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Kingspoint
09-15-2008, 05:10 PM
Rotoworld's comments:

Tim Lincecum's first career complete game was a 138-pitch shutout of the Padres on Saturday.
Lincecum is an incredible pitcher. We're really hoping that's still the case in a few years, but we're becoming more skeptical every time Bruce Bochy sends him back out for that one extra inning. Does anyone really think the NL's ERA leader needs a confidence boost at this point? Why on earth send him back out to pitch the ninth in a 7-0 game when he's already thrown 118 pitches? He just threw 127 pitches on Monday. He had an 132-pitch outing on Aug. 27 (and followed it up with one of his worst starts of the year). Lincecum gave up two hits in the ninth tonight, bringing the Padres' total for the night up to four. He ended up striking out 12. It was an outstanding performance. However, it wouldn't have been any less impressive had he left after eight.

highheat11
09-15-2008, 05:13 PM
Rotoworld's comments:

Tim Lincecum's first career complete game was a 138-pitch shutout of the Padres on Saturday.
Lincecum is an incredible pitcher. We're really hoping that's still the case in a few years, but we're becoming more skeptical every time Bruce Bochy sends him back out for that one extra inning. Does anyone really think the NL's ERA leader needs a confidence boost at this point? Why on earth send him back out to pitch the ninth in a 7-0 game when he's already thrown 118 pitches? He just threw 127 pitches on Monday. He had an 132-pitch outing on Aug. 27 (and followed it up with one of his worst starts of the year). Lincecum gave up two hits in the ninth tonight, bringing the Padres' total for the night up to four. He ended up striking out 12. It was an outstanding performance. However, it wouldn't have been any less impressive had he left after eight.

I thought Dusty was in Cincy...

Orenda
09-15-2008, 07:04 PM
Another perfect example of the existing moronic attitudes in baseball. It's amazing to me that some of these old school ideas continue to be prevalent despite evidence that proves their "rubberarm" theories incorrect.

757690
09-15-2008, 08:32 PM
I think that the whole pitch count obsession is probably causing more arm injuries than preventing them, and I think the 100 as a magic number for pitch counts is based more on it being a round number than any evidence.

Still I think everyone understands that three consecutive games of 125+ pitches for a 24 year old is bad, very, very bad.

REDblooded
09-15-2008, 09:37 PM
Harang is responding admirably to years of overruse.

jimbo
09-15-2008, 11:40 PM
He is in contention for a Cy Young.

redsbuckeye
09-16-2008, 10:52 AM
Lincecum’s current situation is rather disturbing, especially for a guy many say has a stressful arm motion. He leads the league in PAP this year and was 24 entering the 2008 season.

Top 3 PAP leaders 25 or younger since 1998:

1998
1. Livan Hernandez - PAP 908667 - Livan was 23 in ‘98 and has avoided major injury for a long while. Would be solid over the next few years but was abused again and again and never really recovered after his time with Washington. While he held up well during those years, by the time he was 31 he was essentially broken.

2. Jason Schmidt - PAP 244615 - Schmidt is the poster boy of pitcher abuse related injuries. He was 25 in 1998 and while 1999 was injury free, he would spend the remaining years of his career with numerous trips to the DL, although he pitched well while not injured. Schmidt pitched hardly at all last year and has yet to pitch this year.

3. Bartolo Colon - PAP 225210 - The '98 and '99 seasons would portend several nagging injuries that would limit his time played over the years. He was 25 in '98.

1999
1. Livan Hernandez – PAP 410643 – See above.

2. Russ Ortiz – PAP 404389 – 25 in ’99, Russ would manage to avoid major injury for a while, seemingly breaking the odds. However, he hasn’t pitched more than 200 innings since 2004.

3. Freddy Garcia – PAP 264992 – Freddy was 23 in ’99 and seemingly a star in the making, but would only manage 124 innings in 2000. Seattle wisely used him in 2001 where his PAP was a relatively miniscule 80039 and he has since pitched consistently.

2000
1. Livan Hernandez – PAP 417117 – See above.

