Under the Knife: More Spring Training Injuries

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Under the Knife: More Spring Training Injuries
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The story this week has been pitching injuries, but while the outbreak of Tommy John across the league got headlines, it's not unusual. Tommy John surgery is happening more and more. Remember, David Wells, a player from the not-too-distant past, may have been one of the first 10 MLB players to have the surgery.

The acceleration has come to the point where we'll likely have 10 this week. It's more than just the MLB players as well. There are several minor leaguers who will head to Birmingham, Ala. or Los Angeles for surgery and more college and high school pitchers alongside them. 

I asked Dr. Tim Kremchek of the Reds how many Tommy John surgeries he did last year, and it was nearly 100. Add in the other surgeons that do the bulk of MLB Tommy John procedures, and we're looking not at a problem but an industry.

We've accepted it, to some extent. There's a moment of sadness when we see a pitcher like Jarrod Parker lose another year to an injury, but we forget about it quickly.

This week's outbreak hasn't led to any discussion of changes. Bud Selig isn't announcing a bold research initiative. Some team spent more money on a computer than the whole league will spend on sports medicine. If that's how baseball is going to be, we're going to have a lot more weeks like this and a lot more pitchers missing years. That's bad for baseball.

For now, let's look around the league...

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