Texas Rangers star pitcher Max Scherzer isn't one to hide what he's thinking about. The veteran starter wears his emotions on his sleeve. Scherzer has been outspoken on the MLB pitch clock which debuted in 2023, and he shared another eye-opening take on the matter during a recent episode of Foul Territory.
Scherzer said top surgeons have stated that pitcher elbow injuries are “way more severe” this year. Unfortunately, injuries have been problematic for years. The frequency hasn't changed much in 2023.
Scherzer is making the point that he's been told by doctors the severity of injuries have increased, something he thinks the pitch clock may have something to do with.
“So it makes you start scratching your head,” Scherzer said. “What's unique to 2023 here? And when you make the game go faster, part of the thing is as a pitcher, your form, I lived it, your form just gets fatigued faster. For starting pitchers that are trying to pitch 100 pitches, you're going through that fatigue… that's a very plausible reasoning for the severity of the elbow injuries.”
Max Scherzer vs. the pitch clock
Scherzer immediately responded to the new pitch clock prior to the 2023 season, revealing potential problems for pitchers. He's continuing to do so here.
Although the data doesn't necessary support the pitch clock as the primary reason for the severity of pitcher injuries, Scherzer's point is still something to considerer for MLB. As important as it is to speed up the game, it is even more important to keep players healthy.
It will be interesting to see if MLB responds to Max Scherzer. The Rangers star isn't just arguing for the sake of it. He is making a valid point and the league should offer a response at the very least.
In the end, fans were seemingly in favor of the pitch clock for the most part. It accomplished the goal of speeding up the game and led to increased interest during the regular season.
Navigating through injury concerns and speeding up the game will be a challenge for MLB. It's something they will continue to work on though.