PDA

View Full Version : Bakermetrics and Broken Arms



texasdave
02-24-2010, 02:42 AM
Article from Fanhouse on CNNSI:http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/02/23/dustys-trail-a-ticket-to-operating-table/


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Aroldis Chapman hadn't even pulled on a Reds cap for the first time and the the critics were already howling.

They weren't so much wondering about the Reds giving $30 million to a 21-year-old pitcher. They were wondering about the Reds giving that pitcher, that investment, to Dusty Baker.

Baker, a three-time Manager of the Year, is generally respected throughout the game for his work in the dugout, but over the past several years he's also become known as someone who takes prime-rib pitchers and turns them into hamburger patties.

Baker's reputation has been so ingrained into the baseball community that even the satirical Web site, The Onion, picked up on it with a recent headline: "Dusty Baker Destroys Aroldis Chapman's Arm Within Minutes of Arrival."

As Baker sat in his office at the Reds' spring training complex on Monday, he simply shook his head while defending himself.

"They are always looking for something that you didn't do," Baker told FanHouse. "It doesn't bother me, because I don't live in the past. I've taken care of my guys, from [Bill] Swift and [John] Burkett all the way through. I take care of my players. I believe in winning, but not at all costs. I never have and I never will."

The crux of the criticism of Baker is that he lets his starting pitchers, particularly young ones, throw too many pitches. This was never more evident than 2003, in Chicago, when Baker put a heavy workload on Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.

Prior and Wood, of course, became the posterboys for broken-down starting pitchers.

And Baker became a villain.

"It's mighty funny that I never heard any of that before I got to Chicago," Baker said. "You take a poll of players that played for me and ask them, did I take care of them?"

Wood, who is in camp with the Indians, just a few hundred yards up the road from the Reds' facility, said he did not hold Baker responsible for his injuries.

"I don't think he handled us the wrong way," said Wood, who added that he has always had a good relationship with Baker and still keeps in touch with him. "There were times where I asked to go back out and he let me, and there were times that I asked to go back out and he didn't let me. It's the same with any staff, every pitching coach and every manager."

Russ Ortiz, who was one of Baker's young workhorses with the Giants, had his career derailed by injuries years after he left San Francisco. Ortiz, now in camp with the Dodgers, also said that Baker is unfairly criticized.

"I would say that's untrue," Ortiz said of the claims against Baker. "You just can't fault a manager. He's always going to be the guy, because he's supposed to be in charge, but at the same time, sometimes things happen that are out of your control and make no sense."

There is no way to prove conclusively why any pitcher gets injured, so the claims of pitcher abuse by Baker will forever be just theories. It is indisputable, though, that Baker has had his starting pitchers consistently throw more pitches than the norm.

Pitchers on Baker's teams have thrown more pitches per start than the National League average for pitchers on other teams in 14 of his 16 seasons. The difference is just about five pitches per game over his career, but he has had two years in which his pitchers threw at least 10 more pitches, on average, than the rest of the league. One of those was 2003.


Dusty Baker, Pitcher Abuser?
Pitches Per Start PAP Per Team*
Year Baker League Baker League
1993 86.7 89.3 273.2 2,947.8
1994 91 88.8 337 2,122.7
1995 89.6 85.8 1,532.3 1,851.8
1996 97.7 83.1 1,690.4 1,674.3
1997 94.9 88.4 2,692.9 1,802.2
1998 93.9 91.6 1,361 2,456.9
1999 103.8 95.8 5,172 2,208.4
2000 102.5 97.2 4,064 2,297.3
2001 99.7 93.8 2,075.6 1,262.6
2002 100.9 93 3,288.8 1,145.2
2003 103.5 93.5 3,970.6 1,113.2
2004 99 93.8 1,928.2 1,089.8
2005 97.7 95.4 1,904.5 989.6
2006 91.9 94.5 995.5 838.9
2008 97.9 93.9 1,028 622.9
2009 98.7 94.4 968.8 631.3
* PAP stands for Pitcher Abuse Points and is calculated by Baseball Prospectus. Read more about the metric here. Baker managed for the Giants from 1993-2002, the Cubs from 2003-06 and the Reds from 2008-present.
Analysts at Baseball Prospectus have been studying possible overuse of pitchers since at least 1998, when they developed a metric known as Pitcher Abuse Points. PAP essentially counts pitches thrown over 100, adding weight to the extra pitches the higher the total goes.

