“Overuse,” especially in childhood, and fatigue are the main factors in the rise of Tommy John surgeries in baseball the last few years, Dr. James Andrews told Vox reporter Joseph Strombgerg (Vox, June 13).
“If they’re playing with fatigue — either from too many pitches in a game, or too many innings in a season, or from pitching year-round competitive baseball — you have 600 percent increased chance that you’ll injure your shoulder or elbow,” he said.
Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell and Jeremy Hefner all underwent Tommy John surgery during the last year.
In 2014, to date, 15 pitchers underwent the procedure, which follows 19 in 2013 and 36 in 2012.
In regards to how teams handle news about injuries, Andrews said most teams prefer to be quiet.
“Teams, in general, will put out as little information about an injury as they can get away with,” he explained. “They may call something a knee sprain, when it’s a complex injury of the knee ligaments. And a lot of times, the press wants a diagnosis immediately, and you just don’t know.”