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View Full Version : 2008 MLB's Top 20 Rankings in Pitcher Abuse Points



savafan
07-24-2009, 09:30 PM
For an explanation of pitcher abuse points, see this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=148

Here are the Top 20 Pitcher Abuse Points rankings from 2008:


# NAME GS TOT_NP MAX_NP AVG_NP TOT_PAP MAX_PAP AVG_PAP CAT_1 CAT_2 CAT_3 CAT_4 CAT_5 STRESS
1.Tim Lincecum 33 3598 138 109.03 174543 54872 5289.18 7 8 14 3 1 49
2.Cc Sabathia 35 3814 130 108.971 111844 27000 3195.54 7 12 11 5 0 29
3.Roy Halladay 33 3537 130 107.182 78018 27000 2364.18 8 10 14 1 0 22
4.Justin Verlander 33 3528 130 106.909 76495 27000 2318.03 6 11 15 1 0 22
5.Matt Cain 34 3606 126 106.059 71340 17576 2098.24 10 8 14 2 0 20
6.Johan Santana 34 3598 125 105.824 65894 15625 1938.06 11 10 12 1 0 18
7.Carlos Zambrano 30 3013 130 100.433 65136 27000 2171.2 12 10 6 2 0 22
8.Ben Sheets 31 3054 123 98.5161 61290 12167 1977.1 15 4 10 2 0 20
9.Jake Peavy 27 2860 127 105.926 56059 19683 2076.26 7 9 10 1 0 20
10.Gil Meche 34 3555 129 104.559 55615 24389 1635.74 12 13 8 1 0 16
11.A.j. Burnett 34 3626 121 106.647 53680 9261 1578.82 7 12 15 0 0 15
12.Jon Lester 33 3309 130 100.273 51256 27000 1553.21 16 11 5 1 0 15
13.Cole Hamels 33 3427 125 103.848 49744 15625 1507.39 13 9 10 1 0 15
14.Ricky Nolasco 32 3180 132 99.375 47664 32768 1489.5 19 7 5 1 0 15
15.Bronson Arroyo 34 3436 122 101.059 47440 10648 1395.29 14 10 9 1 0 14
16.Brett Myers 30 3015 121 100.5 47024 9261 1567.47 14 4 12 0 0 16
17.Edinson Volquez 32 3347 121 104.594 44968 9261 1405.25 11 7 14 0 0 13
18.Ryan Dempster 33 3341 119 101.242 42040 6859 1273.94 12 9 12 0 0 13
19.Aaron Harang 29 2992 122 103.172 41966 10648 1447.1 9 9 10 1 0 14
20.Javier Vazquez 33 3376 122 102.303 40906 10648 1239.58 12 14 6 1 0 12

Volquez is on the shelf. Let's face it, Harang hasn't been the same pitcher since last May 25 when he pitched 4 innings in relief in that extra inning game. Arroyo is the kind of pitcher whose arm could handle more innings, but his first half of the year was a lot of awful. Some of the other starters on this list have had down years this season as well, or not pitched at all. Chicago fans have long accused Dusty Baker of ruining Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Think perhaps this could be any indication of Baker's tendency toward overworking pitchers having an effect on the arms of the Reds rotation this year?

For the record, Cueto ranked #27 on the list last year.

traderumor
07-24-2009, 09:33 PM
Huh, that list is also a who's who of good pitchers in the league. I'm guessing that the good pitcher stays in the game longer, logs more innings and pitches. Gee, that's a new development in baseball.

Falls City Beer
07-24-2009, 09:34 PM
These pitchers are all good to very good pitchers who throw lots of innings. I imagine crappy pitchers don't get "abused" very much.

Edit: traderumor brings a solid.

kaldaniels
07-24-2009, 09:36 PM
Is there truly anything to be gained by analzying this list...sorry but many on it are having wonderful seasons.

savafan
07-24-2009, 09:40 PM
Nolasco has become a .500 pitcher this year with an ERA of 5.42.

Sheets isn't even pitching this season.

Meche's ERA has gone up half a run, and he's 5 games under .500.

Dempster had a rough start to the season, and is now on the DL

Lester also looked terrible early on this year.

Cole Hamels is no where near the same pitcher he was last season.

I'm sure there's nothing to this...

Falls City Beer
07-24-2009, 09:42 PM
Nolasco has become a .500 pitcher this year with an ERA of 5.42.

Sheets isn't even pitching this season.

Meche's ERA has gone up half a run, and he's 5 games under .500.

Dempster had a rough start to the season, and is now on the DL

Lester also looked terrible early on this year.

Cole Hamels is no where near the same pitcher he was last season.

I'm sure there's nothing to this...

Other than Hamels, you've just profiled a bunch of regularly bum-winged pitchers.

savafan
07-24-2009, 09:47 PM
Is there truly anything to be gained by analzying this list...sorry but many on it are having wonderful seasons.

