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Thread: Reds sign Mark Prior

  1. #121
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Not in my view. There are a lot more examples of guys who were ridden hard and broke than the hoss's like Ryan. WOY listed a bunch. It goes back generations.
    You mean that list of 4?

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  3. #122
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    You mean that list of 4?
    There are others. Many. Good grief. Your gotcha games get old. carry on. Back to lurking.

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  5. #123
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    There are others. Many. Good grief. Your gotcha games get old. carry on. Back to lurking.
    I just find it ironic that, of all the areas that "strides" have been made in over the past number of years, this is the one where stats aren't necessary to back it up.

    The closest you get is some arbitrary pitch count or innings increase. We are told numerous things about usage that can be disputed and are really just ignored. Like how Prior was never nearly as effective after 2003 (false), how no pitchers "today" would ever have innings increased like Prior did (false) or how guys like Webb, Johan and Peavy were treated properly and Arroyo was abused (maybe "true", but didn't really work out as anticipated).

    I think it is pretty much common sense that more usage equals more wear and tear. But to try and assign specific blame to usage, mechanics or something else is pretty reckless. For every guy who was "abused" and eventually broke down we can likely find several who were "abused" and didn't break down, were babied and eventually broke down or broke down before ever getting the opportunity to get "abused".

    I agree, it is prudent to be careful with pitching. Without a doubt. But to make claims about numbers of innings, pitches, etc is a stretch.

  6. #124
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    There are others. Many. Good grief. Your gotcha games get old. carry on. Back to lurking.
    Would you mind referencing this list of many others for inspection?
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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  8. #125
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I just find it ironic that, of all the areas that "strides" have been made in over the past number of years, this is the one where stats aren't necessary to back it up.

    The closest you get is some arbitrary pitch count or innings increase. We are told numerous things about usage that can be disputed and are really just ignored. Like how Prior was never nearly as effective after 2003 (false), how no pitchers "today" would ever have innings increased like Prior did (false) or how guys like Webb, Johan and Peavy were treated properly and Arroyo was abused (maybe "true", but didn't really work out as anticipated).

    I think it is pretty much common sense that more usage equals more wear and tear. But to try and assign specific blame to usage, mechanics or something else is pretty reckless. For every guy who was "abused" and eventually broke down we can likely find several who were "abused" and didn't break down, were babied and eventually broke down or broke down before ever getting the opportunity to get "abused".

    I agree, it is prudent to be careful with pitching. Without a doubt. But to make claims about numbers of innings, pitches, etc is a stretch.
    Why do you say stats aren't necessary to back it up? This is a concept that has been proven unequivocally to be truth. This really is a discussion that has been had a million times. It is proven without doubt that pitch counts and innings restrictions are very effective. Even some basic research would make this patently obvious. There is a reason why every team in baseball uses these factors to make sure their staff pitches as effectively as possible. I am not sure why anyone would want to continue to dispute this. This is old news. You can't blow off pitch counts and innings limits and why they are important if you want to have an up to date understanding of baseball.

    For an introductory explanation of why pitch counts and innings limits have become common practice I would recommend Baseball Between the Numbers by Baseball Prospectus. There are many, many more studies on the subject available on FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus' website and pretty much any other sabermetric resource on the market.

    Teams have been using innings limits in baseball for 30+ years, so this is nothing new. For a century it was standard practice for pitchers to throw 300 or even 400 innings per year. Here is a list of the league leaders in innings pitched per season. Eventually teams realized that pitchers performed much, much better when they were not worked so hard. In baseball history there have been 826 times where a pitcher threw 300+ innings in a single season. Know when the last time a pitcher hurled 300+ innings was? Steve Carlton way back in 1980, 33 years ago. It has been 25 years since a pitcher threw even 275 innings. Even before sabermetrics, people began to realize that a pitcher was much less effective as his pitch counts rose during a game. They also saw that players tended to get injured or have their performance suffer after a long game with a lot of pitches thrown.

