Are Baseball Pitchers Being Overused?

Blake Haffer, Reporter

Devastating injuries and struggles by baseball pitchers are becoming more and more common according to MLB statistics.  Some of this could be caused by the overuse of these players.

“Preventing Baseball Injuries” on indicated pitchers at all levels of baseball including professional baseball, college, high school and even little league may be being used or throwing the ball way too much.  The article indicated that coaches and players should follow strict pitch count regulations which are enforced in most younger level level leagues and organization.  The state of Missouri has their own rules and regulations that all high schools must follow to help with this issue.  According to a couple students at Timberland, it is quite evident that they believe some pitchers are being overused.

“I really do think that some pitchers at all levels are being overused which can obviously have some major consequences,” sophomore Hayden See said.

See mentioned Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow.  Morrow appeared in 7 games in the first two playoff rounds and allowed just 1 run over 8.1 innings of work.  He was also used in all seven games of the World Series against the Astros and the fatigue seemed to be kicking in.  He allowed 5 runs in the 5.1 innings of work in the series.  This could have just been a big struggle but it is also possible that he was overused.  

See also mentioned Cardinal pitcher Matt Bowman.  Bowman saw the number of games he appeared in jump from 59-75 between last season and this one.

“I do think that some of Bowman’s struggles were caused by how much he was pitched.  The team should have used him less,” See said.

This may not seem like a big difference but it sure seemed to cause a difference in his effectiveness and he also saw more injuries along the way.

The previously mentioned article also mentioned that one of the most common injuries a pitcher can sustain is a tear of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (the UCL).  The surgery to repair this ligament, often referred to as Tommy John Surgery, and has a recovery time of around twelve months.  The article states that the injury is usually caused by throwing the baseball too much and putting too much strain on the ligament.

“I think that the injury numbers could go down if we just watch how much people are throwing,” said sophomore baseball player Zach Ballard.

Pitchers being overused could be causing many problems, and according to health studies it needs to be stopped.