Elbow Surgeries Less Prevalent in Japan

As much criticism as the major leagues gives Japan for their over use of their young pitchers, the prevalence of elbow surgeries does not seem as frequent in Japan as it appears in the major leagues.  The arguement could be that Japanese pitchers do not throw as hard, or perhaps do not make that choice and prefer rehabilitation rather than surgery.  They also have a six man rotation in Japan, a 144 game season and higher pitch counts per game, but the number of pitches per game is dropping.

The following are Japanese pitchers in the NBP who have undergone elbow surgery for the 2014 season that myworld could identify courtesy of yakyubaka:

Toshiharu Moriuchi (Nippon Ham Fighters), Shohei Tateyama (Yakult Swallows), Toshihiro Sugiura (Yakult Swallows) and Tomoyuki Kubota (Hanshin Tigers)

Myworld counts four pitchers among the above list.  In the major leagues the list of 2014 elbow surgeries is more rampant.  Perhaps it is becuase the pitchers throw harder.  Or perhaps the Japanese technique of building arm strength through throwing is better.

Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins), A.J. Griffin (Oakland Athletics), Patrick Corbin (Arizona Diamondbacks), Matt Moore (Tampa Bay Rays), Josh Johnson (San Diego Padres), Bobby Parnell (New York Mets), Kris Medlen (Atlanta Braves), Brandon Beachy (Atlanta Braves), Cory Gearrin (Atlanta Braves), Jarrod Parker (Oakland Athletics), Jose Cisnero (Houston Astros), David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks), Cory Luebke (San Diego Padres), Joseph Weiland (San Diego Padres), Pedro Figueroa (Texas Rangers), Martin Perez (Texas Rangers), Jeremy Hellickson (Tampa Bay Rays), Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals), Bruce Rondon (Detroit Tigers), Ivan Nova (New York Yankees).

That is 20 elbow surgeries to 4. It is possible that myworld does not have access to all the elbow injuries and surgeries in the NPB, but we read the narratives dailey and the number of pitchers being placed on the disabled list for elbow injuries is easily not as great as in the major leagues.

Interesting to note that when Japanese pitchers come to the major leagues they seem to undergo more elbow surgeries than if they had stayed in Japan.   Kyuji Fujikawa, Tsuyoshi Wada and Koji Uehara are three pitchers who come to mind off the top of my head. It could be that in the United States it is more inclined to prescribe surgery than rehabilitation to cure elbow injuries.

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