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. 

 
 With the addition of our new data set and DVS Modeling runs, younger pitchers can be expected to throw less innings before the event of a major injury.

With the addition of our new data set and DVS Modeling runs, younger pitchers can be expected to throw less innings before the event of a major injury.

 

 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.

- Josh