John Smoltz criticizes MLB's approach to pitching injuries, blaming management's emphasis on velocity and spin rate for the recent wave of UCL injuries among pitchers.

By the Numbers
  • Arm injuries affecting stars like Spencer Strider, Shane Bieber, Framber Valdez, and Gerrit Cole have been prevalent.
  • John Smoltz highlights the consequences of prioritizing high velocity and spin rate over player health.
Yes, But

While some attribute injuries to the pitch clock, Smoltz argues that its impact is minimal compared to the long-standing issues of velocity and analytics.

State of Play
  • Management's role in prioritizing performance metrics over player longevity is under scrutiny.
  • This trend may lead to a rule change to shift focus towards player health and alternate training approaches.
What's Next

It is crucial for MLB to reassess its approach to player development, potentially altering the reward system to prioritize longevity over short-term success.

Bottom Line

John Smoltz's critique underscores the need for a paradigm shift in how MLB manages pitcher training and emphasizes the long-term well-being of players over immediate performance metrics.