« January 2008 | Main | December 2009 »

1 posts from March 2008

March 06, 2008

Rights of Spring

The sports pages are already filled with pitchers who are having shoulder problems.  We see it every year and we know that the pitching process does put a lot of stress on the rotator cuff, specifically, the superspinatis tendon.  The Detroit Tigers have been hit most hard seemly this year.  First they have Joel Zumaya out with a somewhat of a freak shoulder accident.  This when he was clearing out his parent's San Diego house from the wild fires that swept through California.  This required shoulder reconstruction; he seems to be responding well to that, and has had some painless episodes of throwing for the first time since that surgery.  Unfortunately, they are having their set-up man, Fernando Rodney, having problems similar to last year with painful throwing shoulder and he has not pitched in several days.  This is obviously a problem for the Tigers who expected to do well thisyear, and had significant offensive players picked up.  Tigers do have very strong starting pitching; however, typically as the season goes on, the reliance on the bullpen is great.  Finally, they lost their comeback kid in Matt Mattei, I believe, who retired this year at the age of 35.  He had a really nice major baseball career.  He was trying to make a comeback with the Tigers and felt pain in his shoulder after throwing against the Cleveland Indians.  He was not particularly interested in shoulder surgery or prolonged rehab and retired.  He shared with us that the reason he tried to make a come back from previous problems with shoulder pain was that his 5 year old son wanted to see him pitch in the majors; unfortunately, he'll have to the video tape.

What needs to be done new with baseball conditioners, trainers, sports trainers?  Why does this continue to happen with literally hundreds of millions of dollars in pitching salary sitting on the sidelines or in physical therapy or on the operating table each year?  It would be nice to see some forward thinking with rehab of these shoulders and really considering what does need to be done differently after pitching that would prevent these injuries.  I hope these teams have got their pitchers jumping rope and I also wonder if they are considering some of the new braces such as the night time shoulder immobilizer to be used on the night after the players pitch.

Go Tigers!