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View Full Version : Travis Wood makes the Verducci Effect List



kaldaniels
01-11-2011, 06:16 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/01/11/verducci.effect/index.html?eref=sihp

Can someone PLEASE come up with a statistical based way to show that this "effect" is completely arbitrary.

I mean it makes sense, but it was pulled out of thin air.

kaldaniels
01-11-2011, 06:18 PM
And keep in mind that as Hernandez, Johnson and Scherzer proved last year, the risk is much lower for bigger-bodied pitchers who are at the older end of the age spectrum.

Ugh I can't take it. How did that PROVE anything???

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/01/11/verducci.effect/index.html#ixzz1AluAc1Gu

The Operator
01-11-2011, 06:52 PM
Empirical Evidence is not proof, no matter how much someone may say it is.

I'm not that worried about Wood's health. I can't remember him ever logging high pitch counts, and at least to my eyes, his delivery isn't particularly violent.

kaldaniels
01-11-2011, 07:01 PM
Empirical Evidence is not proof, no matter how much someone may say it is.

I'm not that worried about Wood's health. I can't remember him ever logging high pitch counts, and at least to my eyes, his delivery isn't particularly violent.

I am with you. As unscientific as it seems, the eyeball test says Wood is taking care of his arm just fine.

TheNext44
01-11-2011, 07:05 PM
The idea that teams should moniter the increase in a young pithers innings has been shown to be a wise idea. However, just like the number of pitches a young pitcher should pitch in a game, there is no magic number that works for all pithers.

Just look at Verducci's previous lists. They really aren't any more accurate than a random list.

RedsManRick
01-11-2011, 07:06 PM
Ugh I can't take it. How did that PROVE anything???

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/01/11/verducci.effect/index.html#ixzz1AluAc1Gu

One of my biggest pet peeves as well. Examples do not prove anything. Evidence is not necessarily proof. To say nothing of the fundamental logical failure of using a very small, bias set of outcomes to support a thesis about probability among a population.

That said, while the effect should be demonstrated statistically, just because it was "made up" doesn't make it wrong. Bill James invented many of his stats through the method of observe, theorize, create a stat, test it to see if it holds up.

Here's one attempt to analyze the Verducci Effect: http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/02/testing-the-verducci-effect/


So, where are we? The results do not bode well for the Verducci Effect. Pitchers who were predicted to decline actually improved... While I appreciate the intuition behind the Verducci Effect, I don’t see much evidence for it.

There's a certain logic which says the effect is simply the result of 2 correlated realities:
1) Over time, nearly every pitcher suffers an injury -- and the rate at which injuries occur is relatively frequent and distributed throughout pitchers' careers.
2) Pitchers will, almost by definition, continue to increase their workload as they approach and establish themselves in the majors up until they get injured or lose effectiveness. And a significant loss of effectiveness is almost always tied to either injury or age.

My question is this: Are pitchers who pitched a given number of innings in a season which was a significant increase in IP MORE likely to be injured than all other players who threw the same number of innings? Without a baseline expectation, a null hypothesis of the rate of injury absent the effect, I don't know how you can say that increases in IP increase injury likelihood.

westofyou
01-11-2011, 07:15 PM
The word 'suggest" would have worked well for him in that situation.

dougdirt
01-11-2011, 08:31 PM
Empirical Evidence is not proof, no matter how much someone may say it is.

I'm not that worried about Wood's health. I can't remember him ever logging high pitch counts, and at least to my eyes, his delivery isn't particularly violent.

While that might be true, Wood has dealt with two different arm issues while he was in the minor leagues. Neither resulted in surgery, but he did miss time with them.

bucksfan2
01-12-2011, 08:20 AM
Wood met Verducci's benchmark by 8.1 innings. Were not talking about a 50 inning increase or a 60 inning increase. Heck his post season relief performance could have pushed him into the 'danger' zone. IMO this Verducci effect is more to get Tom Verducci's name in the press than anything else.

redsmetz
01-12-2011, 09:40 AM
While that might be true, Wood has dealt with two different arm issues while he was in the minor leagues. Neither resulted in surgery, but he did miss time with them.

I just looked at his record in the minors and noticed the one (2007). Was the other his 2008 season when he only pitched about 125 innings? As someone noted after this, if Wood is over, it's only by about one games worth of pitching and that's over the whole season.

Wood has pitched for six seasons now. He would seem to be the textbook case of bringing someone along gradually, isn't he?

What were the arm issues in the two seasons you mentioned? Did he make changes in his delivery afterward?

