MLB’s Dodonado 160km… Arm strain, injury spike
The number of ‘dream fastballs’ has tripled in four years
The 100-mile-per-hour (160.9-kilometer-per-hour) fastball, also known as the “dream fastball,” is now a common phenomenon in Major League Baseball (MLB). While it has only been seen once in the 40-year history of the game in South Korea, it was seen 3,356 times in the United States last year alone. That’s more than tripled in four years from 1056 in 2019. This season, it’s even more common. Last month, 27 pitchers in MLB threw 100+ mph at least once. Pitchers with 100+ mph changeups are now a regular occurrence.
This is largely due to players getting bigger and more muscular, as well as more organized training regimens, which have increased their strength. Physical conditioning techniques to increase velocity are also becoming more advanced. Science has been a fundamental factor in the democratization of fastballs.
But it comes at a price. The human body can’t handle overload. If you”re a player with natural physical abilities (strong shoulders and arms), you can get away with throwing 100 mph every now and then, but if you”re not, you”ll quickly burn out. According to Sports Illustrated (SI), there were 427 pitchers on the MLB disabled list last year. Teams lost $486 million in revenue because they had to pay these pitchers their contracted salaries when they were unavailable. This year, there were 173 pitchers on the disabled list at the end of last month. They were paid about $100 million, or $3.1 million per day, while on the disabled list. Of the seven highest-paid pitchers at the beginning of the month, outside of Shohei Ohtani (28-LA Angels) and Gerrit Cole (33-New York Yankees), four were injured and one was suspended토토사이트. The analysis suggests that this is not unrelated to increased restraint. As fastballs become more prevalent, they put more strain on arms and shoulders, which eventually break down.
Naturally, injury management for these fastball pitchers has become a hot topic for teams. Tightening up the spacing and pitch counts of their outings. A decade ago, it was common for starters to return to the mound after four days of rest, but now it’s five to six days. Pitch counts are also limited to around 100 pitches per game. We haven’t seen a pitcher throw more than 120 pitches since June of last year. Gerrit Cole is known for always pitching on five days’ rest and keeping his pitches between 92 and 109 pitches per game. He’s also been throwing his fastball less and less. Last year, it dropped below 50% for the first time (48.5%) and has dropped further to 46.9% so far this season. In sports medicine, the advice is “don’t throw all your pitches, but vary your velocity to match the batter and the situation.”