Like Jake Peavy, who's on the DL with an ERA near 4?

Sabathia, who's ERA is over 2 more runs a game than when he was in Milwaukee last year?

I've already pointed out Sheets and Dempster's DL stints.


I wouldn't say MANY on the list are having wonderful seasons. Halladay, Santana, Lincecum, Verlander and Volquez...those I'll give you.

corkedbat
07-24-2009, 10:08 PM
These pitchers are all good to very good pitchers who throw lots of innings. I imagine crappy pitchers don't get "abused" very much.

Edit: traderumor brings a solid.

Yeah, bad pitchers get abuse by hitters not managers

Brutus
07-24-2009, 10:39 PM
Nolasco has become a .500 pitcher this year with an ERA of 5.42.

Sheets isn't even pitching this season.

Meche's ERA has gone up half a run, and he's 5 games under .500.

Dempster had a rough start to the season, and is now on the DL

Lester also looked terrible early on this year.

Cole Hamels is no where near the same pitcher he was last season.

I'm sure there's nothing to this...

Nolasco has been solid, and at times, spectacular, since returning from his demotion.

Hamels started off poorly and was banged up, but he's been real good lately.

Sheets has been hurt five straight seasons.

I think in any season you're going to find a lot of inconsistency with guys like Dempster and Lester. Don't think it has much to do with abuse as much as regression.

I don't agree with abuse points. In fact, I categorically believe it's junk. For many, many decades, guys were throwing curveballs, fastballs, forkballs, etc. and throwing both ends of a double-header. And rarely did you have injury problems. The human body has not changed, which tells me the problem is now how often you use the pitcher but their mechanics, conditioning, proneness to injury and, I hate to say it, but steroids has made guys bigger and susceptible to torn muscles.

I really do not personally believe in PAP.

LoganBuck
07-24-2009, 10:48 PM
Dempster fell and hurt himself jumping over the dugout fence to celebrate a Cubs win.

IslandRed
07-24-2009, 11:23 PM
PAP is a useful metric to check up on workload in greater context than merely counting innings or total pitches. But it's important to realize that someone's going to be #1, or #10, or #15 on that list whether or not they were actually abused. With the exception of the oft-beaten horse of Harang's relief outing that one day in San Diego, I had little issue with the way the starters were handled last year.


I don't agree with abuse points. In fact, I categorically believe it's junk. For many, many decades, guys were throwing curveballs, fastballs, forkballs, etc. and throwing both ends of a double-header. And rarely did you have injury problems.

That's not really true. Pitchers got hurt in the old days, too. But there were fewer teams and more kids playing baseball, and the money wasn't so big, so teams could afford to put pitchers through the grinder and weed out everyone but the rubber-armed freaks. Nowadays, clubs have fewer pitchers under control, more money invested in them, and no ready source of talented replacements. They can't afford to be so Darwinian about it.

Brutus
07-24-2009, 11:30 PM
PAP is a useful metric to check up on workload in greater context than merely counting innings or total pitches. But it's important to realize that someone's going to be #1, or #10, or #15 on that list whether or not they were actually abused. With the exception of the oft-beaten horse of Harang's relief outing that one day in San Diego, I had little issue with the way the starters were handled last year.



That's not really true. Pitchers got hurt in the old days, too. But there were fewer teams and more kids playing baseball, and the money wasn't so big, so teams could afford to put pitchers through the grinder and weed out everyone but the rubber-armed freaks. Nowadays, clubs have fewer pitchers under control, more money invested in them, and no ready source of talented replacements. They can't afford to be so Darwinian about it.

I did say rarely, I didn't say it didn't happen.

The money wasn't so big, but then again, they weren't paying the players as much either (and didn't have the income from media like today). Sure, it was not as much of a business. But bottom line is you had a lot of pitchers pitching a lot of innings and not dropping like flies. So clearly the human body can withstand it. Whether or not teams are so Darwinian about it or not is not my point - my point is that they could be without the disastrous results that everybody seems to anticipate every time, God forbid, a guy goes 15 more pitches than people think he should.

IslandRed
07-24-2009, 11:53 PM
I did say rarely, I didn't say it didn't happen.

The money wasn't so big, but then again, they weren't paying the players as much either (and didn't have the income from media like today). Sure, it was not as much of a business. But bottom line is you had a lot of pitchers pitching a lot of innings and not dropping like flies. So clearly the human body can withstand it. Whether or not teams are so Darwinian about it or not is not my point - my point is that they could be without the disastrous results that everybody seems to anticipate every time, God forbid, a guy goes 15 more pitches than people think he should.

My point was, lots of guys in the old days couldn't withstand it, you just never heard about them because they didn't survive to become big-league workhorses. Perhaps some of the guys today could throw 140 pitches per outing, no sweat, but considering how difficult it is to replace a good pitcher, no one's itching to push them to the breaking point.

