Arm trauma


#1

My question is simple.

I’m having trouble understanding this concept. I am a former pitcher myself in college. Is there any conclusive evidence that supports throwing your way to a healthy arm.

Meaning the more you throw the more the strengh you build up the more the less chance of injury?


#2

There are those, like Leo Mazzone, Dick Mills, etc., who believe we don’t throw enough. I would not put it such that “the more you throw, the better”, though. Anything to extreme, of course, can be harmful.

Mills takes this very far by saying that the only way to condition the muscles and tendons for pitching is to do just that. He’s into specificity of training. Mazzone advocated long ago for the 4 man rotation and light throwing in between.


#3

Yes and no. You can strengthen your muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments through throwing. You can also injure them either in the short term or through cumulative damage with throwing. Everybody is different and no one knows for sure what each person’s tolerance for throwing is.

Your best bet is to do a lot of light throwing but listen to your body and rest when you feel any pain and also to schedule in breaks after hard throwing to allow your tendons and ligaments some time to repair.


#4

There are those, like Leo Mazzone, Dick Mills, etc., who believe we don’t throw enough

You cannot leave out the Japanese, they do unbelievable amounts of long toss, assorted other throwing drills, plain throwing and regular game innings. I hear that they do up to 8 hrs of pre-game this and that. With a fervor I might add that is almost unheard of in the west, Maybe on the same order as the drive the kids in Latin America have, something is working because both of these areas are working on being (If not already being) the pre-eminent baseball regions in the world.


#5

[quote=“CADad”]Yes and no. You can strengthen your muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments through throwing. You can also injure them either in the short term or through cumulative damage with throwing. Everybody is different and no one knows for sure what each person’s tolerance for throwing is.

Your best bet is to do a lot of light throwing but listen to your body and rest when you feel any pain and also to schedule in breaks after hard throwing to allow your tendons and ligaments some time to repair.[/quote]

This is GREAT advice.

I’ll also add that most (not all) mature (over eighteen) pitchers can and should almost throw every day, though not at full speed all the time.

It is completely possible and advisable for mature pitchers to work up to a single day of 200 pitches. This may sound like insanity but it works like this:

15 pitches + 8 warmups per inning, times 9 innings.

A pitcher who has good mechanics – meaning he uses his entire body and uses his legs and leverage to power the ball – can without harm be in a supervised program that gradually builds to a 175-200 pitch “game day”.

Understand that the “pitches” include warmups, drills, long toss, 45-foot throwing, flat ground, pickoff throws, and any other throwing drills / practice.

Yes it sounds crazy today but consider that as recently as the 1970s and early 80s it was not uncommon for an MLB pitcher to complete a game. For example Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver were often on pitch counts in the 170-190 pitch range (and rarely, if ever, hurt their arms).

IMHO the adult professional pitchers are not pushed at all, and as a result are weaker, have no endurance and are less effective.

ps HS and youngsters should follow the ASMI recommendations for throwing / pitch counts.