Are there any studies on IP and injuries in young pitchers?
I suspect there's a stronger correlation between maximum load (leaving a kid in too long) and injury than total load.
Yep, you have to monitor pitch counts in games, supervise off game throwing, and monitor for "tired arm." IP is at best a crude proxy for chronic loads, and a more intensive monitoring and training program could safely increase total IPs.
It also suggests that RPs should be carefully monitored as well, and avoid pitching back to back, and never three games in a row.
Particularly startling was that pitchers who sustained a pitching-related injury were 7.88 times more likely to have had arm tiredness before the injury.
Olsen et al reported that pitchers who threw > 80 pitches per game were at 4 times greater risk of injury requiring surgery than those who pitched <80 pitches per game.
In fact, both adolescent and professional injured pitchers threw more warmup pitches than pitchers who remained healthy. Pitchers can be considered within the safe limits for pitch counts during a game, but the unmeasured workload accumulation during the pregame workout, including warmup tosses, plyocare, long toss, and bullpen throws, can increase the workload and sometimes push it into the unsafe zone before they even step onto the mound.
This may be a surprise to some considering overuse is a commonly cited reason for injuries in pitchers, but this data shows that professionals see more injuries earlier in the year.
In the case of a pitcher, this means he could be both undertrained or overtrained and be at a higher risk of injury. He could have a low chronic workload and see a big spike too soon, or he could have a relatively high chronic load but have frequent big spikes in workload, meaning both undertraining and overtraining can cause injury
So, we see either lacking flexion, lacking external rotation, or having less total range of motion as possible red flags.