Baker's teams were below the league average in PAP in his first three seasons, but since then they have been above in 12 of the past 13 years. In 2002 with the Giants and 2003 with the Cubs, Baker's teams racked up more than three times the number of PAP of the average among the other teams in the league.

Will Carroll, a writer at Baseball Prospectus who specializes in studying injuries, has no doubt that Baker is responsible for the destruction of his pitchers.

"When you just look at the results he's had, where guys over and over are getting injured, whether it's the pattern of pitches he's using or the number of pitches, it's readily apparent," Carroll said. "I was stunned how clear it was that his pitchers are throwing more pitches. Can I point directly to Dusty and say 'You have caused this'? No. But I don't think there's any way you can't say 'You are the most likely cause.'"

Although Prior and Wood are the main names attached to Baker, he is also a suspect in the injury-riddled careers of Jason Schmidt, Ortiz and Shawn Estes. (Schmidt was actually worked even harder by Baker's successor, Felipe Alou.)

Aaron Harang has seen his career take a nosedive the past two years under Baker, and a connection is sometimes made to a May 25, 2008 game when Harang threw 63 pitches in relief in a 16-inning game, on two days of rest. When Edinson Volquez had to have Tommy John surgery last year, there were immediately rumblings that Baker had struck again, although some research by FanHouse's Pat Lackey showed that Baker really hadn't had Volquez throw an inordinately high number of pitches.

While Baker insists that he takes care of his pitchers, he also doesn't run from the idea that he believes pitchers can't be coddled.

"I've taken care of my guys, ... I believe in winning, but not at all costs. I never have and I never will."
-- Dusty Baker "When are you being too careful and when are you letting them pitch?" Baker said. "The only way to get better is to pitch. ... Look at some of the Japanese and Latin pitchers that come over here and are used to throwing every day. They come over here and don't throw and get hurt anyway. I don't think there is a real set formula."

Pitching, Baker said, is an unnatural motion, so injuries are unavoidable.

"There are certain things that are karma, that are bound to happen," Baker said. "You are throwing a projectile at that speed, and something is gonna happen to somebody. It's unnatural to throw it. I don't care what they say."

In Baker's defense, two of the pitchers he worked the hardest -- Livan Hernandez and Carlos Zambrano -- have not had arm problems at all. Hernandez was never hurt in the major leagues, and Zambrano didn't go on the disabled list until two years after Baker was gone, and that was with a hamstring injury. Zambrano has since missed time with another hamstring injury and a back problem.

Ortiz, who also didn't get hurt until years after he left Baker, said that his problem was actually a rib injury. That caused him to change his mechanics, which resulted in an elbow problem.

Ortiz threw 120 or more pitches 28 times with the Giants, all before he was 30 years old. He said that Baker constantly asked him how he felt, and he never pushed him to pitch when he said he was tired.

"We're all adults up here," Ortiz said. "Everyone has to take responsibility for taking care of himself."

Wood, who had an injury history before Baker arrived in Chicago, said he felt that Baker used him appropriately during that fateful 2003 season, when he threw at least 120 pitches 13 times in the regular season and once in the postseason. Only two pitchers -- Randy Johnson and Hernandez -- threw more 120-pitch games in a season over the past decade.

"I felt like when I started a game in '03, I was going to go at least eight or nine innings," Wood said. "That was the mentality I had. I felt like I should have been in shape and strong enough to go out and throw 120-125 pitches every fifth day, and I did it well. ...

"I don't know if there were any affects from that year at all. I can't really pinpoint one thing or one series of events that caused [the injuries]."

The criticism stings Baker, but not so much because of what it means to him. Baker said he feels empathy for the pitchers who have gotten hurt under his watch.

"I'm a responsible person," he said. "If anything, I might be overly responsible for things that aren't in my responsibility realm. That's how my dad was. That's how he taught me to be. ... I feel badly for whoever gets hurt in this game. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not that hard-hearted of a person. You put it past you and move forward. I haven't changed." Read More: Reds MLB Injuries dusty+baker

Kingspoint
02-24-2010, 06:19 AM
Good article.

Will Carroll, a writer at Baseball Prospectus who specializes in studying injuries, has no doubt that Baker is responsible for the destruction of his pitchers.