AtomicDumpling
07-25-2009, 12:49 AM
I don't agree with abuse points. In fact, I categorically believe it's junk. For many, many decades, guys were throwing curveballs, fastballs, forkballs, etc. and throwing both ends of a double-header. And rarely did you have injury problems. The human body has not changed, which tells me the problem is now how often you use the pitcher but their mechanics, conditioning, proneness to injury and, I hate to say it, but steroids has made guys bigger and susceptible to torn muscles.

I really do not personally believe in PAP.

Back in the old days pitchers didn't throw nearly as hard (with a few exceptions). Nowadays almost every pitcher throws 90+ and is going max effort on every pitch. Pitchers are much bigger and stronger and putting a lot more stress on elbows and shoulder joints. Players in the old days didn't work out much, certainly not like the strenuous strength regimens and improved nutrition utilized by players today. That is why players are bigger and stronger, not steroids.

In the old days you could get away with an 80-85 mph fastball because the hitters were much smaller and the fences much longer than in today's game. You could ease up on the scrawny infielders and save your best stuff for the star hitters. Now any hitter will crush a mistake or soft pitch.

Pitchers today throw much harder and use more breaking pitches than the boys of yesteryear. This puts much more stress on the arm and contributes to more injuries.

Pitcher Abuse Points have been shown by Baseball Prospectus and others to correlate well with injury frequency. It only makes sense, the more pitches you throw the more stress you are putting on your arm. Of course the likelihood of injury is higher.

kaldaniels
07-25-2009, 12:57 AM
Write the name of every starter in the league who threw over 150 innings last year on a piece of paper. Put all their names in a hat. Draw out 20 names.

Guess what. Some will be hurt this year. Some will be underperforming. Some will be overacheiving. Some will be as expected.

Sometimes pitchers are overused which leads to injury,you'll never see me dispute that. I just don't see PAP as a surefire way to measure such a thing.

Brutus
07-25-2009, 01:01 AM
Back in the old days pitchers didn't throw nearly as hard (with a few exceptions). Nowadays almost every pitcher throws 90+ and is going max effort on every pitch. Pitchers are much bigger and stronger and putting a lot more stress on elbows and shoulder joints. Players in the old days didn't work out much, certainly not like the strenuous strength regimens and improved nutrition utilized by players today. That is why players are bigger and stronger, not steroids.

In the old days you could get away with an 80-85 mph fastball because the hitters were much smaller and the fences much longer than in today's game. You could ease up on the scrawny infielders and save your best stuff for the star hitters. Now any hitter will crush a mistake or soft pitch.

Pitchers today throw much harder and use more breaking pitches than the boys of yesteryear. This puts much more stress on the arm and contributes to more injuries.

Pitcher Abuse Points have been shown by Baseball Prospectus and others to correlate well with injury frequency. It only makes sense, the more pitches you throw the more stress you are putting on your arm. Of course the likelihood of injury is higher.

I agree with you that you did not have as many guys throwing 93-95+.

But I don't think velocity as much of an issue as much as the mechanics producing it. Every pitcher, throwing 60 MPH or throwing 100 MPH exerts tries to maximize their body's momentum to throw as hard as possible to their own capability. The stress I had on my arm throwing my weak 75 MPH fastball was no less dangerous than if I were throwing 95 if I were not throwing the ball correctly. Each person's muscles and tendons can obviously withstand a dynamic amount of stress to their own body.

I disagree with the amount of breaking pitches, though. Guys who especially did not have a dominating fastball in those days threw a lot of junk. A ton. I would be surprised if the actual amount of breaking balls differed much from then until now. In fact, I would argue that with the increased velocity in the steroids era, guys depended too much on their fastball.

The correlation is tricky. Of course you're going to have more injuries by throwing more because it's more exposure. Just like if you have more flights, you'll have more plane crashes. If you have more cars on the road, you're going to have more accidents. If you grow more apples you're going to have more go bad. Similarly, if you pitch more often, you'll have more chances to get hurt. But the difference is that it's not the chances are increasing, it's simply the frequency that it will happen increases. It's a sum game.

reds44
07-25-2009, 01:01 AM
Like Jake Peavy, who's on the DL with an ERA near 4?

Sabathia, who's ERA is over 2 more runs a game than when he was in Milwaukee last year?

I've already pointed out Sheets and Dempster's DL stints.


I wouldn't say MANY on the list are having wonderful seasons. Halladay, Santana, Lincecum, Verlander and Volquez...those I'll give you.
Peavy hurt his leg and Dempster broke his toe jumping over the dugout fence.

Not sure what that has to do with this.

A lot of Sabathia's problem could have to do with going from the NL Central to the AL East as well.

Ben Sheets is always hurt.