MLB seeks 'answers' to TJ epidemic

ByJerry Crasnick ESPN logo
Thursday, May 15, 2014

NEW YORK -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday he's personally concerned about the recent spate of Tommy John surgeries and other injuries suffered by major league pitchers.

MLB continues to consult with doctors and athletic trainers in an effort to address the problem. Baseball's medical advisory committee, which is headed by Dr. Gary Green, has been entrusted with trying to find some answers.

"I'm almost afraid to pick up the paper because of the bad news,'' Selig said. "I'm very worried over the fact that it's happening with so much regularity, over and over. We have some great young arms, and it's very sad. 

"Let's see if we can find out some answers. Nobody has them, I'll tell you that -- including the doctors and trainers. Everybody you talk to has a different opinion.''

Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez this week became the latest pitcher to receive a diagnosis of a torn elbow ligament. The Marlins have recommended the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year undergo Tommy John surgery. 

A bevy of pitchers has been diagnosed with torn elbow ligaments requiring the surgery since the start of spring training. They include Atlanta Braves right-handers Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Cory Gearrin; Arizona Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin; Oakland Athletics starters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin; Tampa Bay Rays All-Star Matt Moore; New York Yankees starter Ivan Nova; San Diego Padres starter Josh Johnson; New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell; Kansas City Royals setup man Luke Hochevar; Detroit Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon; Houston Astros reliever Jose Cisnero and top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon.

The Mets' Matt Harvey and Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg are other All-Stars who have had the ligament-transplant operation, which can have a recovery time of 12 to 18 months.

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