Shoulder Care Remains Important for Red Sox Pitchers, Hitters Alike During Long Baseball Season

Shoulder Care Remains Important for Red Sox Pitchers, Hitters Alike During Long Baseball SeasonPitchers have to take care of their shoulders. Comfort or discomfort in that area could make the difference between a fantastic outing or a mediocre appearance.

Franklin Morales is among the pitchers crediting his success to his shoulder's health. He transitioned from relieving to starting earlier this year.

"I work for that, and I work hard every day to do my thing and every inning when I pitch," Morales said. "I try to do the best that I can, and I feel very good and very excited because my shoulder is healthy."

As a young starter, the hefty workload can take a toll. Morales has thrown 76 1/3 innings this season — the most in his major league career — and it caught up to him during his last start at Fenway Park against the Angels.

The 26-year-old said he experienced some discomfort while throwing. In order to preserve his health, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine scratched him from Wednesday's start and place him on the disabled list.

"He'll take that active rest period for a little bit of a tired shoulder," Valentine said.

Shoulder care isn't just limited to pitchers. Earlier this season, the Red Sox also had to monitor Jacoby Ellsbury's shoulder for quite some time after the outfielder hurt it in a collision with Tampa Bay's Reid Brignac at second base in April.

Before the team activated Ellsbury off the disabled list in mid-July, Valentine had very strict expectations for him.

"He needs to throw more. He needs to be confident that he can, you know, get back to bases," Valentine said. "Dive, things like that are shoulder-related. And swing more. I know it's not his throwing shoulder, but it is involved in throwing, the front shoulder."

Whether it's pitchers or position players, shoulders are key to performing at a peak level.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.

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