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Thread: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

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    SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Interesting article, especially considering how the Reds are grooming Bailey and to a lesser extent, Wood.

    Follies of youth
    Tom Verducci, SI.com

    The 2006 season might be remembered as the coming of a new age of young pitchers. Nine pitchers received rookie of the year votes, including AL winner Justin Verlander, the first rookie starting pitcher to win the award in that league in a quarter of a century. Anibal Sanchez of Florida threw the first no-hitter in the majors in more than two years. Jered Weaver joined Whitey Ford as the only pitchers to begin their careers 9-0.

    Get ready for the down side to all that young pitching success. It's called the 2007 season. More specifically, it's the Year-After Effect (YAE), the price teams almost always pay for pushing their young pitchers too far. And we could be due for a huge crash next season.

    I've been tracking the YAE for about a decade now. It's based on a general rule of thumb among executives and pitching coaches: young pitchers should not have their innings workload increased by more than 25 or 30 innings per year. It's the same principle as training for a marathon; you get to 26.1 miles incrementally, not by jumping directly from a 10K. The body cannot easily withstand being pushed so far behind its previous capacity for work, at least not without consequences. Typically, those consequences occur the next season, not the year in which the body is pushed.

    When I've looked at major league pitchers 25-and-younger who were pushed 30 or more innings beyond their previous season (or, in cases such as injury-shortened years, their previous pro high), I've been amazed how often those pitchers broke down with a serious injury the next season or took a major step backward in their development. (The season total includes all innings in the minors, majors and postseason. )

    For example, let's look at the YAE for the Class of 2005, the young pitchers who were pushed beyond the 30-inning threshold that season: Matt Cain (+33.1 innings at age 20), Francisco Liriano (+34.2 at 21), Gustavo Chacin (+35.2 at 24), Zach Duke (+44.1 at 22), Scott Kazmir (+51.2 at 21) and Paul Maholm (+98.1 at 23). Liriano (elbow), Chacin (elbow) and Kazmir (shoulder) all suffered significant injuries. Cain (+1.82), Duke (+2.66) and Maholm (+2.58) all saw dramatic rises in their ERAs.

    The bottom line: a dramatic increase in innings on a young pitcher elevates the risk of injury or a setback to their development. This has been true for years. The Kansas City Royals were negligent with young pitchers for years, pushing young arms such as Chad Durbin (+49 in 2001), Runelvys Hernandez (+92 in 2002) and Zack Greinke (+33.2 in 2004). Even breakout young stars took a step back because of the YAE, such as Kevin Millwood (+78.1 in 1999), Dontrelle Willis (+52 in 2003), Horatio Ramirez (+34 in 2003) and Mark Prior (+67 in 2003).

    Like any rule of thumb, there are exceptions, especially for big-bodied pitchers. C.C. Sabathia (+40 in 2001) and Carlos Zambrano (+72.1 in 2003) proved the YAE is not one-size-fits-all.

    Now the bad news for the Class of 2006. I can't remember more young pitchers getting pushed this hard in all the years I've been tracking the YAE. I found 11 pitchers 25-and-under who went more than 30 innings beyond their 2005 log, or (where marked with an asterisk) their previous professional high. Here are the pitchers at high risk for a breakdown or regression in 2007:

    In addition, I believe two others, who are just outside the age range, may be at risk, just as 27-year-old Brandon Backe (+43.2 in 2005, elbow breakdown in 2006) was this season.

    If teams know they are putting pitchers at risk, why are they pushing them? The competition. It's difficult to manage a pitcher's innings by moving him to the bench or the bullpen when a team is trying to win games and there are no outward signs of wear and tear. The Tigers, for instance, did give Verlander two nine-day breaks, but they rode their ace all the way to the World Series. What else could they have done?

    Likewise, the Marlins pushed Olsen and Sanchez because they still had a shot at the wild card in mid-September, though you could quibble with Florida allowing Olsen to throw 101 pitches on the meaningless penultimate day of the season. Likewise, the non-competitive Cubs had little to gain by continuing to run Hill and Marshall out to the mound. Hill pitched well in September (1.93 ERA), though his pitch counts do seem unnecessarily high: 106, 111, 120, 118, 99 and 115. Marshall struggled in September (8.34 ERA).

    The Tigers, Marlins and Phillies are particularly vulnerable next season because they each landed two pitchers on the at-risk list. The tendency is to believe that players develop in a linear manner, that a year of experience virtually guarantees improvement. The Angels, for instance, might be thinking, "Oh, great! We've got Jered Weaver for a whole season this year!" Well, the Pirates might have thought the same about Duke and Maholm.

