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Burnes blames pitch clock for rash of elbow injuries: 'It has to be fixed'

Greg Fiume / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Baltimore Orioles right-hander Corbin Burnes is pointing the finger at the pitch clock for the rash of elbow injuries in MLB this season.

"I think we have a problem," Burnes said, according to the Baltimore Banner's Danielle Allentuck.

"MLB is going to tell you it's not pitch clock-related. I would argue that long-term injuries are up the last two years, and the rate we are having injuries this year is like nothing we've ever seen before. There's a problem. It has to be fixed."

Burnes' comment comes after fellow star pitchers Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, and Spencer Strider have landed on the injured list with elbow problems, causing a contentious back-and-forth between the league and the union last weekend.

Union executive director Tony Clark issued a statement citing the pitch clock as the key contributor behind a rise in elbow injuries. MLB followed with a statement claiming increased velocity and higher spin rates as the more likely cause based on "empirical evidence."

However, Burnes, who ranks fifth in the league in cutter velocity and 15th in cutter spin rate, said he's still more concerned with the pitch clock and believes pitchers are being asked to exert themselves without proper rest between pitches.

"As a starting pitcher, we're sprinting 100 times in a start," Burnes said.

"To go out there and put a clock on us and limit the amount of time you get to recover, it's going to have an effect on you. What that effect is, I don't know. But anytime you do anything that's an endurance-type sport, your heart rate is elevated, and (if) you shorten the recovery, that has to be questionable."

MLB said it's undergoing a research study to investigate the causes of the increased injuries.

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