Does Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy have a point with pitcher injury comments?

Boston Red Sox News Conference
Boston Red Sox News Conference / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Major League Baseball has experienced a surge of injuries to prominent pitchers early in the 2024 campaign. Young hurlers, veterans and up-and-coming stars have experienced an uptick in injuries in recent years, and the root cause has been up for debate.

The Boston Red Sox have been heavily impacted by this. Lucas Giolito was supposed to be the anchor in Boston's starting rotation until he and the Red Sox discovered ulnar collateral ligament damage in his throwing arm. Nick Pivetta has also been temporarily sidelined with a flexor strain, Garrett Whitlock is battling oblique issues, and Brayan Bello is on the injured list with lat troubles.

The MLB Players Association announced early that it believes the pitch clock has contributed to the rise in hurt arms. On a recent episode of "The Chris Rose Rotation" podcast, Giolito referred to the clock as a contributing factor to the wave of injuries, but not the sole cause.

Red Sox CEO and President Sam Kennedy has a different idea — and he went as far as calling players' blame of the pitch clock for the slew of recent injuries "probably ridiculous." He discussed his thoughts about the slew of pitcher injuries ravaging the league on the April 18 episode of "The Greg Hill Show" on Audacy's WEEI 9.37.

Red Sox president and SEO Sam Kennedy said it's "probably ridiculous" to blame pitch clock for pitcher injuries

Kennedy said the responsibility for pitcher injuries rests with the league and those in charge on a managerial level. The prioritization of velocity and high spin rates has put pressure on the limits of human anatomy.

Both Kennedy and Giolito pointed to youth baseball as a potential cause for injuries during their respective podcast appearances. Kennedy remarked that youth baseball has overtaken young athletes' lives, and some are playing 100-plus games a year.

Giolito discussed the emphasis on high-velocity pitching from a young age. Pitchers are being trained to throw as hard as they can from a young age, and there is evidence that suggests specialization in a single sport leads to an increase in overuse-related injuries.

MLB has disagreed with the allegations from MLBPA that the pitch clock has exacerbated pitcher injuries, and many other personalities in the world of baseball have made their cases about what they believe to be the true cause of the surplus of arm issues.

Kennedy reminded listeners that pitcher injuries are not a new phenomenon. More research likely needs to be done to determine the root of the problem, but many baseball minds have suggested that multiple factors could be at play.

More Red Sox reads: