Greg Maddux on MLB's Pitching Issues: Hard Throwers and Injury Concerns

Exploring shifts in MLB's pitching strategy and player health.

by Nouman Rasool
Greg Maddux on MLB's Pitching Issues: Hard Throwers and Injury Concerns
© Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

As Major League Baseball grapples with an alarming rise in pitcher injuries, legendary pitcher Greg Maddux weighs in on the evolving landscape of the sport. The MLB has witnessed a notable increase in elbow injuries this season, prompting concerns over the physical demands placed on today's pitchers.

Among those sidelined are Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians, Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves, Eury Perez from the Miami Marlins, and Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees. These injuries have sparked debate within the baseball community about the underlying causes and potential solutions.

In a recent phone interview, Maddux, whose expertise on the mound is revered, shared his insights into the high-stakes environment that pitchers face today. “Velocity matters,” Maddux explained, “teams want guys who throw hard.

As a coach, I’d rather have someone who can throw 95 mph rather than 90. Faster is better, but it’s not the solution to your problems”.

Maddux Reflects on Technique

Reflecting on his era, Maddux highlighted a significant shift in the pitching approach.

“When I pitched, we were content with our fastball as it was. We focused not on throwing harder but on outperforming the opponent with better execution,” he said. This contrast underscores a broader change in the sport's competitive dynamics, where the emphasis on speed often overshadows technique and strategy.

The implementation of the MLB pitching clock has been cited by some as a contributing factor to the injury uptick. Tony Clark, executive director of the MLB Players Association, has been vocal about the clock's impact, suggesting it might be exacerbating the issue.

“The pitch clock rule is a major concern for us,” Clark stated, echoing the sentiments of players and coaches who believe that the new rule may be forcing pitchers to rush, potentially compromising their technique and leading to injuries.

As discussions continue, the baseball community is looking for ways to protect its players while maintaining the game's integrity and competitiveness. Whether it's revisiting training methods, adjusting game rules, or enhancing recovery protocols, the MLB faces a critical challenge in adapting to the demands of modern sports without compromising player health.

This ongoing issue not only affects the players and teams but also resonates with fans and stakeholders, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to innovation in sports practices. As the season progresses, all eyes will be on how the league addresses these challenges and the measures it takes to ensure the well-being of its players.