Sports Medicine Experts Roll Out More Guidelines For Keeping Pitchers Healthy

With Tommy John surgeries occurring at epidemic rates, the American Sports Medicine Institute produced a position paper Wednesday to eliminate misconceptions and educate parents to help the next generation of pitchers stay healthier than this generation has been.

Many of the misconceptions ASMI attempts to clear up are points they and other medical experts have made in the past: Tommy John surgery doesn’t make a pitcher throw harder, although the intense rehab may allow some pitchers to exceed their pre-injury velocities; curveballs aren’t a big factor in Tommy John surgeries; lowering the mound won’t help and they haven’t found Latin American pitchers to have a higher success rate of staying healthy.

But the paper also has advice for the pro pitcher, most notably that pitchers need to figure out how to succeed without throwing 100 percent on every pitch and both the pitcher and team need to be in constant communication about how the pitcher feels.

This is part of a continuing effort by ASMI, which has already put out a position statement for youth pitchers urging them to stop all baseball throwing for two-to-three months a year, take at least four months off from competitive baseball, pitch for no more than one team at a time, adhere to pitch limits and avoid having pitchers also catch.