From Espn’s website:
Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano has been told to cut back on his computer time because the hours he’s spending typing could be contributing to his elbow problems.
Zambrano said he had been logging about four hours a day communicating via e-mail with his brother.
“I have to spend one hour and take it easy,” Zambrano said.
Zambrano looked fine Saturday, allowing just one hit in seven innings against the White Sox.
“It’s not carpal tunnel, but if you don’t watch it, who knows what it can lead to? We are trying to alleviate it,” Cubs manger Dusty Baker said.
The Cubs were told after Zambrano had to leave his May 14 start against Washington early with a sore elbow that was the result of a non-pitching condition and activity. So they also told Zambrano to lighten up on his batting practice.
“I feel completely healthy,” Zambrano said.
Is that really the most likely possibility for Zambrano’s tender elbow?
From Baseball Prospectus 2005:
We’re trying not to be Pitch Count Nazis, but if there’s one pitcher who deserves a petition for clemency, it’s Zambrano, who is simply too good and too exciting to let go to waste.”
From the Bill James Handbook 2005, in an article entitled “Can We Really Predict Injuries?” by Sig Mejdal of Baseball Info Solutions:
That somehow youth and usage create a significant negative effect while usage and youth alone do not, is a tad concerning. In my experience, interactions (youth and usage) without the main effect (youth or usage) are quite rare. Still, I will be watching Carlos Zambrano’s season with interest as he was the youngster with by far the most high-pitch outings last year.
That’s a guy who’s skeptical about the pitch-count-hurts-young-pitchers debate, and STILL he’s worried about Z.
Zambrano’s pitches per outing this year: 106, 111, 108, 118, 105, 96, 136, 64, 108.
9 starts, 952 pitches, about 106 pitches per outing.
2nd in MLB in Pitcher Abuse Points, after being 3rd in the league last year and 10th the year before. And he’s always the youngest guy in the top ten.
So is it really that he’s screwing around on a computer for 4 hours a day that made him miss a start, or is that there are few guys in major league baseball whose arms have been abused like his over the last few years?