2. Randy Wolf – PAP 210366 – Wolf was 23 in 2000 and spent a good deal of time injured in 2001. He’d be ok in 2002 and 2003 but has since been unable to pitch for any extended amount of time.

3. Scott Elarton – PAP 190153 – 25 in 2000, Elarton has never really gotten off the ground due to being a primarily bad pitcher.

2001
1. Ryan Dempster – PAP 130224 – Had a similar number in 2000. Would also pitch a lot in 2002 and had to be converted to a reliever in 2003. Time off of starting would perhaps help as he’s bounced back quite well this year.

2. Chad Durbin – PAP 115151 – Durbin’s lack of success is more likely to be because he’s a bad pitcher. He’s been an on and off again starter since 2001 and spent a lot of time in the minors.

3. Jeff Weaver – PAP 113144 – Weaver was 24 in 2001 and would receive a lot of abuse over the next 5 years, breaking down in 2006. His performance has also left a lot wanting.

redsbuckeye
09-16-2008, 10:52 AM
2002
1. AJ Burnett – PAP 209420 – Burnett’s career has been fraught with injury since 2002 when he was 25.

2. Jeff Weaver – PAP 110555 – See above.

3. Randy Wolf – PAP 89432 – See above. This isn’t that bad of a number but a number of years in a row and it begins to have an effect.

2003
1. Mark Prior – PAP 220295 – I don’t think I need to say much. He was 22.

2. Joel Piniero – PAP 105843 – Joel was 24 in 2003 and looked to be on the rise. But he’d never be the same player after 2003. Even a relief conversion hasn’t really saved him.

3. Carlos Zambrano – PAP 104226 – 22, luckily for him, the constant abuse over the past 5 years hasn’t hurt him at all.

Worth noting, Kerry Wood was 26 this year and had a PAP of 259422. Like Prior, his situation is well documented.

2004
1. Carlos Zambrano – PAP 158715 – Still pitching well, hasn’t been affected.

2. Ben Sheets – PAP 87048 – 25 in 2004 and even though this isn’t that high of a PAP, he’s still spent a fair amount of time on the DL in the following years.

3. Mark Buehrle – PAP 68814 – 25 in 2004. This number is low enough to not have much of an effect. Chicago has also reigned him in the following years, preserving a very good pitcher’s arm.

2005
1. Carlos Zambrano – PAP 161247 – Yup, still fine.

2. Mark Prior – PAP 102881 – Prior is going downhill fast.

3. Noah Lowrey – PAP 72595 – He was 24 in 2005 and the intervening years are not looking good for him, even considering the relatively low PAP number. Me must have a glass arm.

2006
1. Carlos Zambrano – PAP 134813 – Carlos is the true exception to the rule, apparently. He was 25 in 2006 so he won’t be appearing anymore.

2. Dontrelle Willis – PAP 108873 – Pitched well in 2006 but 2007 was a disappointment. 2008 has been an abject failure.

3. Matt Cain – PAP 90233 – Cain has been fine so far.

2007 – At this point it may be hard to draw any conclusions for younger players, but it will be worth noting the leaders for future discussion.
1. Matt Cain – PAP 60331 – Fairly low number, probably hasn’t hurt himself too much without breaking 100k PAP in a year yet.

2. Tom Gorzelanny – PAP 52073 – Even with this low number he’s been sent to the minors this year after a promising two preceding years. May be injury related, unable to determine for sure.

3. No other pitcher even broke 50k PAP. Perhaps managers are realizing the value of the teams’ investment, especially in the younger players. Risk just isn’t worth the reward if your name isn’t Zambrano.

2008 – Just for gits and shiggles.
1. Tim Lincecum – PAP 168676 so far – This really doesn’t bode well for Lincecum. In the next 2-4 years we will learn whether his arm can hold up to the abuse he’s received in just one year.

2. Matt Cain – PAP 68084 so far – San Francisco might want to consider reigning in their pitchers in a year where the players won’t be going anywhere in October other than an off-season house.

3. John Lester – PAP 51248 so far.

Jr's Boy
09-16-2008, 02:33 PM
Lincecum’s current situation is rather disturbing, especially for a guy many say has a stressful arm motion.


