PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan) – Pirates’ assistant to the general manager and former pitching coordinator Jim Benedict joined Dan Zangrilli on Bucco Talk.

Zangrilli asked Benedict if he believed that there is a Tommy John epidemic in baseball with the number of surgeries in recent seasons.

“I think there’s a lot of factors, no doubt. I think our diagnostics are a thousand times better. That is one thing; we can find it better than we used to,” Benedict said.

Benedict added that weightlifting that’s not individualized and a pitcher’s delivery could also be factors.

“I don’t think it’s an epidemic. I just think that we are asking a lot of them, and there’s a lot of moving parts we have to identify to try to lower that number,” Benedict said.

Benedict talked about his approach to working with pitchers new to the organization, and it involves watching a lot of video.

“What you do is peel back all the layers, as far back as you can, and you rebuild him through those layers. So there’s a lot of scouting in it,” Benedict said.

The Phillies were interested in Benedict a few years ago when they had an opening for pitching coach. But is being a major league pitching coach something that Benedict aspires to?

“For my situation here, this is fine for now,” Benedict said. “I’ve never looked at that job as the top of my field. It’s just working with 12 guys that are extremely talented; I do get to do that (now).”

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