    Such thinking is particularly dangerous with pitchers because of the greater health risk when compared to position players. Young position players can play all they want, take as many swings as they want, and generally don't put themselves at a much greater risk of injury or setback the way pitchers do if they increase their workload.

    The next great test of the YAE could be Yankees prospect Phillip Hughes, generally considered the top pitching prospect in the minors. The Yankees have been saying that Hughes will come to spring training to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. Baloney. The guy is only 20 and threw only 146 innings last season, when New York kept him on strict pitch counts. Why would the Yankees break camp with him in the rotation when there's no way he should be throwing more than 175 innings next year (postseason included), not to mention starting his arbitration clock?

    New York likely will treat Hughes the way Boston did Jon Lester at the start of last season: send him to the minors and keep a tight lid on his innings there, with an in-season callup in mind. Better to have a plan in place to manage innings than to turn a pitcher loose and worry about it later.

    Consider the expert care Seattle has given Felix Hernandez. The Mariners increased his innings by 23 at age 19 in 2005 and by 18.2 in 2006. He should be in fine shape for a breakout year in 2007, with less concern about having to manage his innings. Of course, the Mariners' plan was easy to execute for one simple reason: they never were very close to the postseason in those years.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    So Bailey pitched about 35 more innings this season compared to his 2005 season with Dayton (138.2 to 103.2). I think the caution has been appropriate, fans protestations notwithstanding.

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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    so i wish someone would explain how pitchers in the early days could pitch 20-25 complete games a season!! not counting Spring training, post season and I bet they would laugh at this today!!

    so much babying.. i think its indvidual preperation that is part of the problem.. but who knows

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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445 View Post
    so i wish someone would explain how pitchers in the early days could pitch 20-25 complete games a season!! not counting Spring training, post season and I bet they would laugh at this today!!

    so much babying.. i think its indvidual preperation that is part of the problem.. but who knows
    Could it have something to do with the amount of pitches kids are throwing at a very young age? I mean, in the 'early days' I don't think these kids were on traveling teams throwning curveballs at age 8.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445 View Post
    so i wish someone would explain how pitchers in the early days could pitch 20-25 complete games a season!! not counting Spring training, post season and I bet they would laugh at this today!!

    so much babying.. i think its indvidual preperation that is part of the problem.. but who knows
    Pitcher IP rise and fall with the quality of the offenses against which they pitch.

    If all you've got to do is get through a Deadball Era lineup or some Judy assortment from the 60s or 70s then you can afford to cruise a little bit.

    If you want to pitch against the sorts of mashers the game produced in the 30s and in the modern era, then you've got to be perfect on almost every pitch. You wear down quicker and when you do you're likely to find that your B game isn't going to cut it. You see it all the time in these days. A guy loses a shade when it comes to location and hitters foul off his would-be out pitches until they get a pitch they can handle (or draw a walk). The classic case is Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. He still had his velocity and movement, but he was missing location by a few inches and the Yankees singled him to death.

    As for young pitchers blowing up, that's nothing new and it happened plenty in baseball's days of yore as well. Phenoms whose arms blow off have been a constant throughout baseball history.

    Noodles Hahn, as good a pitcher as has ever taken the mound for the Reds, had his arm going to pieces shortly after his 26th birthday. Pete Schneider was toast before his 23rd birthday. Pete Donohoe was never the same after age 25. And those are guys who made it to the bigs and had some good to great years.
    Last edited by M2; 11-28-2006 at 02:29 PM.
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445 View Post
    so i wish someone would explain how pitchers in the early days could pitch 20-25 complete games a season!! not counting Spring training, post season and I bet they would laugh at this today!!

    so much babying.. i think its indvidual preperation that is part of the problem.. but who knows
    In 1963, Sandy Koufax went 25-5 in 40 starts with a 1.88 ERA in 311 innings (161 ERA+) and completed 20 of those games started.

    How'd he pitch so many innings?

    First, figure out how many innings pitched per start, which turns out to be 7.775, or just over 7.2 innings. Next, we know that Koufax averaged only 104 pitches thrown per start, which means that per inning Koufax only averaged 13.38 pitches per inning.

    That 13.38 pitches per inning figure is crucial, because you'll rarely find that nowadays. In 2006, Greg Maddux threw 13.34 pitches per inning, and after him you have to go all the way down to Roy Halladay at 13.85 pitches per inning to find another starter even in the same neighborhood. BTW, Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang each averaged 16 pitches per inning.

