrum
7:37
MLB is too much what have you done lately. And even my own model only seems to care about the previous year's injury record. If Fernandez is coming off a strong season or two when he hits free agency, he will still be valuable.
Mike
7:38
Has their been any data on average career length after TJ surgery? and updated numbers on % of players who make a recovery on partial tears of the UCL vs just getting surgery?
Bradley Woodrum
7:38
Yes, I don't have that handy.
But in general, don't expect the pitcher to perform well in the first season afterwards.
7:39
And if they can stay healthy in TJS year+2, they might get back to strength. But many, many players are never the same after TJS.
Jackson
7:39
Do you think it would be a valid option to have newly drafted players to have the Tommy John surgery even if they don't need to? Since the chances they need to have to surgery again are very unlikely, that way they can use a year to learn the mental side of the game at the pro level and become accustomed to life as a pro player?
Bradley Woodrum
7:39
No, absolutely not.
In fact, my numbers suggest having TJS only increases the likelihood of another TJS.
7:40
Which is incredible because there must be an enormous amount of survivor bias -- many players choose to call it a career when their UCL tears a second time. Rehab is hard.
Colt Holt
7:40
Did you test your results with pre 2015 data to see what the likelihood of TJS was for the players who ultimately had the surgery? If so, what were the results?
Bradley Woodrum
7:40
Yes.
7:41
The results were decent.
Nothing I'd go to Vegas with.
The 2014 pitchers who had TJS in 2015 were, I believe, at 3% or 70% above average.
But none of them was a 6% risk guy. Mostly just above average risk guys.
Jake
7:42
In the model, when somebody has 100-200% or higher risk+, does that imply that if they don't change something in their delivery (or anything for that matter), they will need TJS at some point?
Bradley Woodrum
7:43
If I'm a pitching coach and I see some Internet Nerd says my pitcher is at risk of TJS, I *might* take a look at his delivery for warning signs and have the training staff keep a close eye on him, but...
We need to remember that the most high risk pitchers were guys with recent injury history. Drew Smyly, for instance, is going to be watched very closely this season after struggling with injuries in 2015.
Cheese
7:43
Much recent chronic disease research has suggested Diet as The primary contributor to poor health. To what degree do you think High-Sugar, Low-Fat, Low-Collagen/quality protein diets contribute to Tommy John?
Bradley Woodrum
7:44
That's a fascinating question!
I have no idea.
I would love data on the matter, but until there's some measurable information about player nutrition, that is a question for doctors and theorists.
Devern Hansack
7:44
Why is it that handedness is a factor? Is it simply because lefties tend to throw fewer hard pitches or are frequently utilized in less than one inning bursts?
Bradley Woodrum
7:45
I think both are possibilities.
Also, possibly because there are more soft-tossing lefties. The MPH threshold for be considered a viable pitcher is just lower for lefties.
Thus you get more LHP who don't rely on Hard Pitches.
Ed
7:46
Do non athletes ever require Tommy John surgery?
Bradley Woodrum
7:46
I'm not sure.
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