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Live Tommy John Research Chat With Bradley Woodrum
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Bradley Woodrum
Fast pitch, I assume? I have no idea.
The fast pitch delivery, from my understanding, puts much more work on the shoulder than the elbow. I believe most pitchers even lock their elbows.
What is the percentage of non pitchers who require TJS? Seems like we have seen more recenty than in the past... Wieters, Vasquez, Sano...
Bradley Woodrum
I should probably know that because I had to pull those players out of the data.
But I'm not sure the actual rate. It was surprisingly high, to me, considering these guys throw the ball like, what?, 90 times fewer per game?
If I had to guess, I'd say it's a 2% rate among MLB position players, which is very low, but onyl maybe a third of the pitcher rate.
Why did you put RA Dickey on that list - he physically can not have TJ. Huge flaw in your findings.
Bradley Woodrum
Yeah, a real HUGE flaw.
I'm, of course, not worried. One weird data point like Dickey does not bother me.
If mlb teams started using 6 man rotations would that help cut down on tj surgeries?
Bradley Woodrum
I think so, but that's just a hunch.
Especially if they limit the pitchers to one or two times through the order.
It greatly reduces the number of Hard Pitches, allows the pitchers even more recovery time. Seems like an obvious next step for pitching staffs in the coming years.
When I hear that a pitcher needs TJ surgery, I figure they will end up like Kerry Wood. Overcompensated with his mechanics and ruined his shoulder and it just became a vicious cycle of injury. Shouldn't the focus for pitchers coming off this surgery be mechanical tweaks that protect everything in their arms?
Bradley Woodrum
Obviously, it should be different for each pitcher.
But if I'm coming off a TJS injury, my first question to the doc is: "What little changes can I make to keep health?"
But a radical change, like going sidearm or something, would be tantamount to starting your career over.
Is Madision Bumgarner an outlier a pitcher who seemed completely unaffected on short rest?
Bradley Woodrum
I would not say so.
He is actually the guy I had in mind when writing up my ERA- explanation.
Basically, Bumgarner was having an incredible season, so the Giants used him much more frequently than they might have if he was just having a good season.
The result is he pitches on short rest, and puts himself at risk of pitching with a tired, bad delivery.
We need to remember that the five-man rotation came to existence not because pitchers couldn't effectively pitch multiple games in a week, but because pitchers' arms were dead after a few seasons of intense work.
Alright. One more question. Thank you everyone for participating and asking such great questions!
From my experience playing baseball at the collegiate level I have found that TJ really is not the worst of things to come back from. Through the years I have seen guys comeback to equal and even greater value, definitely abovet the 60% threshold you believe. Perhaps younger age adds to their ligaments regenerative ability, but the real damning injury I have seen is in the labrum/shoulder. If that happens just hang em up, two years left tops. The arm never looks right throwing again.
Bradley Woodrum
Yeah, shoulders are now what elbows were before TJS.
I may be wrong on the return rates and success levels -- my focus of study was elsewhere -- but I would definitely agree that shoulder issues are far more complex and daunting.
And they may be even worse than we realize if it is true that shoulder injuries are contributing to UCL injuries down the road.
Alright, that's it for me! Thanks everyone for stopping by!