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Pedro Martinez cites ‘perfect lethal combination’ for pitcher injuries

Pedro Martinez discusses pitcher injuries

Less than a week after the Major League Baseball Players Association claimed the new pitch clock rules have played a role in a rash of injuries to star pitchers, Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez gave his thoughts on the injuries.

Martinez cited the focus on high velocity as a major issue. 

“When we see so many (up-and-coming) MLB pitchers with fewer than 200 innings in the minors, lots of muscle mass, underworked baby ligaments and a team demanding max velo on everything they throw, we’re seeing the perfect lethal combination for arm injury,” Martinez wrote on the social media platform X.

Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, threw 2,827 ⅓ innings in 476 games over 18 seasons in the majors. The eight-time All-Star pitched more than 200 innings in seven seasons. He threw a career-high 241 ⅓ innings with a National League-best 13 complete games at his age 25 season in 1997, when he won his first Cy Young Award.

Pedro Martinez is a revered expert

Pedro Martinez is one of the most respected baseball players to ever come out of the Dominican Republic. He owns three of the five Cy Young Awards ever won by Dominicans.

Bartolo Colon (2005 in the American League) and Sandy Alcantara (2022 in the National League) won the other two Cy Youngs by Dominicans. Martinez is also a prominent baseball broadcaster.

In 2015, Martinez joined Juan Marichal as only the second native of the Dominican Republic inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Dominican stars Vladimir Guerrero, David Ortiz, and 2024 electee Adrian Beltre have also been elected into the Hall of Fame. But Marichal and Martinez remain the only Dominican pitchers with plaques in Cooperstown.

Martinez threw 379 1⁄3 innings in the Dodgers’ farm system before he established himself in the majors. By comparison, Eury Perez of the Miami Marlins threw only 186 innings over three minor-league seasons before he was promoted last year.


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Perez made a brief return to Class AA Pensacola before returning to the majors. He threw 91 ⅓ innings over 19 starts in the majors last season. Combined with the 36 ⅔ innings he threw at Pensacola, Perez threw a career-high 128 innings last year.

Perez had never thrown more than 78 innings in a season before last year. The increased workload may have contributed to the injury that cost him this season.

Perez, who will celebrate his 21st birthday on April 15, underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this month. Atlanta Braves ace righthander Spencer Strider, 25, also is on the disabled list with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain.

“When in the minors I focused on working my ligaments; I never lifted heavy weights,” Martinez wrote on X. “Time has changed, and so has training, but if you want to become a pitcher, you should strive to learn the feel for pitching and the knowledge of what to do with the ball rather than throwing hard.”

Young pitchers aren’t the only aces on the disabled list. Alcantara, the Marlins workhorse who won the 2022 NL Cy Young Award, is recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had last season. 

Astros ace lefty Framber Valdez, a two-time All-Star, landed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a left elbow injury. 

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