Most helpful critical review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Essential information, poorly organized, often dogmatic writing
on November 20, 2009
Will Carroll is not qualified as a doctor, a player, a coach, or anything else that might seem relevant to make him an "expert" on baseball injuries. I don't hold that against him, though.
As mentioned by other reviewers (and claimed by the author), this book offers information about pitcher injuries that is not written about in any other popular book. The chapter on the "Anatomy of Pitching" makes the book worth reading for any baseball junkie. Will Carroll explains, in 24 pages (including drawings), the major bodily stresses that pitching causes to the body, and the common injuries that result.
However it is hard to overlook both the poor organization of the book, and how often Carroll claims things that are not (and could probably not ever be) substantiated by science. He claims, unequivocally, that there is a "one best" pitching motion, which is exactly defined, better than all others, and the proper use of which will result in no pitching injuries. He implies that he has implicit support for this idea from famously scientific-minded pitching coaches like Dr. Mike Marshall and Tom House. I believe this is a bit misleading. Mike Marshall has never written a book, but Tom House has. If you want to read a much more thorough, non-dogmatic bit of research on effective pitching, I would highly recommend it.
Apart from his dogmatic approach, it's also frustrating to see Carroll jumping around between topics, never giving much depth, or sometimes not completing a logical thought process for what he does choose to focus on. For example, he writes a long (and rather interesting) chapter on how modern statistics show the extent of Eric Gagne's dominance during the 2003 season. However he then does not even *mention* Gagne's subsequent arm injuries, before moving on to an unrelated topic!
All of this being said, the book is a must-read if you care about pitcher injuries, and their effect on performance (for the pitcher, for your favorite team, your fantasy team, etc). Until someone else starts writing about this topic, I will be reading everything that Will Carroll puts out, in print or online. I just don't take everything that he writes very seriously.