“Ever notice that nobody talks about the length of the games when they talk about injuries being up around baseball?” Oakland outfielder Sam Fuld asked before a game with Texas. Maybe it’s time to remedy that.
It’s a simple fact that games are longer. Even before replay became a thing, games were trending longer. Look at the average minutes per game for matchups that went longer than eight innings, and see it jump even since 2002:
Though there are plenty of good theories about why there’s a rise in Tommy John surgeries, perhaps we’re missing the simplest explanation: longer games and more strikeouts means more pitches. More pitches means more chances to hurt yourself.
Look at pitcher injuries since 2002. Even in this short time frame, we’re losing more days to the DL:
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.