Who says that?If anything I believe he has a more fluid motion.He's loose with his windup and delivery,just a joy to watch him throw.

redsbuckeye
09-16-2008, 03:28 PM
Lincecum’s current situation is rather disturbing, especially for a guy many say has a stressful arm motion.


Who says that?If anything I believe he has a more fluid motion.He's loose with his windup and delivery,just a joy to watch him throw.

I've seen speculation here and there about arm stress and calling it an awkward motion on a few differing sports talk boards.

That's not the primary point, however.

Jr's Boy
09-16-2008, 11:33 PM
Pitch count?!!5377

levydl
09-17-2008, 12:49 PM
Lincecum’s current situation is rather disturbing, especially for a guy many say has a stressful arm motion.


Who says that?If anything I believe he has a more fluid motion.He's loose with his windup and delivery,just a joy to watch him throw.

So true. He really is amazing.

I haven't been to a game in a couple of months, but when the Giants were coming to town a few weeks back I looked at the projected starters to see if Lincecum was pitching. Too bad, we missed him by a day. I would have paid up for some good seats to watch him throw.

mole44
09-17-2008, 09:55 PM
I'm sure we didn't draft that bum, we need more guys like Drew Patterson anyways.

Kingspoint
09-17-2008, 11:24 PM
Larry Dobrow of CBS Sports' take:

Bruce Bochy deserves a punch in the gizzard and a citation for criminal negligence for having kept Tim Lincecum in the game for 138 pitches on Saturday night. Sure, you'd like to get your guy the Cy Young, but not at the cost of his long-term welfare. ...

Jr's Boy
09-18-2008, 03:09 PM
Pitch count?!!5377


138 ip?Thats a drop in the bucket to Earl Weaver's rotation.

PTI (pti)
09-23-2008, 07:32 AM
I think that the whole pitch count obsession is probably causing more arm injuries than preventing them, and I think the 100 as a magic number for pitch counts is based more on it being a round number than any evidence.[/I]



I could not agree more. With each passing year, pitchers are being used less and less and less - yet injuries certainly don't appear to be slowing down.

I've never understood why pitchers just 15 years ago could throw 250 innings, and today they're being treated like their arms will fall off at 200. I'm no medical expert, but that don't make a whole lotta sense.

redsbuckeye
09-23-2008, 08:03 AM
[/I]



I could not agree more. With each passing year, pitchers are being used less and less and less - yet injuries certainly don't appear to be slowing down.

I've never understood why pitchers just 15 years ago could throw 250 innings, and today they're being treated like their arms will fall off at 200. I'm no medical expert, but that don't make a whole lotta sense.

Probably because it has nothing to do with innings and everything to do with pitches.

PTI (pti)
09-23-2008, 08:26 AM
^^

Okay, then why could pitchers throw a lot more pitches 15-20 years ago than they can today?

Going back even further, Steve Carlton threw 30 complete games, and nearly 350 innings in 1972. What's the difference? Has the human body changed that much?



I just think that today's baseball philosophy of obsessively-managed pitch counts just isn't all that effective. If it were, then injuries wouldn't be occuring as frequently as they are today, imo.

Bip Roberts
09-23-2008, 08:35 AM
^^

Okay, then why could pitchers throw a lot more pitches 15-20 years ago than they can today?

Going back even further, Steve Carlton threw 30 complete games, and nearly 350 innings in 1972. What's the difference? Has the human body changed that much?



I just think that today's baseball philosophy of obsessively-managed pitch counts just isn't all that effective. If it were, then injuries wouldn't be occuring as frequently as they are today, imo.

Probably because all the ones that couldnt throw all those pitches were injured thus meaning you never heard of them.

redsbuckeye
09-23-2008, 09:28 AM
^^

Okay, then why could pitchers throw a lot more pitches 15-20 years ago than they can today?

Going back even further, Steve Carlton threw 30 complete games, and nearly 350 innings in 1972. What's the difference? Has the human body changed that much?



I just think that today's baseball philosophy of obsessively-managed pitch counts just isn't all that effective. If it were, then injuries wouldn't be occuring as frequently as they are today, imo.

