Saving the Pitcher: 5 Ways to Change MLB Injuries

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I found it interesting to see Craig Liebenson’s article on ankle stability with the use of pressure mapping, something I think we will see more of in North America. I believe that 5 technologies will change baseball only if the culture of pitching changes. We can’t use GPS to help the sport, so better and more precise measurements must be done in order to see what the risks are. Gyros and other sensors will not be enough, and HR is too crude to see specific mechanical issues to the body. What is the solution? I see 5 ways to get clarity. Moneyball is popular now, but it’s time to put the money in performance.

Biomechanics of Throwing- We have very little agreement on pitching mechanics but the commonalities of what is dangerous needs to be addressed with draft picks. What makes them special is likely to what could be risky, so this is a delicate balance. Pitching coaches should be familiar with video analysis, injury patterns,

Athlete Biochemical Monitoring– Blood, Saliva, and Urine are more important to pitchers than soccer perhaps, because of the unique rest cycle of the game, and the difficulty of getting true workload. The minor leagues will likely be the research of the the major leagues but general screening will be more prevalent in american sports such as Football and Basketball. Workload and recovery is hard to see with the body, but biochemical monitoring is a good start. I surely hope that it’s not gong to take 10 years to do this, as ESPN’s article on Dwayne Wade thinks it’s 2022 when we see commonplace.

Pressure Mapping of Foot Strike- With the information on javelin GRF and center of pressure being researched, I think MLB teams will be using in-shoe pressure mapping in 2-3 years to see how efficiently athletes are transferring momentum. I do think wireless EMG and motion capture will be fused into the study, but we need more kinetic data here. Foot mechanics of creating and decelerating forces need to be synchronized with video to see how the athlete is juggling forces and technique.

TMG Analysis- Tensiomyography is being used in Europe for tennis and javelin, so absolutely ZERO information is on pitching but I suspect the tennis serve will create similar pattens of imbalance that can allow for modifications in therapy and training. This may change how teams manage innings and rest cycles but more likely to see if the training and regeneration programs are working.

HRV and Sleep Analysis- The season is long and very demanding because of travel. A professional baseball team will travel and be on the road more than any other sport. Products like Zeo and ithlete are likely to be used with entire teams or handful of players.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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