Luvsbaseball
01-12-2011, 10:46 AM
It was Tendinitis in his shoulder. Rest was all that was needed.

membengal
01-12-2011, 11:29 AM
Reds sure did seem to bring him along "ideally" in terms of a steady increase of innings. Not remotely concerned about him being on this list.

I(heart)Freel
01-12-2011, 11:42 AM
Methinks Verducci just wants to scare owners in his fantasy league away from Wood so he can draft him late. Quite a diabolical schemer, that Verducci.

OnBaseMachine
01-17-2011, 03:19 PM
From Jim Bowden:

Jay Bruce just told us on INSIDE PITCH the same thing that Joey Votto did....that TRAVIS WOOD is the Reds young pitcher to watch this year
http://twitter.com/JimBowdenXMFOX

kaldaniels
01-17-2011, 06:04 PM
From Jim Bowden:

Jay Bruce just told us on INSIDE PITCH the same thing that Joey Votto did....that TRAVIS WOOD is the Reds young pitcher to watch this year
http://twitter.com/JimBowdenXMFOX

With all due respect to the Reds other young pitchers, I don't know how anyone could think differently after watching him perform last season.

edabbs44
06-02-2011, 11:16 AM
Olney brings up an interesting dilemma hitting Seattle right now:


Michael Pineda bounced back and had a good outing, and there is an interesting situation developing for the Mariners. Seattle has been one of the great surprises in the majors and is right in the middle of the four-team AL West race, and Pineda is a big part of that.

But before this year, this is how many innings Pineda has thrown in his career in the minors:

2006 -- 20.1
2007 -- 59
2008 -- 138.1
2009 -- 47.1
2010 -- 39.1
This year -- 70.1

Pineda is 22 years old. A lot of teams have adopted usage rules for their young pitchers, increasing the innings limit by about 30 a year. If Seattle were to apply those kinds of guidelines to Pineda and hold him to something in the range of 170-175, that would mean the talented right-hander would have about 100 innings left for the final four months of the season.



http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=6618198

RedsManRick
06-02-2011, 11:56 AM
My understanding is that there are two basic kinds of injuries. Ones caused by a single, freak, traumatic event and one caused by wear and tear over time (which can manifest in increased soreness or as a traumatic event). By definition, you can't avoid the first (except by systematic changes -- e.g. batting helmets). But you should be able to manage the 2nd. Injuries are not random. It's not like some guys have a 0.2% chance of breaking on a given pitch and others 0.1%.

Innings is such a rough proxy of injury risk. As a pitcher gets more effective, his innings tend to require fewer pitches. So you could very well see Roy Halladay throw the same number of pitches in 220 innings that Volquez throws in 160. And one could argue that it's likely Volquez, because he's in trouble more often, is more likely to be pitching at max effort and/or at the edge of fatigue.

Given that, why not just measure things that are more closely related to & indicative of a pitcher nearing injury? Be especially wary of long individual outings that result in the pitcher pitching while fatigued. Watch close for mechanical changes over the course of the season. Pay close attention to drops in velocity and loss of control. Actually measure arm strength and assess how quickly it recovers. I'm sure some teams are doing this, but the pervasiveness of the innings talk makes me wonder just how many are being more rigorous.

Dan
06-02-2011, 12:04 PM
Olney brings up an interesting dilemma hitting Seattle right now:



http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=6618198

The Reds did shut down Leake last year after he hit a certain level. He did have arm fatigue too, but with the pennant chase, it could have been argued to keep him active and pitch him as needed. Maybe the same approach is needed here with Pineda?

bucksfan2
06-02-2011, 12:10 PM
The Reds did shut down Leake last year after he hit a certain level. He did have arm fatigue too, but with the pennant chase, it could have been argued to keep him active and pitch him as needed. Maybe the same approach is needed here with Pineda?

Why not start to skip him every couple of starts? Or it push comes to shove shut him down for a month. It will be very interesting to see what Seattle does with Pineda. If the Mariners begin to fall back to the pack their decision will be a lot easier.

RedsManRick
06-02-2011, 12:15 PM
The Reds did shut down Leake last year after he hit a certain level. He did have arm fatigue too, but with the pennant chase, it could have been argued to keep him active and pitch him as needed. Maybe the same approach is needed here with Pineda?

I believe Leake got shut down not because he hit a certain innings limit, but because he became ineffective.

Of course, he became ineffective because of increased fatigue and innings were a reasonable proxy for that fatigue. But as the studies of the Verducci effect show, the rate at which young pitchers increase their durability/endurance is pretty variable. 30 innings per year might be a helpful, simple way to communicate the general effect. But it's not nearly precise enough to serve as a useful tool in practice.