MAY I state my theory for the cause of Tommy John surgery?
The cause of Tommy John surgery is... Tommy John surgery. To be more specific, it's guys throwing 92+.
Biomechanic studies have proven that the upper limit of human arm tolerance is the forces put on the arm when a ball goes above 92 MPH. Ergo, every time you throw 92+, you are stressing the arm to close to falling apart. The weakest link is the UCL.
When I was growing up, only the very rare few pitchers threw 90+. And only the unnaturally gifted could do it for a career. Everyone today says, look at Nolan Ryan. Back then, everyone knew Nolan Ryan was a freak, no one with any sense would try to do what he did. Pitchers learned to throw with command and control, and knew they had to go 7,8,9 innings... and major league teams were looking for guys who could give them 35 starts.
Today, grade school and high school kids know that no scout is even going to come look at you if you don't go 90+ early. It's like the old joke we used to have about why Dominican players swung at everything - you can't get off the island by walking.
Everyone has to throw 90+ means everyone has to blow out their arm. But now you can reliably PATCH the arm, at least once, probably twice. Teams now are "budgeting" that a young guy is going to have TJ and take a season off. The most cynical viewpoint is that it's better if a kid has it early, get it out of the way so he get on with his career. There's even talk of a couple of kids being drafted in the first round this year who already need or just HAD TJ.
In HBD terms, it's like us hoping a prospect gets a 360 day injury so we can use the Injury Bug on him.
But you can't stop it, because no one now is going to say, we've got to stop letting these kids strike everyone out.
Sorry to hog the thread for a minute, but... AM I WRONG?