Maddon speaks out on elbow injuries

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 14, 2014 at 2:33 am •  Published: April 14, 2014
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You could piece together a pretty good pitching staff with just the players who have had significant elbow problems this year.

Starting rotation: Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker, Matt Moore.

Bullpen: Bobby Parnell, David Hernandez, Bruce Rondon, Luke Hochevar, Cory Gearrin.

The list doesn't even include New York Mets star Matt Harvey, who is still recovering from elbow surgery last October.

Is there a reason so many pitchers seem vulnerable to elbow injuries right now? Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has a theory.

"Sometimes you have to look underneath the surface and I tend to agree it has a lot to do with youth sports and travel teams and multiple travel teams and kids pitching to win when they're really young and throwing too many pitches," Maddon said. "I think the more recent epidemic curiously might be tied to what they're doing before they even get here professionally."

Maddon and the Rays are hoping for the best after Moore went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. If that's all the time the left-hander misses, the Rays should consider themselves fortunate.

It was not immediately clear if he would need surgery, but Tampa Bay fans are obviously bracing for the possibility.

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Here are five things to watch around the majors this week.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: Texas sends Yu Darvish to the mound Wednesday night against Seattle's Felix Hernandez in an early duel between AL West aces. Darvish and Hernandez have combined to strike out 45 with only four walks so far this season. Darvish has not allowed a run in 15 innings.

OFF AND RUNNING: The Milwaukee Brewers have won nine in a row, and although it's far too early to proclaim them NL Central favorites, they'll have a chance to open up a nice lead if they can keep this streak going. Second-place St. Louis visits Milwaukee for a three-game series that starts Monday, and the Brewers are already three games ahead of the Cardinals. Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez are swinging the bats well for the Brewers.

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