View Full Version : Pitcher Abuse Points and Jerry Narron

06-07-2007, 01:11 PM
Jerry Narron is hard on starting pitchers. All of the talk about Bronson Arroyo's struggles since throwing close to 130 pitches in San Diego made me wonder exactly how hard. Maybe Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) could help answer this. Pitcher Abuse Points was devised by Rany Jazerli (based on pioneering work done by Craig Wright). Basically it looks at a pitcher's workload (number of pitches thrown) and looks both at how it affects a pitcher's performance and their chance of future injury. Jazerli discovered that up until 100 pitches a start there is virtually no stress to a pitcher's arm. After 100 pitches the stress increases cubically. He came up with five categories.

CAT 1 - <100 pitches - no stress
CAT 2 - 100-109 pitches - low stress
CAT 3 - 110-121 pitches - medium stress
CAT 4 - 122-132 pitches - high stress
CAT 5 - 133+ pitches - suicide

That is a very cursory explanation of PAP, and I am sure others can do a much better job. In the 2007 edition of Baseball Prospectus there is a nice article on Pitch Counts. It reexamines PAP. There is a table in the article that seems useful. It places all the starts made since 1961 and places them in one of the five Categories. I took their chart for the years that Jerry Narron has managed and compiled a table for how he has handled pitchers and compared that to the league average table in the BP article.

<100 101-109 110-121 122-132 133+

ML-2001 59.5% 21.0% 15.9% 3.3% 0.3%
TX-2001 44.0% 26.2% 24.6% 5.2% 0.0%

ML-2002 59.1% 21.9% 15.7% 3.2% 0.2%
TX-2002 47.5% 28.4% 21.6% 2.5% 0.0%

ML-2005 57.9% 25.2% 15.2% 1.6% 0.1%
CN-2005 56.5% 26.1% 17.4% 0.0% 0.0%

ML-2006 60.1% 25.3% 13.2% 1.4% 0.1%
CN-2006 50.6% 25.9% 21.7% 1.2% 0.6%

ML-2007 60.1% 25.3% 13.2% 1.4% 0.1%
CN-2007 46.7% 30.0% 23.3% 0.0% 0.0%

TOT-ML 59.3% 23.7% 14.6% 2.2% 0.2%
TOT-JN 49.1% 27.3% 21.7% 1.8% 0.1%

*NOTE: I used the ML-2006 numbers for ML-2007.

As can be seen Jerry Narron tends to push his starters very hard. Aside from 2005, when he had next to nothing in the way of starting pitching his yearly averages are higher than the norm. His CAT-1 (stress-free) starts are well below major league average. Cat-2 and Cat-2 starts are well above the norm. At least he doesn't let his pitchers throw a ridiculous amount of pitches very often.
This does not bode well for Harang and Arroyo. To get the maximum value out the life of their contracts WK should admonish Narron to scale back a bit on their pitch counts. Or maybe Jerry needs to be replaced with a manager who is more pitch-count concious.
It also does not bode well for the development of the pitchers coming up through the farm system. Say a little prayer for Homer Bailey.
The bottom line is that it seems to me Narron has no feel for handling a pitching staff.

06-07-2007, 02:06 PM
Should we start calling him the "Dusty Baker" of the East? Agreed on all counts texasdave. Then throw in his mismanagement of a bullpen, and he gets even worse.

Caveman Techie
06-07-2007, 02:53 PM
Thats not a good sign with a young hard throwing kid comming up. I hope they have Homer on a strict pitch count.

06-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Arroyo hasn't blamed his problems on Narron. After his last bad start (prior to last night) he said he just "didn't have it" or something to that effect.

06-08-2007, 10:13 AM
Recently, I have been frustrated that Jerry Narron leaves the starter in just one inning too long. (I know this is a secondary effect of having a weak bullpen.)

Over the last 9 games, I went back and looked at how the Reds did in the last inning of work by each starter. Over these 9 innings, we have given up 11 runs for an RA of 11.0.

I realize that it can be expected that the starter always comes out for a reason; usually that he is struggling. We would expect a higher RA for the last inning of the starter.....

However, perhaps due to our bullpen issues, Jerry really has often left the starter out there too long. Notice that some of the bad results are when the pitch count is high....

Here are the details:

Date, Starter, last inning, result last inning, pitch count

29-May Belisle 8th 0 runs 102
30-May Harang 9th 0 runs 106
31-May Arroyo 5th 4 runs 83
1-Jun Livingstn 7th 1 run 108
2-Jun Lohse 6th 0 runs 95
3-Jun Belisle 7th 1 run 98
5-Jun Harang 6th 1 run 114
6-Jun Arroyo 7th 3 runs 119
7-Jun Lohse 9th 1 run 109

11 runs/9 innings=11.0 RA

06-08-2007, 10:52 AM
Good pull. The common denominator I see there is Arroyo. I hope he's not becoming Milton-like in the since that once he hits that 6th/7th inning wall, he's done.

06-08-2007, 11:17 AM
Yeah, Arroyo really skews the stat. Take out his 2 bad innings and it goes from:

11 runs/9 innings to 4 runs/7 innings.

That doesn't seem extraordinarily high to me unless I'm missing something. Don't get me wrong, I wish that number were lower.

Strikes Out Looking
06-08-2007, 12:13 PM
I think the problem isn't necessarily the slow hook on a whole, but on Narron's inability to think of each pitcher individually. Each of them has different abilities and different stamina--and the stamina isn't the same each time they go out to pitch.

For example, Bronson's stamina is definitely less now than earlier in the year. He shouldn't have been left in in his last start to throw 119 pitches. If he's limited for a few starts, I'm sure he'd come back and 119 pitches wouldn't tax him.

The problem with Lohse is two fold. One, a few weeks back, he was sick and never should have started. Two, he has an attention span that can go like that. Narron needs to recognize that when he goes bad, it's fast and needs to pull him. It's not a pitch count thing, it's an attention to detail thing.

Milton can go 5-6 max. Of course, he may never pitch for the Reds again.

By the way, I'd limit Homer tonight--if he goes over 7 innings or 100 pitches, unless he's tossing a no-hitter, I'd pull him. If Narron over taxes him, I'd fire him on the spot. (but of course, I've said in other posts, I'd fire Narron, so I'm just looking for yet another reason).

06-08-2007, 12:18 PM
Good pull. The common denominator I see there is Arroyo. I hope he's not becoming Milton-like in the since that once he hits that 6th/7th inning wall, he's done.

I have seen Arroyo sitting next to Milton a lot in the dugout.