"When you just look at the results he's had, where guys over and over are getting injured, whether it's the pattern of pitches he's using or the number of pitches, it's readily apparent," Carroll said. "I was stunned how clear it was that his pitchers are throwing more pitches. Can I point directly to Dusty and say 'You have caused this'? No. But I don't think there's any way you can't say 'You are the most likely cause.'"

You don't need any more proof than that. But, I'll give it to you.

For those of you UNDER 40 YEARS OLD, you just don't have knowledge of what I'm about to tell you, so here's some information to add to your knowledge of Baker and why he really is bad for young pitchers. You have to know his history, and it is "history" to you, but it wasn't "history to me, because I was there and I watched it first hand, while you were either in High School (and thus didn't have a good perspective, baseball-wise), in grade school, pre-school, or not born, yet, and most likely were in another part of the country.

The History of Dusty Baker and where who and where he learned how to handle pitching staffs.

Arm troubles really didn't begin to happen frequently until players who were born after the Depression (1940 and later), so there wasn't really a reason to worry about how many innings a player threw. (I'm not going to refer to "pitches" and will only refer to innings as that's what's always been the reference for most of the time.) It's those players who were began arriving in 1958 and after where it began to be apparent that players couldn't throw for 450+ innings in a year any more. Yes. 450+ was common for a young player to throw between the Minors and Majors. And, three generations later, it's much, much worse. Baker had no idea how to handle pitchers like Wood and Prior. They had to be coddled and he did the opposite. He destroyed both of them.

Baker started as a Brave the year Denny McClain won 30 games in 1968. Some pitchers could still throw a lot of innings. He became a Dodger in 1975 at an age where you start paying attention to how Coaches and Managers do things in case you want to have a second career after playing. The Dodgers were notorious for abusing Pitchers. The Dodgers used and abused Pitchers on a regular basis because they always had a pipeline full of ready-made replacements. Walter Alston signed one-year contracts for (something like) 35 consecutive years. You think he didn't have to win every year? He had to do everything he could to win every year.

Here's an example why: Although O'Malley was loyal to his employees, he did not take kindly to demands from employees such as manager Charlie Dressen's request for a three-year contract. When Dressen requested a multi-year contract after losing a second consecutive World Series to the Yankees, he was released. Then when he hired Walter Alston as a replacement, he made it clear to the press that Alston would only receive one-year contracts and would not attempt to show up the management in the national media. There were rumors that Alston even signed blank contracts in the fall and showed up in the spring to find out his salary.

We move this subject to San Francisco, where ex-Dodger and Pitcher Roger Craig managed the Giants. Baker became a Coach in 1988 under Roger Craig and stayed there until he replaced Roger Craig as Manager in 1993. When Roger Craig came aboard in 1985, he taught the two-fingered split to all of his pitching staff, and the Giants went from doormats to title contenders in one season. His entire pitching staff would develop arm problems during his 8 years as Manager of the Giants.

But, Roger Craig learned that he could do anything he wants with his pitchers as a Dodger because that's how he was taught by Alston. The year before he came to San Francisco, he worked under Sparky Anderson and won a Championship, but he didn't learn from Anderson. His training was ingrained in him as a Dodger. He came up through the Dodger's system, and he also came from the generation that you can't abuse a pitcher's arm. If the arm gets sore, then it just needs to get some rest if you can't pitch through it. Wait for the rest and then try again.

But, it's a different generation of arms that Craig worked with and they couldn't be treated the same way as when he was growing up. He didn't know that. Baker didn't know that. Baker and Craig watched when Dave Dravecky broke his humerous bone in the middle of a pitch in 1989. Now, that was because the bone had been frozen 10 months earlier when some cancer had been removed from it, but the reasoning was the same. He was brought back too early. Was that on Roger Craig? No. Not that time, but you better believe that Craig had some input as to whether or not he was healthy enough to pitch. Certainly, Craig didn't back off or resist the temptation to have Dravecky pitch for him. Baker, in this article calls that karma. I call it witch-doctoring by uninformed, ignorant coaches, managers, and medical staff who want to ignore the obvious for the hopes of winning a few extra games THAT particular year.

