<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1870319619753375&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Technology Seeks To Prevent Pitching Injuries In Baseball

Pitchers are perhaps more susceptible to injury than any other position in baseball.  Even with the best mechanics, a pitcher’s body goes through the wringer when called upon to throw hundreds of pitches multiple times of the year as fast as they possibly can.  The constant wear takes its toll on pitchers’ bodies.

As such, you’re seeing numerous parties start to look into not only how injuries could be treated but how they could be prevented in the first place.  These injury prevention techniques hinge on a discipline known as biomechanics, which attempts to analyze a pitcher’s throwing technique to deduce situations that could be indicative of an upcoming injury.

A report looks at the efforts of the American Sports Medicine Institute in Alabama.  Players that come in for a biomechanical evaluation find themselves hooked up to a variety of sensors that are designed to monitor mechanics, force, and movement.  When analyzing the data, the sensors put together a three dimensional depiction of the pitcher’s body.  Once the results flood in, they’re compared to the movements and techniques of 100 elite pitchers that were previously analyzed.  This comparison allows for a sort of baseline for proper technique, and if a pitcher’s movements are outside that realm, it could suggest an injury down the line.

Other technologies are also coming into play.  One astrophysicist’s solar storm monitoring system can actually be used to map a player’s techniques while they’re participating in a game.  Over time, the available sensors could pick up on minute changes that could reveal a problem.  Unfortunately, this StarTrack system hinges on getting sensors on a player’s body in-game, something that managers are loathe to do.

Ultrasound and predictive analytics promise additional analysis.  The former allows for a real time look at the state of ligaments, with a player theoretically being able to get a quick scan between each inning.  The analytics-based approach involves establishing certain maximum levels that athletes would be endangered by if breached. Stress, training, and sleep could all be taken into account to formulate a theory as to when an athlete should be rested and when they’re okay to continue to play.

Major League Baseball is still far away from widespread adoption.  In fact, the Orioles and the Brewers are the only two teams that submit their pitchers to regular biomechanic evaluations.  Not surprisingly, these teams also have some of the best records in terms of not having to sit players due to injury.  Ten other teams use biomechanics, but not in any extensive manner.


About the author

Blog Read more articles by Blog.

Request a Consultation