Zac Gallen Didn’t Injure Himself Because There’s No Universal DH

Zac Gallen suffered a hairline stress fracture, and he is going to miss Opening Day. According to reports, Gallen first had discomfort when getting jammed during batting practice. That discomfort did not prevent him from making his next start when he felt discomfort only when he threw his curveball. Naturally, this led many to use that as a reason to push for a universal DH.

First off, you have to love reporters and fans playing Twitter doctors in making the case stress fractures happen because of batting. Naturally, this shows complete ignorance of what a stress fracture actually is.

According to the Mayo Clinic and just about any doctor, a stress fracture is “caused by repetitive force, often from overuse.” It can also be caused by “normal use of a bone that’s weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis.” It’s also noteworthy an injured person or player “might barely notice the pain associated with a stress fracture, but it tends to worsen with time.”

Put another way, it’s extremely unlikely Gallen suffered a repetitive motion injury because he swung that bat during Spring Training. Like most pitchers, his repetitive use injury was likely due to some combination of how he trains or pitching. While proponents of the universal DH pretend otherwise, pitchers injure themselves when pitching, not when they’re batting.

This is just like when Chien-Ming Wang suffered an injury because he was running and stepped on a base. Put another way, Wang hurt himself doing what he would’ve done while covering first base on a ball hit to the first baseman. Really, Wang injured himself playing baseball.

That’s also part of the issue here. If you want to look towards a pitcher injured because of the lack of a universal DH, you really have to go back to Wang in 2008. That is over a decade ago. Again, it needs to be reiterated, he hurt himself running and stepping on a base just like he would do covering first base.

Really, pitcher injuries are a ridiculous reason to argue for a universal DH. Simply put, pitchers do not injure themselves batting or running the bases. Remember, these are athletes, they really aren’t going to hurt themselves swinging a bat or running. Pitchers hurt themselves because of the stress a shoulder and elbow undergoes when pitching.

Keep in mind, there are far more dangers to pitching than batting. Aside from the act of pitching itself, there are comebackers coming at the pitcher at speeds at excess of 100 MPH. It’s dangerous, and we have seen pitchers get severely injured. Instead of trying to find ways to lessen the potential injures a pitcher faces whether through rule changes or protective gear, people shrug and throw their arms up.

However, when it comes to injuries related to swinging a bat or running the bases, which never really happens, people are up in arms screaming about the universal DH. Make no mistake, it has nothing to do with pitcher health. It is just people who love a failed gimmick looking to make a disingenuous argument.