Jeff Nelson: Stop-And-Start Season Impacting MLB Pitcher Injuries

The coronavirus isn’t the only concern for players this season; so are injuries – for pitchers, in particular

The DA Show
August 07, 2020 - 10:19 am
Max Scherzer Nationals

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As the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals have shown, the coronavirus is a major concern for MLB players. And as Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Shohei Ohtani and other pitchers have shown, well, injury is a major concern this season as well.

Is the rise in pitcher injuries a coincidence? Or does it have something to do with the stop-and-start cadence of the 2020 MLB season.

“Oh, no doubt. It’s so tough as a pitcher to get things going in March and all of a sudden shut down,” four-time World Series champion Jeff Nelson told Shaun Morash and Andrew Bogusch, who were filling in as hosts of The DA Show. “A lot of [these guys continued] to work out and throw until they finally got the call, ‘Hey, we’re going back to spring training.’”

Unfortunately, it was an abbreviated spring training, which may have contributed to the rash of pitcher injuries teams are experiencing.

“[It was] a shortened spring training – three weeks – and then all of a sudden you’re going into a season and if you have an outbreak on a team, then all of a sudden the schedule is changing and you’re postponing games,” Nelson said. “You’ve seen some of these videos, as far as the Cardinals and the Marlins throwing baseballs against mattresses or ironing boards or doing whatever they can to try to stay in shape because they can’t come out of the room and they’re not working out. So you knew that there was going to be some significant injuries.”

Nelson believes starting pitchers will be more impacted by the injury bug than relievers.

“Relievers [are] so used to getting up and getting down more than a starter,” Nelson said. “But this is definitely affecting these players. I think you got to hand it to them for them going through all this and all this shutdown. Hopefully [it] doesn’t happen again, but it could. Another team could have a breakout for some kind of mishap or not following the strict protocols.”