Common Batting Cage Injuries
When baseball players get in the batting cage to work on their hitting skills, they often do it with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm. A hot hitter is working to keep his batting stroke sharp while a hitter who has been struggling wants to work his way out of a slump. Spending time in the batting cage seems like a safe activity, but it can lead to injuries.
When a player steps into the batting cage in a normal practice or pregame routine, he will typically get 10 swings before another player moves into the cage and takes his spot. However, if a player is taking extra batting practice before or after the game, he may take 50 swings or more in the cage. That can lead to wrist sprains, strains and damage to the tendons in the hand. In order to handle a heavy workload in the cage, players need to do hand and arm strengthening exercises such as pushups and arm curls.
Hit By Pitch
A batting practice pitcher can throw inside the batting cage or you can set up a pitching machine to throw pitch after pitch. When the batting practice pitcher is throwing batting practice, he may cut loose with a few wild pitches. If the hitter is not alert, he could get hit with a pitch and suffer an injury as a result. Pitching machines must also be regularly calibrated and adjusted. If you don't do regular maintenance on your machine, it can also throw wild pitches that can lead to injuries.
Pitchers must use an L-screen when they are pitching batting practice in order to avoid getting hit with a batted ball. An L-screen has an opening for the pitcher's arm, but protects the pitcher from line drives that are hit directly back at the mound. The L-screen protects the pitchers from broken bones, concussions and even more serious injuries that occur when hitters hit line drives back up the middle. Pitchers who throw a lot of batting practice can develop elbow problems and shoulder rotator cuff injuries.
Upper Body Injuries
Hitters who work obsessively in the batting cage and hit 50 balls or more at a time will ignore signals like pain and fatigue and keep swinging to get better.This puts an excessive strain on the hitter's upper body. It can be particularly damaging to the back as the hitter follows through after every swing and wraps the bat around his rib cage and hits his back with the swing.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.