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Why pitchers get hurt

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The University of Florida thinks it might have more to do with the hips than the elbow.

According to anecdotal evidence, over 80 percent of all North American athletes have torn a ligament in their elbow within the last 48 hours. This is something of an epidemic. Teams are almost certainly allocating everything they can to understand better the nascent science of elbowology.

But what if the elbow is the victim, not the aggressor? According to researchers at the University of Florida, the hip might be the body part that's being the jerk:

To test how a pitcher’s hip range of motion affected his elbow, Farmer and his fellow researchers tested the pitching style of seven college Division 1 athletes in a biomechanical throwing analysis. The analysis took place in a lab that has a pitching mound surrounded by high-speed cameras. The researchers placed motion-detecting markers on the pitchers’ joints. When the pitchers threw, the markers note the mechanics of their motion and the high-speed cameras took visuals. The results were made into a computerized, 3-D stick figure. Farmer and colleagues then analyzed all angles, speed and torques of the pitch, as well as how the different parts of the throw interacted with one another.

Fascinating stuff. One of these days, a team is really going to figure out how to keep their pitchers healthier than the other 29 teams, and they'll have a clear competitive advantage. Moneyhips, y'all.

Hat tip: Futurity