    Mark Prior had a 179 ERA+ in 2003 (one of the top 100 pitching performances in baseball history). His ERA+ in 2004 was only 110, which is a HUGE dropoff. His ERA+ in 2005 was only 120. He was still an above-average pitcher, but he was nowhere near the elite superstar he was in 2003. In 2006 his ERA+ was 65 and he only lasted 43 innings and then his career was over. So it is very clear that Mark Prior was never nearly as effective after 2003 despite your assertions to the contrary.

    Pitchers today are not worked as hard as Mark Prior was in 2003. It is extremely rare for a pitcher to exceed 120 pitches in a game on a regular basis. It is also very uncommon to see pitchers get drastic increases in innings, especially when they are young. Once in a while it happens, but not nearly as often or to the same degree that used to be commonplace. This is one major reason why pitching is better across the board in today's game. Pitchers are more effective and throw harder than they ever have, largely because their arms are healthier and stronger because they are taken care of much better.

    We can debate over exactly what the limits should be, but it isn't really debatable that limits are necessary and effective.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 03-04-2013 at 05:41 AM.

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  10. #126
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Why do you say stats aren't necessary to back it up? This is a concept that has been proven unequivocally to be truth. This really is a discussion that has been had a million times. It is proven without doubt that pitch counts and innings restrictions are very effective. Even some basic research would make this patently obvious. There is a reason why every team in baseball uses these factors to make sure their staff pitches as effectively as possible. I am not sure why anyone would want to continue to dispute this. This is old news. You can't blow off pitch counts and innings limits and why they are important if you want to have an up to date understanding of baseball.
    I'm not blowing off pitch counts and innings limits. What I'm talking about is the assertion that elevated pitch counts and/or innings automatically equals break down. Comments like these:

    Uhhh Baker is the reason why he is where he is. Probably not the best idea lol.
    That just tells me that Mark Prior doesn't understand what happened to him all of these years later.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    For an introductory explanation of why pitch counts and innings limits have become common practice I would recommend Baseball Between the Numbers by Baseball Prospectus. There are many, many more studies on the subject available on FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus' website and pretty much any other sabermetric resource on the market.
    I understand that the more you pitch, the more wear you are going to have on your arm. I don't think that I need to read up on any studies to tell me that.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Teams have been using innings limits in baseball for 30+ years, so this is nothing new. For a century it was standard practice for pitchers to throw 300 or even 400 innings per year. Here is a list of the league leaders in innings pitched per season. Eventually teams realized that pitchers performed much, much better when they were not worked so hard. In baseball history there have been 826 times where a pitcher threw 300+ innings in a single season. Know when the last time a pitcher hurled 300+ innings was? Steve Carlton way back in 1980, 33 years ago. It has been 25 years since a pitcher threw even 275 innings. Even before sabermetrics, people began to realize that a pitcher was much less effective as his pitch counts rose during a game. They also saw that players tended to get injured or have their performance suffer after a long game with a lot of pitches thrown.
    I agree with the concept, but do we really have true evidence that pitchers break down at a materially higher clip with more use? Or can we really say that Prior's fall was a direct result of the use he endured in 2003? I think that is an awfully big leap and probably has more to do with the bias against Dusty Baker in the sabermetric community than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Mark Prior had a 179 ERA+ in 2003 (one of the top 100 pitching performances in baseball history). His ERA+ in 2004 was only 110, which is a HUGE dropoff. His ERA+ in 2005 was only 120. He was still an above-average pitcher, but he was nowhere near the elite superstar he was in 2003. In 2006 his ERA+ was 65 and he only lasted 43 innings and then his career was over. So it is very clear that Mark Prior was never nearly as effective after 2003 despite your assertions to the contrary.
    Prior missed the first two months of 2004 with an achilles injury, who knows what that did to his season. In 2005, Prior led the majors in SO/9 and also was on his way to a pretty solid overall ERA campaign (more so than he finished up with) until he took a line drive off his elbow. ERA of 2.93 before, 4.07 after.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Pitchers today are not worked as hard as Mark Prior was in 2003. It is extremely rare for a pitcher to exceed 120 pitches in a game on a regular basis. It is also very uncommon to see pitchers get drastic increases in innings, especially when they are young. Once in a while it happens, but not nearly as often or to the same degree that used to be commonplace. This is one major reason why pitching is better across the board in today's game. Pitchers are more effective and throw harder than they ever have, largely because their arms are healthier and stronger because they are taken care of much better.
    I don't disagree with the sentiment but it is really hard to look at this as an absolute. For every Prior we can go through a number of pitchers who have appeared to have been overused who haven't gotten injured, yet. But that's a convenient part of the argument, pitchers do tend to get injured no matter what the usage. Liriano was babied. Joba Rules. I can link the Webb/Johan/Peavy thread again. On the other end of the spectrum, Verlander was ridden pretty hard in 2009 and has been pretty good since. People were fainting after what happened to CC in Milwaukee...I think he's been ok as a Yankee. But I'm sure that if one of these guys ends up with an injury, we'll get some sort of in depth analysis about usage. And if they don't get injured, they'll just be some sort of superfreak that defied the odds.