Steve Carlton was a completely dominant pitcher. He could get more guys out with fewer pitches. He also wasn't used as in his young years and pitched a lot in four man rotations, since this is about primarily young guys getting abused. He also played during an era where plate patience wasn't as valued and batters just weren't as good (greenies maybe, but no widespread steroid use). Unfortunately pitch count data isn't available for Carlton's era.

There's also nothing wrong with throwing a lot of pitches in a particular season as long as the pitches per start is kept low. Teams today could probably go back to four man rotations and preserve their starters so long as in a particular start they didn't go above 100-110 or so pitches, depending on age.

Even then, you strawmanned the whole thing by picking one guy who could be an exception and ignore the rule. How many guys have been injured during that era that you've never heard about? For every Steve Carlton there's probably 10 Mark Priors.

Carlos Zambrano is breaking the rule today, fine. Maybe Lincecum will too, but if the averages are to be believed, Lincecum probably isn't in very good territory.

redsbuckeye
09-23-2008, 09:41 AM
And for that matter, why do you think teams went to five man rotations in the first place? Do you think perhaps they saw some data that suggested maybe pitchers get injured when they pitch too much?

In the end, they got the stat wrong, innings pitched, and didn't know what it was that was causing injuries, pitches per start. Only now are teams beginning to realize the mechanics behind pitcher abuse.

Also worth noting is just how much the stakes have increased in the intervening years and just how big an investment pitchers are in this day. Salaries have far outstripped any inflation adjusted growth since the 60's. Baseball is big business now and if you want to be successful then you have to be able to manage your risk effectively.

redsbuckeye
09-23-2008, 10:26 AM
Finally, maybe pitchers in Carlton's day just didn't throw as hard as they do now. Baseball players are way more specialized now than they ever have been and are looking for much more of an advantage (legal or not). The incentive to set oneself above the rest is way way way higher than back in the 60's as baseball salaries have skyrocketed even in real dollar terms. Throwing harder back then maybe made a difference of a few thousand dollars, if that. Today, it's millions, sometimes even tens of millions, especially with scouts' obsession with pitch velocity in the modern era.

CySeymour
09-23-2008, 10:35 AM
If I'm not mistaken, and I don't have the time to look up the stats, pitchers strike out a lot more hitters today than in yesteryear, hence driving up their pitch count and leading to fewer innings. That's why someone like Roy Halladay is so valuable. He has learned to throw so many innings by keeping his pitch count down.

texasdave
09-23-2008, 01:09 PM
I think that the whole pitch count obsession is probably causing more arm injuries than preventing them, and I think the 100 as a magic number for pitch counts is based more on it being a round number than any evidence.

Still I think everyone understands that three consecutive games of 125+ pitches for a 24 year old is bad, very, very bad.

I understand that this is a week old, but the power just came on here. I was curious as to your reasoning behind this statement? (paragraph 1 not 2)

jimbo
09-23-2008, 01:18 PM
I think the one thing that gets overlooked the most is how much stress today's pitchers put on their arms when they're in their teens. Too many kids today are throwing curve balls at too early of an age while pitching in multiple leagues and organizations. When I was playing high school ball back in the 80s, the thought of a high scool pitcher needing a Tommy John type surgery was unheard of. Today, although it is not common, it is happening.

Furthermore, many of these kids go onto college before they even reach the pros, putting more stress on their arms and shoulders. The motion the human arm goes through in the act of pitching is a very unnatural thing. It is eventually going to fail over time. With today's professional pitchers, that process begins in their early teens......sometimes even sooner. By the time they see professional ball, it is only a matter of when.

This is why I think today's pitch counts should be an individual thing. To say that one benchmark pitch count should apply to every pitcher is illogical. Each pitcher should be evaluated individually.

PTI (pti)
09-23-2008, 03:44 PM
Look, I don't have a CLUE how to keep the modern pitcher from injuring their arm, but I do know that the conventional methods aren't working. Or at least that's my opinion. If they DID work, then injuries woud be decreasing, right?

I just hate that managers and executives today only have ONE solution to limiting injury:

PITCH LESS.


