young pitchers who pitch more than 8 months a year are 5 times as likely to need surgery as those who pitch 5 1/2 months a year.
In San Diego, where I'm located, this can be a big problem because there is baseball going on all year round (even in Little League, where there are summer and fall leagues, plus the ever-present year-round traveling teams).
So what's the solution? A year ago or so they instituted an 85 pitch limit per game. Now, this may a good thing to do, but I have great difficulty seeing a direct connection. Here's why.
With any decision inferences (classification), there are two questions to be asked:
1) what patterns are related to the outcome of interest
2) are there differences between patterns related to the outcome of interest and those related to another outcome?
Here's my problem: I have seen no data (in the article) to indicate that pitchers today throw more pitches than boys did 10 years ago. And I see no evidence in particular that boys today throw more than 85 pitches more frequently that boys did 10 years ago. If this isn't the case, then why would the new limit have any effect at all? It can only be due to a cause that is not directly addressed here. If by limited pitches in a game (and therefore in any given week), the boys throw fewer pitches in a year, there might be an effect.
But based on the evidence that is known and not speculation, wouldn't it make more sense to limit pitchers to five months of pitching per calendar year? That after all has direct empirical evidence of tangible results.
I see this happen in the business world as well, where despite empirical evidence that indicate "Procedure A", the decision makers go with "Procedure B" for a variety of reasons unrelated to the data. And sometimes there is good reason to do so despite the data, but at least we should know that in these cases we are ignoring the data.
I suspect one reason this strikes me is that I used to pitch on traveling teams in my Little League years, back before one cared about pitch counts (30+ years ago). I'm sure I pitched games well over 85, and probably 100+ pitches on a regular basis. One difference was that I lived in New England where you were fortunate to play March through August, and so we all had a good period of time to recover.