BY: John Mamola
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore underwent Tommy John surgery this morning thus ending his 2014 campaign in the Rays rotation. Moore is the most recent example of a growing number of major league pitchers who find themselves falling victim to elbow injuries and therefore opting for the surgery which costs players time and franchises money.
Rays Manager Joe Maddon joined WDAE’s ‘Steve Duemig Show’ on Tuesday and discussed a growing trend among children who play baseball at a young age and end up overworking their arms before they develop causing injury later on in their careers.
“What’s happening is the kid (child) just doesn’t play on one team during the summer, he plays on multiple teams,” said Maddon. “Then if he’s really good as a pitcher than all these different teams want him to pitch.”
The Rays skipper agrees that throwing or playing long toss, whether a pitcher or not, does great work improving a child’s arm strength. However the over-specialization and overuse of a child at an early age Maddon feels is leading to issues that children will face down the road later in life.
“I do believe for sure there’s nothing wrong with throwing, but to throw it competitively and try to pitch too many games within a week or two weeks can be devastating,” said Maddon.
Since the end of last season, 20 pitchers in the major leagues have opted for the Tommy John surgery because of a worn and overworked ulnar collateral ligament.
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