If Mets' Pete Alonso struggles, don’t blame Home Run Derby - New York Daily News

July 22nd, 2021

Dr. Brandon Erickson, an orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon at Rothman Orthopaedics who worked with the Mets from 2017-2018 before taking on his current role as an assistant team physician for the Phillies, says that he’s read the studies and combed the data as well. While there is probably nothing to worry about, Erickson said the Mets would still be wise to play it safe.

“It doesn’t seem like there are any long-term effects in a season from participating in the Home Run Derby,” Erickson assured. “There’s actually no study that’s shown a statistically significant difference in injury rate during the second half or a decrease in their performance compared to the first half. There are a few things that can happen as guys take swings, though.”

Erickson cautioned that the elbow, shoulder, and lower back are particularly ripe for trouble after taking as many power swings as Alonso did on Monday. Labrum issues, hyperextended elbows and pars fractures (a lower back injury caused by repetitive stress) are the specific maladies he’s seen most commonly from swinging a bat.

“For the first few weeks after this, you don’t want him doing too much. You want to let his back settle down a little bit. I didn’t see anything that happened to him during the derby that would have set him off. Any time a guy swings that many times he’s going to be stiff and sore, though.”

Any negative effects on Alonso’s bat or body, Erickson hypothesizes, would come from the natural rigors of a 162-game season rather than a home run hitting contest. When asked how he would comfort uneasy Mets fans, Erickson implored them to remember that slumps can happen for any number of reasons.

“Based on the data they shouldn’t freak out. I would not worry about him having a drop off in the second half. Could it happen? Yes. He may go into a slump in the next month or two, but I don’t think it’d have anything to do with the Home Run Derby. It has to do with the fact that this is how Major League Baseball hitters are. I wouldn’t hit the panic button.”

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