    Again...my argument isn't that pitch counts and usage limits are dumb. Quite the contrary It's more about how trying to link a specific 10 start stretch or even one season to an injury while ignoring everything else. Including human nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    We can debate over exactly what the limits should be, but it isn't really debatable that limits are necessary and effective.
    Eh...I'd be a proponent of soft limits, but to freak out b/c of one specific number is a bit much. Give a guy an extra day of rest, limit him some after throwing a lot the start before, keep an eye on usage if you are either headed to the playoffs or completely out of it. Absolutely. But stop the presses because you hit the magic 110 pitch number? No.

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  12. #127
    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Sports Illustrated published a short story about Prior signing to play with the Reds HERE. It sounds like his main issue has been control in the minors in recent seasons.
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  13. #128
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Anyone have any idea when he will get to throw this spring?

  14. #129
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post

    Teams have been using innings limits in baseball for 30+ years, so this is nothing new. For a century it was standard practice for pitchers to throw 300 or even 400 innings per year. Here is a list of the league leaders in innings pitched per season. Eventually teams realized that pitchers performed much, much better when they were not worked so hard. In baseball history there have been 826 times where a pitcher threw 300+ innings in a single season. Know when the last time a pitcher hurled 300+ innings was? Steve Carlton way back in 1980, 33 years ago. It has been 25 years since a pitcher threw even 275 innings. Even before sabermetrics, people began to realize that a pitcher was much less effective as his pitch counts rose during a game. They also saw that players tended to get injured or have their performance suffer after a long game with a lot of pitches thrown.
    Not disagreeing with your premise at all but another important reason for the reduction of innings by starters is the demise of the 4 man rotation. Assuming an even number of starts among all the members of the staff, a 5 man rotation would average 32.4 starts per 162 games but a 4 man rotation would average 40.5 starts, a difference of 8.1 starts. Not way that starts can be manipulated an ace may get a couple more but most years the league leader in starts is at 35 games and none have reached 37 games since 1991. In the 1970's however the league leader was typically in the low 40's. (Historically it seems that this was a high period but 40 seemed typical in the 4 man era, remember shorter season pre-1961.) http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml

    Assuming 5-7 starts lost to the change in rotation size would reduce inning load from 30 to 50 innings per season without even getting into pitch counts.

  15. #130
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by coachpipe View Post
    Anyone have any idea when he will get to throw this spring?
    He is in minor league camp, so we may not seen him throw for the Reds.

