Collisions at home plate not catcher’s biggest risk

Featured imageOver at the Huffington Post, Jacqueline Howard discusses a new study done which identifies the biggest injury risk to catchers.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the rate, type and severity of injuries suffered by MLB catchers during the 2001-2010 seasons. The injuries were recorded in the MLB Electronic Baseball Information System and confirmed by public records or news reports.

A total of 134 injuries occurred, of which only 20 were collision injuries.

And while collision-related injuries typically required an average of 39 days off to recover, non-collision injuries, like getting hit by a ball or bat or suffering tendinitis from throwing, required an average of 59 days.

Unfortunately, I don’t really see what can be done to help protect catchers from these sort of injuries.  MLB has doen a good job of cracking down on home plate collisions, something that was in their control, but what can be done about a foul tipped ball?

7 thoughts on “Collisions at home plate not catcher’s biggest risk

  1. Jon Lucroy is still having lingering effects from a concussion. Other than his broken toe from earlier in the year, Luc has been one of the sturdier catchers in the game. However, being sturdy doesn’t count if you get a bat upside the head.

    This same reasoning – that you can’t control things like tipped pitches, etc. – weighed heavily in the Twins’ decision to move Joe Mauer to first.


    1. “…being sturdy doesn’t count if you get a bat upside the head.”

      Much truth in this. Reminds me of a bit from a standup comic whose name I can’t remember about a guy who considered himself to be in such great shape that he was going to tie himself to a tree during a hurricane to prove he was sturdy/strong/durable enough to endure it…..the point being that if that hurricane picks up a van and hits you with it, it don’t really matter how many pushups you did that morning.

      And as much as having Schwarber develop into a guy that can catch 125-130 games a year would be great in terms of how much offense he would provide from a primarily defensive position, that comes with the downside suggested here, that the everyday toll of being behind the plate could potentially lead to significant injury and/or lost time. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it, especially now that he’s shown to be a bit less of a butcher in LF than I thought he would be.


      1. I wish more catchers would be platooned at another position; Lucroy sometimes plays first when Maldonado catches, to keep his bat in the lineup. Seems to me first base is the more natural position to experiment with. Of course, that doesn’t help the Cubs because Rizzo.


  2. i blame much of the 2014 and 2013 A’s playoff failure on jaso having concussions and being unable to play.Those are all from foul tips.

    That said, I don’t mind the collision rules, mostly because I think attempting to take out the catcher is a bad play, with the modern gloves, knocking out is far less likely than it was in the 50s. You are better off sliding


  3. Not very much. Improving the equipment and improving treatment. It’s simply a dangerous and body-breaking position, similar to NFL running backs. The result is a shorter life span in these roles on average.


    1. right, its funny, before the last game I went to I was alone waiting for my seat partner to arrive so I was watching the nonesense on the big screen. one bit was Joe Torre holding a helment teling the kids to always wear one because “concussions.”

      i mean sure on one level the help but that is not the thing helmets are best at protecting. they protect skul fractures. you can’t really protect against concussions that way.

      as someone who had a child in the hospital for 3 days with a broken skull, i am going to insist on helmets and such, but stop with the bad science MLB.


  4. Akinori Iwamura, Hak Ju Lee, and Tim Beckham were all middle infielders on the Rays 40 man rosters who all missed a season thanks to attempted breakup of double plays. I think something needs to be done about that, but it will likely take a Buster Posey type to have it done. I especially hate when guys get hit and then the announcer says “ooh, watch out on a double play ball, he’ll be coming in hard”, and sure enough, he does. “I got hit, and I’m pissed, so I’m going to try to end the 2nd baseman’s career” is something that needs to go ASAP.

    MLB: It’s not a flippin contact sport. Stop letting guys slide 10 feet past the bag.


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