There's a whole heck of a lot more to it than that, imo.



Look at Joba Chamberlain --> I cannot remember, in my entire life, a pitcher who was so babied, coddled and protected. And what happens??? Less than 125 innings into his major league career, he's on the shelf.

There isn't a perfect equation for protecting pitchers, but more and more I'm convinced that the powers that be are convinced it's as simple as...


pitch more = injury
pitch less = healthy


It's just not that simple.

757690
09-23-2008, 04:06 PM
I understand that this is a week old, but the power just came on here. I was curious as to your reasoning behind this statement? (paragraph 1 not 2)

I agree that a team needs to monitor a pitchers number of pitches, but I just don't think that the evidence shows that you need to hold every pitcher to 100 pitches or less. There is no magic number, some can pitch 125 pitches with no real negative effect, while some can't pitch more than 85 without getting hurt.

My reasoning is that some pitchers like Carlos Zambrano, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Shane Rawley, Gaylord Perry, Jamie Moyer, Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine, all pitched well over 100 pitches a game at a young age, and pitched deep into their 30's and sometimes 40's.

In fact, the one thing that all these guys have in common is that they threw a lot more than most pitchers in between starts. You build strength by using the muscles you want to strengthen, not babying them.

redsbuckeye
09-23-2008, 04:12 PM
Look, I don't have a CLUE how to keep the modern pitcher from injuring their arm, but I do know that the conventional methods aren't working. Or at least that's my opinion. If they DID work, then injuries woud be decreasing, right?

I just hate that managers and executives today only have ONE solution to limiting injury:

PITCH LESS.


There's a whole heck of a lot more to it than that, imo.



Look at Joba Chamberlain --> I cannot remember, in my entire life, a pitcher who was so babied, coddled and protected. And what happens??? Less than 125 innings into his major league career, he's on the shelf.

There isn't a perfect equation for protecting pitchers, but more and more I'm convinced that the powers that be are convinced it's as simple as...


pitch more = injury
pitch less = healthy


It's just not that simple.

Again, you strawman by using one example when you should be looking at trends. I posted the top 3 PAP guys 25 and under for each year already and there's a certain trend that might be seen there. Also you can still have injuries that aren't abuse related.

This is risk management/mitigation. Tim Lincecum has been used in a way that poses a lot of risk to his long term health. Millions of dollars of investment suggest that you'd want to minimize that risk. Data (read: more than one or two examples) suggests a way to minimize that risk. Do you follow it? I think so, especially when the cost of enacting the risk management is so relatively low.

redsbuckeye
09-23-2008, 04:29 PM
I agree that a team needs to monitor a pitchers number of pitches, but I just don't think that the evidence shows that you need to hold every pitcher to 100 pitches or less. There is no magic number, some can pitch 125 pitches with no real negative effect, while some can't pitch more than 85 without getting hurt.

My reasoning is that some pitchers like Carlos Zambrano, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Shane Rawley, Gaylord Perry, Jamie Moyer, Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine, all pitched well over 100 pitches a game at a young age, and pitched deep into their 30's and sometimes 40's.

In fact, the one thing that all these guys have in common is that they threw a lot more than most pitchers in between starts. You build strength by using the muscles you want to strengthen, not babying them.

In his first full season in 1988 at 22 years old, Maddux averaged 104 pitches per start. He was top 5 in PAP that year.

1989 at 23 it was 97 per start and he wasn't even in the top 40 of PAP. He got reigned in big time.

In 1990 at 24 he averaged 100 and was outside the top 50.

In 1991 at 25 it was 98 per start for 35.

And in 1992 at 26 it was 104 per start.

Maddux never really had too many games above 120 pitches and was kept at decently low levels while he was young.

I'll take a look at the rest of those guys later.

Stephenk29
09-23-2008, 04:42 PM
To me it seems to do a lot with weight training. I could be wrong of course just speculating. Weight training and heavy lifting have a much greater influence on the game today then it did back then. I'm no anatomy guru either but isn't it true that bulky muscles are terrible for tendons? Prior to the early 90s pitchers just relied on functional strenght and flexibility. How many pitchers back in the 70s had the physique like Kyle Farnsworth?