    In the old days when pitchers made more starts, completed more games, and threw more innings, they were averaging far fewer pitches per inning as the quality of offense was much lower than it is now. Hitters take more pitches in today's game than they did four decades ago. They also take more walks, and generally hitters who take more walks take more pitches. In 1963, for example, the league average BB/9 was 2.97. In 2004, the league average BB/9 mark jumped to 3.36.

    Pitches per inning is a crucial factor for evaluating a pitcher's workload. If a pitcher keeps his pitches per inning total low each inning, he's able to pitch more innings and more total pitches per game without risking too much damage to his arm. When the pitches per inning total goes up, the overall pitch count has to be kept lower each game to help avoid injury, and the overall result is less innings thrown altogether over the course of a game and season. As another side-effect, complete games are rendered virtually extinct.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    I think hitters take more walks because of the ridiculously small strike zones that most of today's umpires possess. If the strike zone was called the way it was intended, there would be fewer hitters with bats on their shoulders.
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Pitcher IP rise and fall with the quality of the offenses against which they pitch.
    Example

    1900-1920 one complete game every 2.1 games
    1900-1920 one run every 8.3 AB's

    1921-1940 one complete game every 4 games
    1921-1940 one run every 7 AB's

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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    A snippet from a Bill James interview with Rich Lederer:

    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives...ast_with_1.php

    RL: You mention that year the debate over four-man and five-man pitching rotations. Do you think we will ever go back to the four-man rotation?

    BJ: Between 1973 and 1984, baseball made two important steps back. In the early '70s, the workloads of pitchers were at historic high-water marks. They were higher than they had been since the Dead Ball era. Within ten years after that, we switched from a four-man to a five-man rotation and also began to limit pitchers in how many pitches they throw in a game and began to use more and more relievers earlier in the game.

    In spite of these changes, it is difficult or impossible to establish that injury rates for pitchers have dropped. It seems to me that the desire to avoid injuring pitchers is certainly good and we should do whatever we can to avoid injuring pitchers. But it seems to be clear that one of those adjustments was appropriate and one was overkill. It's difficult to explain how you can make two changes designed to reduce injury rates to pitchers without reducing injury rates to pitchers! I think there is better evidence for the pitch limits than there is for the five-man rotation and, therefore, I think it's reasonably likely that at some point in the future we will go back to the four-man rotation.

    RL: In the old days, pitchers like Christy Mathewson would throw harder to certain batters than to others. The fact that we have DHs now and second basemen who can hit, does that have an effect on the quality of each pitch?

    BJ: Yes. When I wrote about that, I wasn't aware of that transition in history until I was working on the Historical Abstract -- and I wrote about that in '83 or '84. When I wrote about that, I thought it was over. I thought that was a transition that happened in history but what I didn't realize, particularly in the '90s, was this transition was still ongoing. One of the great differences between the '70s and now is that now you have a lot of guys who throw 86 as starters who can throw 90 as relievers for one inning and who do that. So, the starters push themselves harder, are out of the game earlier, and then you see a series of relievers who are throwing harder. So yes, it does affect the quality of the pitch but it's an open question -- a fair question -- whether by making this transition we've lost this, sort of, "pitchtility."

    The Orioles in the '70s were extremely successful with a bunch of pitchers who probably threw 82-85 ninety percent of the time. Mike Flanagan, Scott McGregor, and Steve Stone weren't hard throwers but they could pitch 250 innings by saving their best stuff and pacing themselves. People don't pitch that way anymore, and it's not clear that you couldn't pitch that way anymore. It's fairly likely you could.

    A few years ago we had a lead-off man, Brady Anderson, who hit 52 homers. In the '70s the idea of a lead-off man hitting 30 home runs was preposterous. Now it's as common as dirt. So that's a real transition, that you have to worry about the home run on every pitch. A lot of people because of that are reluctant to throw that 82 mile-an-hour screwball or cutter or something because they're afraid they're going to be changing the scoreboard with just one bad pitch.
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    There are never any guarantees with pitchers' arms, but a team can try to not be stupid. In the old days when every kid in America played baseball and there were fewer teams and there was no draft and the minor leagues were less structured, a team could use Darwinism as a development philosophy. Nowadays, you can't just go get another batch of good arms at will after destroying the ones you have, so it makes sense to do everything in your power to deliver pitchers to the big leagues in one piece.
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Strikeouts are also way up, and generally, though not always, hitters who strike out often see more pitches than hitters who do not strike out often. Likewise, power pitchers who strike out loads of batters also tend to see their pitch counts a tick higher per inning than finesse pitchers who grab more outs on balls in play. The days of Slim Sallee pitching 227.2 innings in 1919, facing 893 batters and accumulating only 24 strikeouts are a thing of the past.