It was common knowledge when I was an adult living in the Bay Area going to the Giants and A's games on a regular basis that Roger Craig was abusing his pitchers. It was even talked about nationally on TV. That's how Baker learned to Coach. He has the same philosophy as Tommy Lasorda and Roger Craig and Walter Alston.

If the REDS were smart, they wouldn't let Chapman anywhere near Baker in 2010. However, that said, every individual is different. It's possible, but not likely, that Chapman grew up on a farm and worked 12 hours a day using his entire body, strengthening his back, his arm, his legs, and his stamina. If that's the case, then I'd let Baker have him, but since it's probably not the case, I'd keep him in AA and AAA trying to refine his pitching with Coaches who can take care of him, not caring about winning or losing games as their main goal every day.

Baker just doesn't understand that times are different. He can't treat pitchers today the way he saw pitchers being treated when he was learning the game as a Minor Leaguer and as a Coach under Roger Craig.

Kingspoint
02-24-2010, 06:24 AM
You look at Dusty's Wikipedia entry and you find this:

Baker, an old-school baseball traditionalist, was scrutinized for the Cubs’ declining productivity. To sabermetricians, many of his methods were puzzling, such as his tendency to put players with a poor on-base percentage, such as Neifi Perez, Jose Macias, Corey Patterson, Willy Taveras and Jerry Hairston Jr. at or near the top of his lineups. Baker rejected (and still rejects) the importance of on-base percentage, arguing that extra baserunners simply "clog up the bases" unless they can run well. This flies in the face of statistically-oriented baseball strategy and has made Baker a frequent target among the sabermetric community.

Additionally, many fans, commentators, and writers blamed his consistent tendency to overuse young pitchers for damaging the career of Kerry Wood and derailing the career of Mark Prior. Wood and Prior, along with Edinson Volquez of the Reds, all suffered serious arm injuries following their first full seasons under Baker. Wood and Prior averaged 122 and 126 pitches per start, respectively, in their final six regular-season starts of 2003. Baker was widely known as a "player's manager," attempting to mollify his athletes rather than focusing on team output above personal interests, and favoring his favorite players regardless of their statistical output. He is also known for playing unproductive veterans over prospects even when his teams are out of the playoff hunt, stating a need to maintain the integrity of the playoff races.

In 2003, Baker was the subject of some controversy when he stated that "black and Hispanic players are better suited to playing in the sun and heat than white players." Dusty, defending his beliefs, later said, "What I meant is that blacks and Latinos take the heat better than most whites, and whites take the cold better than most blacks and Latinos. That's it, pure and simple. Nothing deeper than that."

ian_madden
02-24-2010, 10:29 AM
I don't trust Wikipedia, it is too subjective. Anyone with a computer can write on the webpage. I'm not arguing for Baker, I'm just saying, Wikipedia should not be a respectable source of information.

But back to the task at hand, I hope we don't see Chapman for atleast a full year. I want to see what he can do against American talent in AA. If we get 3 good to great years out of him at the major league, I will be very happy. Leave him down, keep the process slow, we have plenty of quality arms.

DON'T RUSH HIM!!!!!!!!

Pony Boy
02-24-2010, 03:55 PM
You look at Dusty's Wikipedia entry and you find this:

Baker, an old-school baseball traditionalist, was scrutinized for the Cubs’ declining productivity. To sabermetricians, many of his methods were puzzling, such as his tendency to put players with a poor on-base percentage, such as Neifi Perez, Jose Macias, Corey Patterson, Willy Taveras and Jerry Hairston Jr. at or near the top of his lineups. Baker rejected (and still rejects) the importance of on-base percentage, arguing that extra baserunners simply "clog up the bases" unless they can run well. This flies in the face of statistically-oriented baseball strategy and has made Baker a frequent target among the sabermetric community.

Additionally, many fans, commentators, and writers blamed his consistent tendency to overuse young pitchers for damaging the career of Kerry Wood and derailing the career of Mark Prior. Wood and Prior, along with Edinson Volquez of the Reds, all suffered serious arm injuries following their first full seasons under Baker. Wood and Prior averaged 122 and 126 pitches per start, respectively, in their final six regular-season starts of 2003. Baker was widely known as a "player's manager," attempting to mollify his athletes rather than focusing on team output above personal interests, and favoring his favorite players regardless of their statistical output. He is also known for playing unproductive veterans over prospects even when his teams are out of the playoff hunt, stating a need to maintain the integrity of the playoff races.

