Student Well-Being

Sports Surgeon Warns Against Year-Round Baseball for Youth-Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — April 10, 2014 1 min read

Dr. James Andrews, one of the most renowned orthopedic sports surgeons in the country, suggested in an interview yesterday that year-round baseball is the No. 1 cause for the rise in baseball pitchers of all ages undergoing Tommy John surgery.

On MLB Network Radio’s “Power Alley,” Andrews was asked whether the vast number of Tommy John surgeries and UCL injuries already suffered by major league pitchers this year was “anomalous” or “a trend.” The doctor believes it’s the latter, and pointed at year-round baseball for youths as the leading culprit.

“It used to be that we didn’t see these [UCL] injuries until they got into high-level professional baseball,” Andrews said. “But now, the majority of the injuries are either freshmen in college or some young kid even in the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade in high school.

“So, these young kids are now maturing their bodies so quickly, their ligament is developmental, and it’s not strong enough to keep up with their bodies. So, they’re tearing it in the high-velocity throwers at a young age. And that’s really the big problem.”


Back in 2008,

Andrews told the

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.