Dodgers News: Shohei Ohtani Shares Thoughts On Potential Reasons For Increased Number Of Pitcher Injuries

When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani to a record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract, it was with the understanding that he would be sidelined as a pitcher for the 2024 season after undergoing right elbow surgery last September.

Ohtani is among a slew of pitchers currently out with significant arm injuries, along with the likes of Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Sandy Alcantara, Shane McClanahan, Robbie Ray and Lucas Giolito, among others.

In the last week alone, Shane Bieber and Eury Perez learned they would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, while Spencer Strider could eventually need the operation as well.

Amid the increase in elbow injuries, many have pointed to MLB’s pitch clock as a potential culprit. Ohtani believes there could be a link but stopped short of placing all of the blame on the pitch timer, via SportsNet LA:

“I’m sure there’s some added pressure to the body in having to maintain a workload in less amount of time. Personally, I’m sure there could be, but nothing concrete to be able to say it is the sole reason why.”

“Personally, pitchers want to throw the best possible pitch that they can throw. The quality of the pitch. It’s not like I could go into a game and throw less quality pitches, so I do think with that, plus with the pitch clock, I do think that is a significant factor playing into it.”

MLB introduced a pitch clock during the 2023 season, which drastically reduced the average game time and increased action on the field.

The league made a slight adjustment for the 2024 campaign by shortening the timer from 20 seconds to 18 with runners on base. The pitch clock remains at 15 seconds with no one on.

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark expressed his displeasure with the latest tweak and believes pitchers should have been afforded a full year to adapt to the initial change.

MLB does not believe the pitch clock has contributed to the influx of pitcher injuries and cited independent studies to support their claim.

Shohei Ohtani benefitting from customized cricket bat

Ohtani entered play Tuesday with a five-game multi-hit streak that includes four doubles, one triple, three home runs and five RBI.

When discussing his recent hot stretch at the plate, Ohtani explained that he relied on studying video of his at-bats and took swings with a customized cricket bat during Sunday’s rain delay at Wrigley Field.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!