NEW YORK (WFAN) — John Smoltz says the reason young pitchers these days so often complain about arm issues is they’re not properly conditioned for the grind of big league baseball.
The Hall of Fame pitcher told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Thursday that those pitchers simply don’t know the difference between discomfort and injury. Smoltz added that he felt good less than half the time he pitched over his 20-year career.
“We have a problem of information and overkill of stuff that is trying to get out in front of all this,” said Smoltz, now an analyst for the MLB Network. “Back not too long ago, the information was you learned how to pitch, you learned how to get through it, you didn’t have restrictions on you. You developed in the minor leagues. That’s why the minor leagues was so crucial for a lot of pitchers who ended up having a long career. There wasn’t 90 pitches and you’re out. You worked in and out of trouble. You learned how to change gears. You learned how to develop. And then in it so much that when you got to the big leagues, there wasn’t this drastic jump you were having to make. So you just continued this progress.
“Myself, like Glavine and Maddux, we got our brains beat in. We had to learn, but we never deviated from something that we were brought up to do, and that’s pitch a lot of innings. And you learned how to control your velocity and the amped-up intensity. Today’s not the case. It’s a different game. And I blame the organizations for adoption this philosophy that for whatever reason that spits out of a computer or comes out of a very intellectual person that has never played the game. So I can’t blame the player per se. They don’t know any difference. They don’t know any different gear. They don’t know how to adjust.”
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