Quick Hits: Tommy John, Commissioner, Mock Drafts

For those interested in seeking to understand the root of the elbow injuries that have plagued the game this year, you’ll want to take a look at this position statement from the American Sports Medicine Institute (hat tip to Peter Gammons). The statement closely ties professional ligament injuries to risky throwing patterns in amateur baseball, including over-use, throwing while fatigued, and pitching year-round. Latin American pitchers have experienced a similar incidence of TJ as have their North American counterparts, the statement also says.

Here are some more notes from around the game:

  • As the search for a new commissioner picks up steam, sitting commish Bud Selig said today that it was possible that a successor could come from outside the game, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports“That’s a judgment call,” said Selig. “I know there’s been a lot of speculation in some stories. But that’s a judgment call this group will have to make. Understanding the culture of the sport is very important.” He emphasized that it “has to be an inclusive process,” though “people will have to make their own judgments on whether or not you want to stay inside baseball.”
  • A familiar trio of the pitchers sits at the top of the most recent mock draft of ESPN.com’s Keith Law (Insider link). In that scenario, Law sees the Cubs looking to strike a below-slot deal with a player like college outfielder Michael Conforto with the fourth overall choice. Some well-regarded prep arms could fall into the sandwich and second round, Law notes, where teams that saved on their first picks will pick them with intentions of spending over slot.
  • Attempting to approach the top ten picks of the draft as if he were the general manager making the final call, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden (Insider link). While clubs often say they just want the best player available, Bowden says that few follow through with that. Clubs do draft with their needs (even at the major league level) in mind, says Bowden, in addition to financial, medical, and makeup considerations. Carrying through on his general observations, Bowden sends Evansville lefty Kyle Freeland to the Twins with the fifth overall pick and LSU righty Aaron Nola to the Phillies in the seven slot.

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