In 2003, Baker was the subject of some controversy when he stated that "black and Hispanic players are better suited to playing in the sun and heat than white players." Dusty, defending his beliefs, later said, "What I meant is that blacks and Latinos take the heat better than most whites, and whites take the cold better than most blacks and Latinos. That's it, pure and simple. Nothing deeper than that."

Interesting that they include Prior and Woods' average pitch totals, but not Volquez's. Volquez averaged 102.6 pitches per start in 2008 and only went over the 120 pitch mark once (121 against the DBacks in 6 innings of work on September 13).

In his injury shortened 2009 season Volquez strangely once again averaged exactly 102.6 pitches per game (I excluded the game in which he was actually injured because he left the game after 1 inning) and never pitched more than 110 balls in any game. This seems like reasonable use of a 25-26 year old pitcher.

Did Dusty abuse Prior and Wood? Maybe. But Wood at least, as it has been noted many times, was a ticking time bomb. The Cubs were chasing a WS for the first time in forever and he was riding his 3 studs. It is easy for people (by people I mean Cubs fans) to criticize Baker after the fact, but Baker was under enormous pressure to bring that loser franchise out of the darkness. I think he can be forgiven if he played a little Russian Roulette with Wood, Prior and Zambrano under those circumstances.

Kingspoint
02-24-2010, 06:22 PM
In his injury shortened 2009 season Volquez strangely once again averaged exactly 102.6 pitches per game (I excluded the game in which he was actually injured because he left the game after 1 inning) and never pitched more than 110 balls in any game. This seems like reasonable use of a 25-26 year old pitcher.



I think Jockety put his foot down after watching Thompson and Harang go down with similar injuries the Summer before.

Kingspoint
02-24-2010, 06:23 PM
I don't trust Wikipedia, it is too subjective. Anyone with a computer can write on the webpage. I'm not arguing for Baker, I'm just saying, Wikipedia should not be a respectable source of information.



Of course. You take it with a grain of salt. But, bottom line is it's still there. There isn't anyone disputing it and changing it.

Griffey012
02-24-2010, 06:54 PM
So far there has been nothing in this thread to convince me Dusty causes arm injuries, more so just proof that it is a bit of a hoax or an excuse. As mentioned Wood had previous injuries before Baker, Prior had horrible mechanics, and as manager he HAD to ride those 2. If he didn't he would have had to flee Chicago Bartman style. It appears to be more of the pitchers styles that lead to Tommy John and shoulder injuries.

Kerry Wood - compact, over the top, and a ridiculously hard slider
Jason Schmidt - compact, over the top, and a hard slider
Russ Ortiz - not sure about his delivery or pitches
Mark Prior - http://www.pitchingclips.com/players/mark_prior.htm makes my shoulder hurt watching

Collectively the stress of these pitchers deliveries puts a huge toll on the shoulder and the elbow with Schmidt and Woods sliders.

I honestly think it is more of an issue with the types of pitchers Baker has inherited, than him ruining them.

And you can't even begin to blame Dusty for Volquez, that is just ridiculous. Now the Harang relief appearance maybe and what entailed afterwards, maybe.


And also if you look at the list of pitchers who have had tommy john in the majors it is dominated by American pitchers. And in retrospect American pitchers are usually taught "proper" mechanics that consist of an upright over the top power delivery. And most Latino american pitchers have a loose 3/4 arm delivery (and they throw a ton as youth and teens) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_John_surgery

ian_madden
02-24-2010, 07:08 PM
Of coure. You take it with a grain of salt. But, bottom line is it's still there. There isn't anyone disputing it and changing it.

There are websites that say that the dinosaurs existed 10,000 years ago. Nobody is disputing or changing those websites.

But back to Dusty. He says some stupid, horrible things. But one thing stands for sure. His players love him. Even those players, that were injured, that were interviewed in that article. They back him up. He motivates young and old players. More times than not, he has won. Sometimes you gotta go with the gut hunch, he does that, that I like about him.

