BOSTON (CBS) – CBSSports.com baseball writer Jon Heyman joined Andy Gresh, Scott Zolak and Dan Shaughnessy on Tuesday to talk about the transfer rule and all the controversy it is causing and the apparent increase in arm injuries for starting pitchers.
Heyman sees the transfer rule as being a huge problem for Major Leage Baseball, something that has to be changed immediately because of the amount of games that have been affected by it.
“It has been an abomination,” Heyman said. “They’ve said that things weren’t going to be perfect until three years into the replay system and I think that was probably a good guess. Although I’m not sure it will ever be perfect. There’s always going to be some dispute even with replay. It’s not perfect. People see things differently. But the transfer part of it has just been a disaster.”
Confusion abounds because fans, broadcasters and media members alike are seeing umpires call plays differently now than the way they’ve been doing it since the beginning of the sport, which Heyman says is a bad thing.
“It seems like they’re trying to rewrite the rules as we know it. If you catch the ball and then you’re in the act of transferring it, it’s still a catch. I don’t know who decided or why they decided that you have to hold onto the ball as you’re transferring it as well. It doesn’t make any sense. They’ve all been bad calls as far as I’m concerned.”
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who threw 127 pitches against the Red Sox on April 17, was recently put on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor strain. Sale joins a long list of pitchers who are already dealing with arm injuries.
Heyman doesn’t see the increase in arm injuries as random.
“I think that the explanation you hear from most of the guys in the MLB is that youth baseball, the travel leagues, the overemphasis on pitching; too much, too fast, too soon for these kids,” Heyman said.
“It was a buildup. When we were kids the best athletes played football, basketball, baseball. But nowadays, I don’t know if it’s because there’s so much money in it or what, but parents, coaches are saying, ‘You know what? Your best sport is baseball and your best position is pitcher, we’re going to make you a pitcher.’ So rather than pitching one third of the time, they’re now pitching all the time.”
Listen below for the full discussion: