MLB Players Association Concerned Pitch Clock Is Impacting Pitcher Injuries

Mar 12, 2024; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) pitches.
Mar 12, 2024; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) pitches. / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The first weeks of the 2024 MLB season have hardly been an advertisement for pitching as a career path.

This year, pitching injuries have piled up at an unusually high clip. Two big names—the Cleveland Guardians' Shane Bieber and the Miami Marlins' Eury Pérez—have been lost for the season. The Atlanta Braves received sobering news Saturday about their ace Spencer Strider, who is dealing with damange in the UCL of his right elbow.

Theories as to the cause of the sudden spike are beginning to circulate. On Saturday, MLB's players union offered its own—the pitch clock.

"Despite unanimous player opposition and significant concerns regarding health and safety, the commissioner's office reduced the length of the pitch clock last December," MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a union release. "Since then, our concerns about the health impact of reduced recovery time have only intensified."

Clark called for MLB to study the issue.

The league instituted the pitch clock in 2023 to immediate and widespread acclaim, which emboldened MLB to trim two seconds from it when runners are on base beginning in '24.

Whether union action will pressure baseball to act more tentatively toward the clock in the future bears watching.


Published
Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.