Kingspoint
02-24-2010, 08:08 PM
So far there has been nothing in this thread to convince me Dusty causes arm injuries, more so just proof that it is a bit of a hoax or an excuse. As mentioned Wood had previous injuries before Baker, Prior had horrible mechanics, and as manager he HAD to ride those 2. If he didn't he would have had to flee Chicago Bartman style. It appears to be more of the pitchers styles that lead to Tommy John and shoulder injuries.

Kerry Wood - compact, over the top, and a ridiculously hard slider
Jason Schmidt - compact, over the top, and a hard slider
Russ Ortiz - not sure about his delivery or pitches
Mark Prior - http://www.pitchingclips.com/players/mark_prior.htm makes my shoulder hurt watching

Collectively the stress of these pitchers deliveries puts a huge toll on the shoulder and the elbow with Schmidt and Woods sliders.

I honestly think it is more of an issue with the types of pitchers Baker has inherited, than him ruining them.

And you can't even begin to blame Dusty for Volquez, that is just ridiculous. Now the Harang relief appearance maybe and what entailed afterwards, maybe.


And also if you look at the list of pitchers who have had tommy john in the majors it is dominated by American pitchers. And in retrospect American pitchers are usually taught "proper" mechanics that consist of an upright over the top power delivery. And most Latino american pitchers have a loose 3/4 arm delivery (and they throw a ton as youth and teens) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_John_surgery

If you can't see that Dusty ruins arms, then I wouldn't ever try to convince you that 2+2=4, because plain logic and facts are useless.

Griffey012
02-24-2010, 08:12 PM
If you can't see that Dusty ruins arms, then I wouldn't ever try to convince you that 2+2=4, because plain logic and facts are useless.

There is proof 2+2=4, nobody has shown any remote proof that Dusty ruins arms, people have made some assumptions or developed some theories, but to be honest I don't see any extra amount of pitchers going under the knife that Dusty manages than other managers. He was just made an example of because the Cubs poorous fans wanted an excuse for the quick downfall of the Wood, Prior tandem. God forbid they just admit they lost the world series (blame Bartman) or that Wood had a frail arm and Prior had horrible mechanics.

Kingspoint
02-25-2010, 08:24 AM
There is proof 2+2=4, nobody has shown any remote proof that Dusty ruins arms, people have made some assumptions or developed some theories, but to be honest I don't see any extra amount of pitchers going under the knife that Dusty manages than other managers. He was just made an example of because the Cubs poorous fans wanted an excuse for the quick downfall of the Wood, Prior tandem. God forbid they just admit they lost the world series (blame Bartman) or that Wood had a frail arm and Prior had horrible mechanics.

What he did in Chicago was just frosting on the cake.

Griffey012
02-25-2010, 11:55 AM
What he did in Chicago was just frosting on the cake.

I understand if you dislike Dusty Baker as a manager, because I do too. But that doesn't valididate your claims. If the Cubs won the world series in 2003 this would never have even been developed as a theory. Woods issues go back long before Baker, but to his rookie season under Jim Riggleman (not baker) he had games of 133, 129, 123 x 2, 122 x 2, and 121 x 2. Followed by Tommy John surgery. During 02 and 03 Wood pitched 211 and 213 IP and threw 3393 and 3534 Total Pitches which is actually slightly less than what our own Aaron Harang threw in the 3 years pre-Baker. The playoff run might have been what did Wood in, but it had to be done. As for Prior, the inverted-M in his delivery is awful for the shoulder and he was a ticking time bomb for shoulder injuries.

Not sure what the frosting on the cake was? Maybe that he inherited a ticking time bomb and another guy that couldn't handle a pretty normal workload and a playoff run?

TheBigLebowski
02-25-2010, 12:51 PM
Pitchers are paid to PITCH, dude.

Jack Burton
02-25-2010, 01:01 PM
Dusty ruins arms. Dusty ruins franchises.

jredmo2
02-25-2010, 03:41 PM
I'm mostly just worried about Volquez trying to come back too quickly. While there is some debate about whether mechanics, overuse, etc. definitively cause elbow injuries, one thing we know for sure is that coming back too early and too aggressively from TJ surgery is a potential career-ender. I think Volquez shouldn't even sniff the majors this year, there is really no point in him doing so. Even if we are contending, I'd imagine that Volquez right off the DL would hurt more than help. Look at Carpenter, his 2008 was wasted but last year he was as good as ever.

I think we should just focus on 2011 -- Chapman with the better contract situation, Cueto and Bailey with more experience, Volquez completely rehabbed. Hell, Dusty might even be gone by then.

Jack Burton
02-25-2010, 03:50 PM
Dusty ruins arms. Dusty ruins franchises.
I take that back, he doesn't ruin franchises. He ruins a franchises chance of winning.

defender
02-25-2010, 05:34 PM
For all the stat heads who hate Baker, it would be nice it one of them would calculate the % of starting pitchers injured he managed(16 years of data), then compare it to the rate of all starting pitchers injured over that period. It is kind of a waste of time to come up with theories based on anecdotal evidence.

Griffey012
02-25-2010, 06:09 PM
For all the stat heads who hate Baker, it would be nice it one of them would calculate the % of starting pitchers injured he managed(16 years of data), then compare it to the rate of all starting pitchers injured over that period. It is kind of a waste of time to come up with theories based on anecdotal evidence.

:thumbup:That is exactly what I have been trying to get at, I think it would be interesting to see the results, and probably not much deviation from the norm.

BLEEDS
02-25-2010, 06:41 PM
Interesting that they include Prior and Woods' average pitch totals, but not Volquez's. Volquez averaged 102.6 pitches per start in 2008 and only went over the 120 pitch mark once (121 against the DBacks in 6 innings of work on September 13).

In his injury shortened 2009 season Volquez strangely once again averaged exactly 102.6 pitches per game (I excluded the game in which he was actually injured because he left the game after 1 inning) and never pitched more than 110 balls in any game. This seems like reasonable use of a 25-26 year old pitcher.

I think the problem with Volquez in 2009 was that he pitched in the WBC, nothing to do with Dusty.

PEACE

-BLEEDS

1990REDS
02-25-2010, 08:40 PM
I would think that the pitching coaches would have to get just as muck blame as anyone for these arms running out of gas. I would think that the manager relies on them to tell him how the staffs arms are doing. I also think prior (not sure about woods) were rushed to the majors before they could really develop good enough mechanics to susstain a long mlb career.

Kingspoint
02-25-2010, 10:07 PM
I understand if you dislike Dusty Baker as a manager, because I do too. But that doesn't valididate your claims. If the Cubs won the world series in 2003 this would never have even been developed as a theory.

When I said it was "icing on the cake", it had already been well established before he became a Cub that Baker abused his pitchers, just like Lasorda did and Billy Martin did. A lot of Managers did. It has nothing to do with liking or disliking Dusty. I never let personal feeling about somebody effect anything I might be critiquing them about.

In fact, I mentioned a number of times in threads last year that I thought Dusty was doing an excellent job of handling his pitching staff. I still do think that Dusty did an excellent job last season of handling his pitching staff. It doesn't change what he did in the past. I think he's learned a lot and adapted and grown as a Manager to the differences between when he grew up and what things are like today (as far as the "baseball body").

I give Dusty kudos for how he handled the pitching staff last year. And, base on that I think he'll do well this year, too. I don't like what he did the year before, though. But, I truly think he's finally learned how to use these guys and to pay closer attention to their "histories" and not just with "how do you feel today" type of managing.

Griffey012
02-25-2010, 10:56 PM
When I said it was "icing on the cake", it had already been well established before he became a Cub that Baker abused his pitchers, just like Lasorda did and Billy Martin did. A lot of Managers did. It has nothing to do with liking or disliking Dusty. I never let personal feeling about somebody effect anything I might be critiquing them about.

In fact, I mentioned a number of times in threads last year that I thought Dusty was doing an excellent job of handling his pitching staff. I still do think that Dusty did an excellent job last season of handling his pitching staff. It doesn't change what he did in the past. I think he's learned a lot and adapted and grown as a Manager to the differences between when he grew up and what things are like today (as far as the "baseball body").

I give Dusty kudos for how he handled the pitching staff last year. And, base on that I think he'll do well this year, too. I don't like what he did the year before, though. But, I truly think he's finally learned how to use these guys and to pay closer attention to their "histories" and not just with "how do you feel today" type of managing.

I will agree with you that Dusty has done a pretty good job of handling the staff the past two season, with the exception of the Harang appearance and maybe riding Bailey a little too hard at the end of last season, but for the most part thats just knitpicking. I guess i misunderstood what you meant exactly by icing on the cake.