    Here's the full league data since 1900. Check out the SO/9 trend through the game's history ...
    Code:
    
    YEAR  ERA     HR   H/9   BR/9  SO/9  BB/9  SO/BB   SHO     WP    IBB    HBP    BFP      BK
    
    1900  3.69    254  9.92 13.16  2.45  2.75  0.89     68    220      0    536     6000    16 
    1901  3.49    463  9.65 12.57  3.21  2.52  1.28    122    472      0    886    30330    18 
    1902  3.17    354  9.29 12.13  3.03  2.49  1.22    155    416      0    769    31287    17 
    1903  3.11    334  9.06 11.90  3.65  2.49  1.46    167    446      0    754    81174    12 
    1904  2.66    330  8.33 11.01  3.81  2.35  1.62    249    508      0    811    90967    42 
    1905  2.82    328  8.28 11.19  3.92  2.57  1.53    223    527      0    828    58332    22 
    1906  2.66    257  8.17 11.09  3.77  2.60  1.45    275    461      0    774    55953    29 
    1907  2.50    238  8.11 11.03  3.59  2.60  1.38    282    473      0    785    88547    23 
    1908  2.37    267  7.76 10.54  3.67  2.47  1.49    290    477      0    768    89089    25 
    1909  2.53    262  7.97 10.98  3.79  2.70  1.40    271    568      0    778    89226    39 
    1910  2.77    359  8.18 11.51  3.94  3.01  1.31    234    544      0    805    90221    33 
    1911  3.37    514  8.94 12.52  4.04  3.23  1.25    168    539      0    836    91841    49 
    1912  3.37    442  9.04 12.49  4.02  3.15  1.28    160    559      0    718    91855    45 
    1913  3.06    472  8.58 11.85  3.86  2.99  1.29    198    529      0    690    91793    51 
    1914  2.91    705  8.35 11.62  4.02  2.99  1.34    341    799      0   1003   134289    50 
    1915  2.90    625  8.23 11.50  3.81  3.00  1.27    348    730      0   1009   129250    69 
    1916  2.72    381  8.12 11.20  3.81  2.83  1.34    236    500      0    629    91095    51 
    1917  2.68    334  8.14 11.12  3.46  2.75  1.25    248    412      0    575    91661    38 
    1918  2.77    234  8.36 11.39  2.88  2.81  1.03    199    299      0    458    75635    23 
    1919  3.07    446  8.77 11.68  3.07  2.67  1.15    189    374      0    529    82870    43 
    1920  3.46    629  9.41 12.39  2.94  2.76  1.07    186    408      0    546    93899    52 
    1921  4.03    937 10.12 13.14  2.85  2.79  1.02    120    360      0    564    95612    50 
    1922  4.06   1054 10.01 13.20  2.82  2.94  0.96    146    382      0    609    96065    55 
    1923  3.99    981  9.86 13.20  2.86  3.10  0.92    127    359      0    599    96258    40 
    1924  4.04    896  9.93 13.18  2.72  3.02  0.90    137    338      0    548    95693    53 
    1925  4.33   1168 10.28 13.69  2.76  3.20  0.86    106    348      0    501    96251    35 
    1926  3.92    863  9.66 13.01  2.80  3.15  0.89    134    309      0    479    95079    39 
    1927  4.02    922  9.79 13.03  2.82  3.04  0.93    127    337      0    484    95676    43 
    1928  4.01   1095  9.70 13.02  2.90  3.13  0.93    132    286      0    460    96571    29 
    1929  4.47   1349 10.15 13.62  2.90  3.31  0.88    121    355      0    404    96278    44 
    1930  4.81   1564 10.54 13.85  3.27  3.15  1.04     91    368      0    401    97223    36 
    1931  4.12   1069  9.84 13.13  3.24  3.14  1.03    134    347      0    370    96196    42 
    1932  4.18   1357  9.80 13.02  3.20  3.07  1.04    119    368      0    367    96601    41 
    1933  3.81   1067  9.44 12.61  3.06  3.02  1.01    166    392      0    353    94530    35 
    1934  4.28   1344  9.94 13.33  3.49  3.25  1.07    136    427      0    341    95515    41 
    1935  4.24   1326  9.90 13.27  3.30  3.22  1.02    149    419      0    381    96186    37 
    1936  4.52   1363 10.14 13.75  3.36  3.44  0.98    118    557      0    412    97858    41 
    1937  4.27   1430  9.76 13.36  3.70  3.47  1.07    134    393      0    318    96118    41 
