Baseball may not be the most dangerous sport out there, but players experience their fair share of injuries. According to a new study out of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, pitchers may have the most to worry about.
The researchers analyzed the disabled lists of MLB teams from 2002 through the 2008 season, finding that pitchers were 34 percent more likely to sustain injuries than fielders. In addition to their increased injury rate, the LA Times reports pitchers also accounted for 62.4 percent of the time that players spent on the disabled list, while fielders only accounted for 37.6 percent.
As to be expected, the area of the body injured was associated with the position played. 67 percent of pitchers’ injuries were to their arms or shoulders (only 32 percent for fielders), while 47.5 percent of injuries for fielders were located in their hips or legs.
According to ESPN, the study also found that patterns of injuries were practically equal between both leagues. For example, players in the American League injured their lower extremities 30.5 percent of the time. Lower extremity injuries in the National League occurred 30.7 percent of the time.
The one big surprise to the research team was when players got injured. 74.4 percent of all injuries occurred before the middle of the season. Lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon, Maj. Matthew Posner explains they expected a “wear-and-tear phenomenon”.
The results of this study were presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting.