The Number of Innings Young Pitchers Have Before a Major Throwing-Related Injury Continues to Shrink
Modern-day starting pitchers are undergoing major throwing-related injuries sooner than ever before. The DVS Model finds that, assuming average mechanics (DVS Score 13.4), the later a college or professional starting pitcher is born the less expected innings they have before a major throwing-related injury. A major throwing-related injury is defined as an arm surgery or an arm injury that requires at least a 90 day absence from competitive throwing. For example, an 18-year-old starting pitcher born in 1995 could expect to pitch 1168 college or professional innings before a major throwing-related injury, wheres that same starter born in 1985 could expect to pitch 1538 innings. This follows from the fact that these same pitchers inherit about 2.9% additional risk for each later year they are born, as was discussed in a previous article. However, these are merely average expectations - each player's actual outcome depends on a combination of pitching mechanics, various historical factors, and random chance.
This effect is likely largely attributable to the increasing presence of youth year-round baseball and over-throwing. This additional era-based risk underscores the importance of improving pitching mechanics to maximize health and availability.