Every Pitch Counts: NY to implement pitch counts in high schools

It's a whole new ballgame for high school pitchers on Long Island this season.

For the first time in New York state, pitch counts will be implemented in high school games in an effort to help protect young arms.

This year, a varsity pitcher can throw a maximum of 105 pitches per game. If he does, he needs four days rest before he can pitch again.

More and more players, particularly pitchers, are getting injured at a younger age. Trevor Adamo, of Connetquot, suffered a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament last year while pitching a complete game. He blamed the injury on years of constant throwing.

"I've been throwing every day, every summer, so something [was] bound to happen," he told News 12.

Dr. Luga Podesta is a physician at St. Charles Sports Medicine and a former team doctor for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He says students that throw 100 mph in high school don't throw that hard in the major leagues.

He says high school pitchers rely too much on their elbow to generate force, resulting in possible ligament tears.

A total of 57 percent of Tommy John surgeries are performed on teens ages 15 to 19, only 25 percent are performed on older professional pitchers, according to a 2015 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

John, the lefty pitcher whose reconstructed elbow changed the game, told News 12 that pitch counts in high school are just the tip of the iceberg.

He says high school pitchers throw way more than major league pitchers and that pitch counts are a step in the right direction. He also said that if the state really wants to protect pitchers, they should take away radar guns.

More at Newsday

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