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Maddon: Pitchers overworked on youth teams

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- If Matt Moore has Tommy John surgery, he will become the 13th Major League pitcher to do so since the beginning of Spring Training, according to an article in USA Today on Friday.

Joe Maddon was asked about the problem and, typical of the Rays' manager, he didn't straddle the fence when offering his opinion. Maddon said he's put some thought to the question a lot lately, and he recently read an article by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, which he referenced.

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CINCINNATI -- If Matt Moore has Tommy John surgery, he will become the 13th Major League pitcher to do so since the beginning of Spring Training, according to an article in USA Today on Friday.

Joe Maddon was asked about the problem and, typical of the Rays' manager, he didn't straddle the fence when offering his opinion. Maddon said he's put some thought to the question a lot lately, and he recently read an article by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, which he referenced.

Full Game Coverage

"I think sometimes it would be obvious that we're doing something wrong here, but sometimes you have to look underneath the surface," Maddon said. "And what he's suggesting, and I kind of agreed, has a lot to do with youth sports and travel teams and multiple travel teams, and kids pitching to win when they're really young and throwing too many pitches.

"I'm a total non-advocate of the travel team concept. I think it's insane. I think too many parents are trying to have their kids become professionals at an early age to fulfill their lifelong dreams and not necessarily the kids, and I think that's where it's starting to break down."

Maddon noted that some athletes can be predisposed to injuries.

"[Elbow injuries] have been a part of the fabric of baseball for many, many years. I think the more recent epidemic, to me, curiously, might be tied to what they're doing before they get here professionally."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

 

Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Moore