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MLB-Pitcher sind gemessen an der Karrieredauer die neuen NFL-RBs

von NFI Redaktion

The Major League Baseball is on the brink of a pitching crisis.

Dr. Keith Meister, head physician of the Texas Rangers and one of the country’s top elbow surgeons, believes that MLB’s current fixation on pitching performance is shortening pitchers‘ careers. In an interview with The Athletic, Meister revealed that he dealt with 230 elbow injuries last season and is already „far ahead of that pace“ this season.

The 62-year-old specialist cited the speed obsession of managers and the introduction of sweepers and power changeup pitches as the main reasons for the rise in injury numbers.

Meister said, “We always said you get your TJ, you’re good. Then it was like: One guy gets you 10 years. Then it was seven before eight. Now the guys are splitting up into three to five, depending on who they are, what they have, and what they throw.”

An anonymous pitching coach confirmed the information and even said that pitchers have to keep up with it, or else they face being out of the league.

“Analytics say Velo (velocity) is super important,” one coach told The Athletic. “Pitchers and analysts are tracking Velo. The pitchers who don’t are retiring. Those who stay are taking a certain risk of injury to avoid working at Costco.”

A club analyst told Meister that the average career in Major League now sits at under three years for all players, and for pitchers, it has dropped to just about 2.7 years.

“This is like the NFL running back numbers,” Meister said. „As far as the owners are concerned, it’s cynical that they don’t have to pay any of these players much. Forget them becoming free agents. They won’t even qualify for the Arb agreement.“

By looking at Baseball Reference’s annual list of rookie players, broken down by year, we can estimate the average length of a pitcher’s career. Rookies who debuted in 2000 – ten years before The Athletic estimates the league’s focus on speed began – spent an average of 6.95 years in the pros before retiring. This number has dropped to 3.19 years for rookies in 2020.

Of the 121 pitchers whose rookie year was 2020, only 67 are still active. 44.6% of pitchers retiring before their fourth year would be the highest rate in all classes since 2000.

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