    1938  4.28   1474  9.68 13.41  3.47  3.59  0.97    124    410      0    348    95336    46 
    1939  4.26   1443  9.63 13.28  3.51  3.50  1.00    127    445      0    354    95925    49 
    1940  4.11   1572  9.39 12.91  3.70  3.37  1.10    140    457      0    354    95912    52 
    1941  3.89   1333  9.14 12.87  3.58  3.61  0.99    162    481      0    310    96484    33 
    1942  3.48   1070  8.68 12.26  3.42  3.44  0.99    178    389      0    337    93929    44 
    1943  3.34    905  8.62 12.10  3.44  3.35  1.03    196    354      0    328    94992    56 
    1944  3.52   1034  8.99 12.32  3.29  3.19  1.03    177    388      0    340    95629    44 
    1945  3.58   1001  9.00 12.54  3.30  3.40  0.97    186    358      0    355    94745    51 
    1946  3.46   1214  8.75 12.45  3.93  3.57  1.10    199    347      0    314    94956    36 
    1947  3.89   1564  8.98 12.86  3.73  3.76  0.99    176    390      0    306    94931    51 
    1948  4.12   1556  9.12 13.21  3.70  3.95  0.94    143    433      0    337    95453    47 
    1949  4.12   1699  9.04 13.29  3.65  4.09  0.89    172    454      0    370    95844    56 
    1950  4.36   2073  9.24 13.50  3.92  4.08  0.96    139    432      0    437    96364   123 
    1951  4.04   1865  8.99 12.93  3.79  3.75  1.01    166    442      0    449    96005    65 
    1952  3.70   1701  8.62 12.38  4.21  3.56  1.18    180    405      0    483    94809    40 
    1953  4.14   2076  9.17 12.92  4.17  3.55  1.18    156    464      0    487    95420    50 
    1954  3.90   1937  8.91 12.76  4.15  3.67  1.13    166    402      0    441    95541    45 
    1955  4.00   2224  8.83 12.73  4.42  3.70  1.20    159    473    736    498    95020    36 
    1956  3.97   2294  8.82 12.68  4.69  3.67  1.28    127    492    783    481    95233    43 
    1957  3.83   2202  8.81 12.31  4.82  3.29  1.46    139    480    740    511    95395    46 
    1958  3.86   2240  8.83 12.35  4.99  3.32  1.50    132    526    680    499    94149    70 
    1959  3.90   2250  8.81 12.34  5.13  3.33  1.54    158    557    707    496    94722    60 
    1960  3.82   2128  8.69 12.28  5.19  3.40  1.53    140    604    730    488    94776    55 
    1961  4.03   2730  8.86 12.57  5.29  3.50  1.51    154    780    732    573   109572    63 
    1962  3.96   3001  8.85 12.46  5.45  3.39  1.61    168    949    818    709   124544    92 
    1963  3.46   2704  8.36 11.55  5.81  2.97  1.96    234    914    933    714   122356   194 
    1964  3.58   2762  8.55 11.74  5.94  2.97  2.00    221    979   1015    694   122993    65 
    1965  3.50   2688  8.31 11.63  5.95  3.10  1.92    191   1046   1130    720   122763    72 
    1966  3.52   2743  8.43 11.53  5.83  2.89  2.02    194   1039   1088    682   121688    96 
    1967  3.30   2299  8.16 11.37  5.99  2.98  2.01    226    985   1295    751   121848   101 
    1968  2.98   1995  7.91 10.97  5.89  2.82  2.09    279   1007   1223    778   120823    83 
    1969  3.61   3119  8.40 12.09  5.80  3.46  1.67    242   1284   1436    882   148192   131 
    1970  3.89   3429  8.66 12.42  5.78  3.54  1.63    188   1249   1464    825   149324   128 
    1971  3.47   2863  8.43 11.88  5.42  3.25  1.67    265   1115   1396    821   146700    97 
    1972  3.26   2534  8.19 11.55  5.57  3.16  1.77    295   1069   1378    751   139958    92 
    1973  3.75   3102  8.78 12.35  5.25  3.38  1.55    236   1199   1356    755   148789    95 
    1974  3.63   2649  8.75 12.29  5.02  3.34  1.50    227   1086   1353    774   148851   186 
    1975  3.71   2698  8.78 12.45  5.00  3.47  1.44    223   1158   1338    761   148613   204 
    1976  3.51   2235  8.66 12.03  4.83  3.19  1.51    261   1047   1156    684   147598   176 
    1977  4.00   3644  9.07 12.54  5.18  3.28  1.58    176   1166   1297    791   161545   235 
