Since the start of the 2014 season, there have been 20 Major League pitchers who have been forced to have what is commonly known as 'Tommy John' surgery.
The surgery consists of removing the damaged ulnar collateral ligament and replacing it with another tendon from a different part of the body.
The problem, according to the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), is that pitchers are more worried about how fast the radar gun says they've thrown than focusing on their all-round skills, particularly in young players.
Players such as Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, Oakland A's Jarrod Parker and Tampa Bay Ray's Matt Moore have all been sidelined after having the surgery.
A statement was released on Wednesday, drafted by the research director of the ASMI, addressed several misconceptions about elbow injuries and included nine recommendations to help prevent what it called the "epidemic" of ligament injuries among professional pitchers.
Most notably, the report called for pitchers not to throw at full velocity:
"Do not always pitch with 100% effort. The best professional pitchers pitch with a range of ball velocity, good ball movement, good control, and consistent mechanics among their pitches.
"The professional pitcher’s objectives are to prevent baserunners and runs, not to light up the radar gun."
The report also dismissed claims that suggestions such as lowering the height of the mound would help prevent injury, as well as recommending that pitchers avoid playing winter baseball in order to give their arms time to recover.
"I'm very worried over the fact that it's happening with so much regularity, over and over," said baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, speaking to ESPN. "We have some great young arms, and it's very sad. I'm almost afraid to pick up the paper because of the bad news."
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