I think there is a combination of about 8 different factors that all equate into this.

757690
09-23-2008, 07:40 PM
To me it seems to do a lot with weight training. I could be wrong of course just speculating. Weight training and heavy lifting have a much greater influence on the game today then it did back then. I'm no anatomy guru either but isn't it true that bulky muscles are terrible for tendons? Prior to the early 90s pitchers just relied on functional strenght and flexibility. How many pitchers back in the 70s had the physique like Kyle Farnsworth?

I think there is a combination of about 8 different factors that all equate into this.

Exactly. Which is why this obsession with 100 pitches is baffling. That is my entire point. It is important to protect young arms, but basing nearly everything on a round number is silly. Everyone has a different threshold, based on 8 or ten or twenty different factors. It is up to the pitching coach to know what each pitchers limit is.

As to the weight lifting issue, I think that is a real good point. I know that most pitchers in the 70's and 80's used an off season program that was based on stretching and flexiblity, rather than bulk. Of course this raises the PHD issue as well.

757690
09-23-2008, 07:56 PM
In his first full season in 1988 at 22 years old, Maddux averaged 104 pitches per start. He was top 5 in PAP that year.

1989 at 23 it was 97 per start and he wasn't even in the top 40 of PAP. He got reigned in big time.

In 1990 at 24 he averaged 100 and was outside the top 50.

In 1991 at 25 it was 98 per start for 35.

And in 1992 at 26 it was 104 per start.

Maddux never really had too many games above 120 pitches and was kept at decently low levels while he was young.

I'll take a look at the rest of those guys later.

I think we basically are in agreement on the point of this thread. There is no excuse for making Lincecom go past 120 pitches more than a few time a year, and no reason why he should ever hit 130.

The point I was making about the other guys was to refute the "100 pitch" magic number. If Maddox is averaging around 100 pitches a game from age 22-25, then he surely is getting his share of 100+ games. Just a few bad games of being pulled early will knock down a pitchers average pitch count drastically. And that was my only point, that some young pitchers can go past 100 pitches on a regular basis and be fine.

By the way, nice job on the research. Very impressive and very informative. Thanks! :thumbup:

Stephenk29
09-23-2008, 10:17 PM
Hitters are better (on the average)
Pitchers throw harder (on the average)
Weight training.
Hitters are more patient.
Many pitchers don't pitch to contact it seems like (to many nibblers of power pitchers who just simply miss).
Supplements. not just Steroids.

redsbuckeye
09-24-2008, 08:46 AM
I think we basically are in agreement on the point of this thread. There is no excuse for making Lincecom go past 120 pitches more than a few time a year, and no reason why he should ever hit 130.

We agree on the general concept but probably disagree on the break point. I don't think Lincecum, at 24, should be going past 110 pitches. Considering the abuse that's already been heaped upon him, I'd not even go past 100 at this point. That he's pitched 120 pitches a few times is worrisome. 3 years older and it wouldn't bother me too much that he had. But 130 plus is outright irresponsible on the part of management. If the Giants had stock, I'd be selling it right now.


The point I was making about the other guys was to refute the "100 pitch" magic number. If Maddox is averaging around 100 pitches a game from age 22-25, then he surely is getting his share of 100+ games. Just a few bad games of being pulled early will knock down a pitchers average pitch count drastically. And that was my only point, that some young pitchers can go past 100 pitches on a regular basis and be fine.

The 100 number is more or less an average determined at the point when a pitcher typically gets tired. Pitching isn't damaging until a pitcher gets tired. The 100 pitch mark is an overall average of starters when you start to see slight declines in speed, movement and control. Even small declines are important as they are a general indicator of the onset of tiredness. Those first 5 pitches while tired aren't very damaging, and can probably be healed with a couple day's worth of rest. But letting them get another 20 pitches past the initial onset of tired and there's a chance they've done longer term damage.

