Injuries dominating the game

Injuries in the game of baseball have always hindered the game, but as of the last few years, it has really become an epidemic. From Tommy John surgeries being performed on high-school players to twelve year-olds tearing their ACLs, avoiding the injury bug is becoming harder and harder.

In the MLB over the last couple years, the game has seen big time pitchers like Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg and Matt Cain have arm problems.

Brian Powelson, the trainer at Los Medanos, believes the main reason pitchers get hurt so easily nowadays is the fact that they pitch “year-round.”

“I think the pressure of having to play summer and fall ball puts too much stress on the arm,” Powelson said. “Also, the emphasis on throwing an arsenal of different pitches adds to the stress.”

Freshman pitcher Spencer Vincent knows all about elbow issues — he needed Tommy John surgery before his senior year of pitching at Deer Valley High School.

“I hurt my arm when I was thirteen,” said Vincent. “But I continued to play through the pain, seeking to become the best pitcher to ever live.”

It scarred the second-year freshman (red-shirting his first year at Los Medanos) so much that he remembers the exact day he got surgery.

“July 3, 2013 is the day I got surgery,” said Vincent. “I was scared, and I was lucky to have my family members there during my intoxicated state of mind.”

Vincent even got a tattoo of baseball laces on his scar to remind him how far he has come pursuing his dream, and to never give up.

Elsewhere on the Los Medanos College baseball diamond, true freshman Jason Kreske knows what it is like to play through pain. When he was in high school, he dislocated his right shoulder while getting tackled in football.

“I had to rebuild the strength that I had lost during my recovery,” said Kreske. “I couldn’t hit the ball, so it was tough to gain my power back and get full mobility in my right arm.”

Injuries have long been a major factor in baseball, making or breaking a team’s season. If pitchers continue to be forced into throwing year-round, injury totals will keep adding up for players at all levels.