The Riddle - Matsuzaka

I found this article by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci to be very thought provoking regarding the “pitch count” mania that has overtaken major league baseball and has filtered down to the lowest levels i.e. Little League. Pitch counts are really akin to weight restrictions on bridges. If there’s no attempt to make the structural part of the bridge stronger then there can’t be an increase in work load.

Quote: "The system guarantees diminishing returns: Despite advances in medicine, nutrition and training, teams work pitchers less than ever before and yet pay them more. "

What the article doesn’t mention is that there are a lot of serious overuse injuries at all levels of Japanese baseball.


Can you suggest sources for documentation on Japanese pitchers injuries that occurred in Japan before making the transition into MLB? There must be reasons for the different approaches other than cultural or philosophical. Could we not make the same observation about our injury problems?

Can’t document it. All I know is that a lot of injury research is done on youth baseball players in Japan. When I wanted to find information on treating Spondylolysis in youth players with LIUS I had to get the information from the Japanese Pediatric Orthopaedic Association. It was pretty obvious that the problem was fairly widespread there. Spondylolysis comes from growth and overuse.