    1978  3.69   2956  8.76 12.20  4.81  3.26  1.48    238   1054   1338    772   159192   273 
    1979  4.00   3433  9.10 12.55  4.81  3.27  1.47    175   1146   1366    754   160378   166 
    1980  3.84   3087  9.07 12.36  4.80  3.14  1.53    189   1031   1435    657   161210   257 
    1981  3.58   1781  8.66 12.01  4.75  3.18  1.49    135    714    895    464   105892   181 
    1982  3.86   3379  8.95 12.27  5.04  3.16  1.60    161   1091   1319    677   161104   256 
    1983  3.87   3301  8.93 12.32  5.18  3.22  1.61    180   1076   1379    717   160615   266 
    1984  3.81   3258  8.92 12.26  5.37  3.18  1.69    151   1129   1270    668   160566   283 
    1985  3.89   3602  8.79 12.26  5.37  3.31  1.62    163   1141   1337    699   160320   227 
    1986  3.97   3813  8.81 12.40  5.90  3.40  1.74    139   1323   1289    812   160858   289 
    1987  4.29   4458  9.08 12.72  6.01  3.45  1.74    138   1333   1287    842   161922   356 
    1988  3.73   3180  8.66 11.98  5.58  3.10  1.80    182   1262   1367    918   159380   924 
    1989  3.71   3083  8.66 12.08  5.64  3.23  1.75    152   1286   1446    801   160033   407 
    1990  3.86   3317  8.82 12.35  5.72  3.32  1.72    140   1355   1384    861   160316   288 
    1991  3.91   3383  8.71 12.26  5.81  3.33  1.74    107   1390   1229    905   160746   241 
    1992  3.75   3038  8.69 12.18  5.60  3.26  1.72    146   1296   1315    980   160545   219 
    1993  4.19   4030  9.13 12.75  5.85  3.36  1.74     99   1473   1477   1200   174564   298 
    1994  4.51   3306  9.36 13.14  6.22  3.50  1.78     69   1162   1008    876   124483   174 
    1995  4.45   4081  9.24 13.10  6.35  3.56  1.79     88   1414   1105   1219   156703   199 
    1996  4.61   4962  9.39 13.27  6.50  3.57  1.82     84   1553   1343   1404   177261   197 
    1997  4.39   4640  9.23 13.03  6.66  3.49  1.91     89   1482   1169   1449   175541   188 
    1998  4.43   5064  9.22 12.95  6.61  3.41  1.94    101   1605   1062   1583   188225   205 
    1999  4.71   5528  9.44 13.50  6.48  3.73  1.74     64   1632   1105   1578   189692   177 
    2000  4.77   5693  9.42 13.54  6.53  3.80  1.72     72   1518   1208   1572   190261   161 
    2001  4.42   5458  9.12 12.80  6.74  3.29  2.05     74   1484   1384   1890   186976   151 
    2002  4.28   5059  9.00 12.74  6.53  3.38  1.93     87   1494   1452   1746   186615   160 
    2003  4.40   5207  9.15 12.83  6.40  3.30  1.94     72   1546   1316   1849   187449   158 
    2004  4.46   5451  9.23 12.98  6.60  3.36  1.96     69   1478   1381   1850   188539   157 
    2005  4.29   5017  9.16 12.70  6.38  3.17  2.02     63   1439   1216   1797   186292   161 
    
    TOT   3.82 226628  8.97 12.45  4.80  3.25  1.48  17655  81768  60666  76606 12482429 11776
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

  13. #12
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: SI: The Danger of Overworking Young Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445 View Post
    so i wish someone would explain how pitchers in the early days could pitch 20-25 complete games a season!! not counting Spring training, post season and I bet they would laugh at this today!!

    so much babying.. i think its indvidual preperation that is part of the problem.. but who knows

    They could do it today if they were allowed to. People are bigger and stronger these days. But they would also have more injuries. Back in the early days pitchers had injuries but no one knew what a torn rotator cuff was and things like that. Guys just got sore arms and they either kept pitching or retired. And just think of the minor league pitchers who blew out their arms. All that stuff is undocumented. We have no idea whether their careers were longer or shorter than the pitchers of today.
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