I think I saw the average was like 104 pitches, somewhere or another (looking for it, can't find it) and the 100 was just rounded down as a practical number and to be "on the safe side". Yes it'd be nice to do this for each individual pitcher but the sample size, especially for young pitchers, of maybe 30 starts isn't going to tell you much, especially minor league stuff where they get pulled early often just to throw in relievers for work. So 100 became a soft default. Certainly some pitchers, even young ones (Carlos Zambrano) don't get tired until 110 or 115 pitches. Some guys, it may set in at 90 (Ben Sheets). For the purposes of an all encompassing stat, you're going to need a hard number to calculate from. 100 was close to the average, easy to remember, and had a certain safeness to it.

For the purposes of PAP, a guy 25 and under probably shouldn't be breaking 100k points. Some guys it's more, some guys it's less. A couple more starts and Lincecum will be between 175k and 200k.


By the way, nice job on the research. Very impressive and very informative. Thanks! :thumbup:

You're welcome. :)

redsbuckeye
09-24-2008, 09:29 AM
I agree that a team needs to monitor a pitchers number of pitches, but I just don't think that the evidence shows that you need to hold every pitcher to 100 pitches or less. There is no magic number, some can pitch 125 pitches with no real negative effect, while some can't pitch more than 85 without getting hurt.

My reasoning is that some pitchers like Carlos Zambrano, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Shane Rawley, Gaylord Perry, Jamie Moyer, Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine, all pitched well over 100 pitches a game at a young age, and pitched deep into their 30's and sometimes 40's.

In fact, the one thing that all these guys have in common is that they threw a lot more than most pitchers in between starts. You build strength by using the muscles you want to strengthen, not babying them.

Ok I wanted to look at the other guys and see how they did in their first few years.

Zambrano I've talked about in previous posts. He's certainly been quite durable and has played through any abuse. Maybe he's just the iron man.

Glavine's first full season was in 1988 which is also thankfully when pitch count data first started. In '88 he was 22.

Glavine's pitches per start in '88 was 89 and was 118 on PAP. He was essentially not abused.

In '89 when he was 23 it was also 89 pitches per start and he was 95th on PAP. Again, not really abused.

In '90 when he was 24 it was 104 pitches per start and good for 60th on PAP.

And in '91 when he was 25 it was 105 pitchers per start and he was 25th on PAP. This was the first year he got really abused.

For some odd reason his numbers dont' appear on the '92 list but he did pitch less innings and faced fewer batters in '92, perhaps keeping his pitch count low again. in '93 it was low again.

So, one conclusion we might be able to draw is Glavine was able to pitch a lot in the middle and late of his career because he didn't pitch too much in his early career, much like Maddux, neither was heaped with abuse and only had one year worth noting of any real bad abuse before they were 26. Incidentally, Glavine would avoid more abuse for a little while.

Moyer's first full season was '87, so no pitch count data. He pitched 201 innings and faced 899 batters. In '88 he averaged 94 pitches per start and was 83 on PAP and faced 855 batters. Problem for him was he'd never crack 200 innings again or face 800 batters again for another 10 years due to various reasons. Moyer was a bad example.

Nolan Ryan started back in the 60's so again, no pitch count data. It should be worth noting however that Ryan wasn't used extensively until he was 25 in '72. Before that he saw limited action.

Steve Carlton started in '65 and faced but wouldnt' play extensively until '67 when he was 22. He pitched 193 innings and faced 802 batters. It's probably safe to say he wasn't abused that year.

In '68 he pitched 231 innings and faced 954 batters. '69 it was 236 innings and 968 batters. I'm listing batters faced because the breakpoint for abuse seems to be around 900 batters (that's an educated guess) if a little variable. Finally, in '70 it was 253 innings and 1086 batters faced. So Carlton manage to avoid major use before he was 25 and only when he hit 25 did he start seeing a ton of use. As for if he was abused, it's hard to say, but my guess was he was only nominally abused in those early years before he started pitching more.

Shane Rawley is another bad example, he didn't really start much until he was 27.

Finally, Gaylord Perry wasn't a full time starter until he was 27. Although he pitched 206 and 195 innings at 25 and 26 respectively, alot of those innings came out of the bullpen and both years he faced less than 850 batters.