  16. #131
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Not disagreeing with your premise at all but another important reason for the reduction of innings by starters is the demise of the 4 man rotation. Assuming an even number of starts among all the members of the staff, a 5 man rotation would average 32.4 starts per 162 games but a 4 man rotation would average 40.5 starts, a difference of 8.1 starts. Not way that starts can be manipulated an ace may get a couple more but most years the league leader in starts is at 35 games and none have reached 37 games since 1991. In the 1970's however the league leader was typically in the low 40's. (Historically it seems that this was a high period but 40 seemed typical in the 4 man era, remember shorter season pre-1961.) http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml

    Assuming 5-7 starts lost to the change in rotation size would reduce inning load from 30 to 50 innings per season without even getting into pitch counts.
    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Not disagreeing with your premise at all but another important reason for the reduction of innings by starters is the demise of the 4 man rotation. Assuming an even number of starts among all the members of the staff, a 5 man rotation would average 32.4 starts per 162 games but a 4 man rotation would average 40.5 starts, a difference of 8.1 starts. Not way that starts can be manipulated an ace may get a couple more but most years the league leader in starts is at 35 games and none have reached 37 games since 1991. In the 1970's however the league leader was typically in the low 40's. (Historically it seems that this was a high period but 40 seemed typical in the 4 man era, remember shorter season pre-1961.) http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml

    Assuming 5-7 starts lost to the change in rotation size would reduce inning load from 30 to 50 innings per season without even getting into pitch counts.
    Another item is the depressed offense of the 60's that caused 300 IP pitchers to pile it up.

    For every Koufax there was a Willie Davis, for every Marichal a Hal Lanier, in the span of 1963-1968 there were 36 regulars in MLB who had over 150 games played and a slugging percentage less than .400 and a on base percentage less than .300. in the years of 1953-1958 there were 4. The game had swung drastically to the other end of the spectrum in the years between 1953 and 1968, glove men with little on base skills or pop were all over the place, among them was perhaps the most wonderful outmaker of all, Hal Lanier.

    Lanier came to the dish 1075 times in the 67-68 seasons and made an astonishing 871 outs, that’s an out 76% of the time he batted. Of the 212 hits that he had 16% were extra bases, none home runs.

    Lanier’s 1968 season produced the worst secondary average (The formula is (TB-H+BB+SB)/AB) in the history of the modern game, with his 1969 and 1967 season taking slots 3 and 4.

    Meanwhile his teammate Juan Marichal was starting 64 games, piling up 528 innings pitched going 40-19 with a 2.56 era.

    Ying and Yang I guess…

  17. #132
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    If Ray Oyler had been just a little bit better, he could have qualified as being far worse than even Hal Lanier. If that makes any sense.

  18. #133
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Any word from the Reds on whether they'll start him or put him in the pen?

  19. #134
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    Any word from the Reds on whether they'll start him or put him in the pen?
    He has been a reliever for a while now.

  20. #135
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Mark Prior

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Not disagreeing with your premise at all but another important reason for the reduction of innings by starters is the demise of the 4 man rotation. Assuming an even number of starts among all the members of the staff, a 5 man rotation would average 32.4 starts per 162 games but a 4 man rotation would average 40.5 starts, a difference of 8.1 starts. Not way that starts can be manipulated an ace may get a couple more but most years the league leader in starts is at 35 games and none have reached 37 games since 1991. In the 1970's however the league leader was typically in the low 40's. (Historically it seems that this was a high period but 40 seemed typical in the 4 man era, remember shorter season pre-1961.) http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml

    Assuming 5-7 starts lost to the change in rotation size would reduce inning load from 30 to 50 innings per season without even getting into pitch counts.
    Exactly right, the switch from 4-man to 5-man rotations is a big part of the issue. But why did they make the switch from 4 to 5 pitchers in the rotation? To cut the innings of their good starters in an effort to avoid overworking them.

    League-wide innings reductions were not a by-product of switching to a five-man rotation, the opposite is true. Five man rotations were a by-product of teams wanting to reduce the workload of their pitchers.


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