Originally Posted by dougdirt
I will tell him exactly what I posted earlier in this thread: Every team in baseball now has rules set up to avoid both the jump in innings you made for pitchers that were your age as well as avoiding the total number of pitches in even one single game that you averaged over your final 13 starts of 2003. They do that for a reason. They all believe that it will help keep young pitchers healthy because they all believe that going against that greatly increases the risk of injury to young pitchers.
It isn't that I alone know better. It is that every team in baseball now does.
It is true that we know now that Prior was overworked in that 2003 season and that is likely the reason he suffered a huge dropoff in performance in 2004 and never reached anywhere near to that 2003 level of performance again.
However, it wasn't until after 2003 that sabermetrics proved that overworking a pitcher in that manner is highly likely to cause injury and permanent reduction in pitching ability. You are correct that no team will ever use a pitcher that way again. But to call it abuse implies that Dusty and the pitching coach knew it was the wrong thing to do. I think they just didn't know any better. Most people didn't know any better at that time.