CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Major League Baseball and it’s Players Association are still trying to come to an agreement on how to get back on the field. The two sides are bickering about players salaries in what would be a shortened season without fans. One expert feels there is another immediate concern should they find a way to get back on the field- the heightened risk of arm injuries.
Pitchers already in a normal world get injured early in camp, before they break camp," said Texas Baseball Ranch CEO Ron Wolforth. “Now we have this new world we are living in where these guys are going to get the ‘all clear’ and there is no way they are going to have the normal time to ramp up. If already the ramp up is too short for some, creating injuries, you can imagine our concern if that ramp up is contracted.”
Wolforth is well respected guy in baseball. Terry Francona and Chris Antonetti are among the Tribe staffers that have visited the Texas Baseball ranch. Wolforth has worked with guys like Justin Verlander, Trevor Bauer and many others. He works a lot with young pitchers on their path to getting drafted. He specializes in throwing and pitching.
Wolforth says that most labrum tears happen in March and April, that’s when pitchers have a normal spring training. They’ll get only a few weeks this time, and when the season does start, games will mean even more because of the shortened season. "A limited ramp up, 3-4 weeks when [a pitcher] usually has 6-8 weeks, and then have every pitch count, it’s a recipe for disaster. They are not ramped up like they should and every game counts as if it’s a stretch-run in the playoffs.”
Pitchers have been doing their best to have a throwing program in this down time, something Wolforth applauds. “Anyway you can throw in any fashion is helpful. And get in a seven day cycle with two heavy days, three medium days and make sure you have 48 hours between your two pushes so you’re recovered enough to push the second time.”
A good throwing program right now might be the only thing that keeps some pitchers healthy. Well, that or a complete shudown of the season. That would be awful