The Major League Baseball Pitch Clock: First Year Analysis of Pitcher Injuries

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Journal of Orthopaedics



Recently, star pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB) have faced devastating elbow injuries, causing some to question whether implementation of the MLB pitch clock during the 2023 season has led to a higher rate of elbow injuries among pitchers. This study aims to determine if implementation of the MLB pitch clock in the 2023 MLB season affected the injury rate in pitchers.


Injury data was collected for the 2021, 2022, and 2023 MLB seasons using the injury database. Incidence rate ratio was calculated to compare the injury rate for the 2023 season to the 2021 and 2022 seasons. A z-test for proportions was used to determine significance levels.

Results: The 2023 season showed a decrease in the rate of the total number of injuries when compared to the 2021 (P = 0.01) and 2022 (P = 0.02) seasons. There was no statistical difference in the rate of Tommy John Surgery, Flexor Tendon Injuries, or other cause elbow injuries.

Conclusion: Following implementation of the MLB pitch clock during the 2023 season, the total number of injuries decreased, but there was no change in the rate of elbow injuries in pitchers compared with the 2021 and 2022 MLB seasons. Future studies are needed to determine if the pitch clock has a longitudinal effect on injuries.



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Injury, MLB, Pitch clock, Sports medicine, Ulnar collateral ligament