For about the umpteenth time, the topic of pitchers getting hurt came up on “MLB Now”
The first culprit is always year-around youth baseball. Guest panelist and former major league pitching coach Rick Peterson added that guys are throwing too hard, another usual suspect. And then there is year-around youth baseball pitchers throwing too hard.
Maybe some of these kids should learn how to pitch, some one suggested.
“Mom and dad and junior” all think that throwing hard and impressing the scouts is the way to fulfill their dreams, host Brian Kenny said.
Where would they get that idea?
Then Kenny revealed his “Top 10 Pitchers Now,” leaving off Kyle Hendricks, the major-league leader in ERA last season.
The panel noted that it is amazing that Hendricks is so good, even though he often throws fastballs in the high 80s. Then someone else chimed in about how Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were great truly pitchers who threw in the high 80s.
That’s good to hear because usually the panelists on the programs go on and on about how hard this pitcher throws or how this pitcher has swing-and-miss stuff. Or the panelists discuss questions like, is this guy’s velocity down? Does he still have enough to get major league hitters out?
“MLB Now” did not invent the concept that college and pro teams are looking for hard throwers. That’s been around forever. And the reason the concept has been around forever is because is true — they are looking for hard throwers. Good luck getting a scholarship offer if you max out at 86 mph.
But by drooling over every prospect who tops 100 mph on the radar gun, “MLB Now” reinforces the notion.
There is some hope. With Statcast now being able to show pitchers how induce weak contact, perhaps this numbers-oriented show, which is an important platform, will highlight more hurlers who know how to pitch instead of just throw.
Who knows? That might lead to some change in thinking in the industry that would filter down to some kids with big dreams and fragile arms.